|Automaker||Aug. 2013||Aug. 2012||Pct. chng.||8 month
|Ford Motor Co.||220,404||196,749||12%||1,703,220||1,510,614||13%|
|Jaguar Land Rover||6,661||4,756||40%||43,106||36,584||18%|
|Volvo Cars NA||5,518||6,319||–13%||44,005||46,649||–6%|
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Riding on strong pickup truck and sedan sales, Chrysler Group and Ford Motor Co. both posted 12% overall sales increases from last August. It was Chrysler’s 41st straight year to year monthly increase. A number of manufacturers’ sales were constrained by tight inventory of models in high demand.
At Ford car and truck sales increased 18%, while crossover sales went down slightly. Small car sales at Ford were up 30% and F series pickups up 22%, while Lincoln sales inched up 1%. Ford reported that retail sales were up 20%, with trucks leading the way at +30%, utility vehicles up 16% and cars up 15%. It said that due to demand it would increase North American output 7% in the 4th quarter of this year to 785,000 cars and light trucks.
At Chrysler, the Ram brand’s sales were up 29% percent, Dodge was up 12% and Jeep was up 8%. Individually, Ram pickups were up 31% and car sales were up 11%. The company said that Dodge Charger and Dart sales were strong and the Fiat brand had its best month since returning to the United States, maybe its best month in the U.S. ever, at nearly 4.200 unites. “Last month we achieved our strongest retail sales in the past 60 months,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group, said in a statement. “All aspects of our business continue to improve.” TrueCar estimated that the average transaction price of Chrysler Group vehicles sold last month was a record $30,317, a result of strong pickup and Jeep sales.
Other manufacturers will release August sales data later today. Analysts expect that August sales will have risen 14 percent from 2012 to 1.47 million units, according to a Bloomberg survey. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate is forecast at 15.8 million units, up from 14.5 million last year. Analysts attribute strong U.S. light-vehicle sales to a variety of factors including pent-up demand, an aging fleet, attractive finance and leasing offers, a slowly improving economy with rising housing and construction activity and modest employment growth.
TrueCar estimated the average transaction price of a new light-vehicle sold in August was $31,252, a record. Sales could have been higher but some models were in short supply during the traditional August end-of-model-year clearance sales. A survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets showed that 19% of dealers said they didn’t have sufficient inventory in August compared to 9% in July and 4% in June. Models whose sales have been limited by supply included the Ford Fusion and Explorer, Chevrolet Impala, Honda Odyssey and CR-V, Range Rover, Dodge Charger, and Jeep Wrangler, and Ford Explorer, with some regions experiencing particularly tight supply. On a brand basis, Subaru, Land Rover, Audi, Hyundai, Lexus, Kia, and BMW had the shortest supply of cars on hand while Lincoln, Fiat, Cadillac, Buick and Ram had the biggest supply. Subaru, constrained as it was by inventory issues is expected to have its best ever August sales in the U.S.
Honda, Toyota, Nissan set pace as August volume surges 17%
U.S. car and light truck sales were up 17% in August, pushing the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate to 16.1 million units, the best the industry as a group has done since the end of 2007. The fact that August included most of the Labor Day weekend was said by analysts to be a factor along with pent-up demand, an aging fleet, attractive finance and leasing offers, a slowly improving economy with rising housing and construction activity and modest employment growth. Pickup trucks and sedans did particularly well, with strong retail sales.. While the domestic automakers all had gains, Japanese brands led the statistical race with Honda up 27%, Toyota up 23% and Nissan up 22%. For the first time Subaru deliveries in the U.S. surpassed 40,000 units, up 45% from August of 2012. General Motors’ sales were up 15% while both Ford and the Chrysler Group were each up 12%.
At GM, retail sales were up 22% while fleet deliveries were down 8%. Cadillac led GM brands, going up 38%, doing just better than Buick at +37%. GMC deliveries were up 14% from last year and Chevy was up 10%.
At Toyota, Lexus sales were up 23% while Toyota’s main brand was up 24%. Camry sales, buoyed by incentives, were up 22% to almost 45,000 units, and the Prius was up 30% to an August record of 27,358.
Honda set an August sales record of 166,432, with the CR-V, Accord and Civic each selling more than 34,000 units in the month.
Nissan also set an August record at 120,498 deliveries, on an increase of 24% at their core brand and +7% at Infiniti.
Sales were almost universally up across the industry. BMW was up 46%, Mazda up 26%, Mitsubishi up 24%, Audi up 22%, Mercedes-Benz up 15% and Kia, whose supply has been constrained by labor issues in Korea, was still up 4%. Hyundai, which has experienced similar supply issues, was up 8% to 66,101 units.Volkswagen brand sales were down 2% and Volvo slipped 13%.
News continues to be good at JLR, up 40% to 6,661, with Jaguar deliveries up a dramatic 67% following the May launch of the F-Type sports car and Land Rover posting it’s best retail monthly sales ever in the United States at 4,938 units, up 32% from 2012.
In terms of market share, Ford and Honda were gainers, Hyundai-Kia and VW were losers, while GM, Toyota, Chrysler and Nissan held their ground.