By The Numbers: What is So Rare as a Truck Sold in June?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
by the numbers what is so rare as a truck sold in june

Everyone in the car biz knows that June was a catastrophic month for the U.S. new car market. Total sales dropped by 18.3 percent. The big change this time 'round: it wasn't just light trucks that took it on the chin. Car sales received some body blows, as well. If you're an auto industry exec [still] living in denial, it's best to stop here. If not, read 'em and weep. [NB: As per TTAC policy, sales numbers not adjusted for "sales days."]

Family Cars

As SUV refugees seek car-shaped shelter, there were some big winners in June. Sales of the Chevy Malibu* rose by an astounding 73.4 percent over last June, up 31.2 percent year to date (YTD). Honda's Accord chalked-up a 37.3 percent gain for the month, up 12.9 percent YTD. Ford's Fusion finished the month 18.4 percent ahead of last June, up 11.7 percent YTD. Meanwhile… Chrysler's once-proud full-size sedan continues to tank; 300 sales dropped 61.6 percent from last June, down 36.5 percent YTD. And surprise: the Toyota Camry took a hard hit, dipping 10.8 percent below last June, posting a 0.3 percent loss for the year.


The Chevy Cobalt was another winner for GM, up 21.6 percent for the month and 18.5 percent YTD. The Dodge Caliber was another loser for Chrysler, down 43.6 percent for the month and down 0.5 percent YTD. Worryingly, Ford's Focus dropped 5.5 percent in June. But it's still 27.6 percent ahead of last year. The Toyota Corolla** continues strong sales, up 15.6 percent on month. Yet it still trails last year by 3.8 percent. Honda's Civic* finished the month 9.5 percent ahead of last June and 17.9 percent ahead of last year. The Sentra didn't do as well for Nissan. It was down nine percent on month, struggling to finish the first half of the year up 3.5 percent.


Honda's fuel-efficient Fit was a big winner. Sales leaped 78.2 percent ahead of last June, finishing the semester up 67.4 percent. Nissan's Versa finished the month up 17.4 percent for June and 20.7 percent ahead YTD. GM's entry in this genre ran out gas. Sales of their Korean econobox Aveo were down 19.7 percent; down 1.7 percent YTD. Toyota's Yaris also lost ground, ending June down 7.5 percent; though staying 39 percent ahead YTD.


Brace yourself. Chevy's Silverado* sales tumbled by 23.7 percent on the month, 25.6 percent YTD. Dodge's Ram fell 48.1 percent in June, down 30.4 percent for the first six months. Ford's F-Series sales dropped by 40.5 percent from June '07, ending the first two quarters down 22.7 percent. The Toyota Tundra , which had posted sales gains for the first quarter, finished the second quarter down 52.9 percent from last June; down 7.6 percent YTD. The Texas-built Tundra may soon drop below 2006's sales line.

Truck-Based SUVs

Chevy's Tahoe* showed a surprising gain from May (fleet sales?), adding about 2.5k units to the tally. finishing the month "just" 9.8 percent below last June. However, Tahoe sales are still down 26.6 percent YTD. The Dodge Durango continued its descent into oblivion, dropping a massive 67.3 percent in June, down 48.4 percent on the year. The Ford Explorer showed an equally abysmal June, losing 52 percent from last June and 33.2 percent from last year. Toyota's Sequoia continued its death-defying growth, surging by 25.1 percent in June, showing a 28.8 percent gain YTD.


The crossover bubble's burst. Thanks to a slow start last year, GMC's Acadia is up 8.5 percent on the year. But June sales fell off a cliff, down 40.1 percent from last June. Ford's Edge also dropped in June, this time by 19.9 percent. Robust sales earlier this year puts it 16.9 percent ahead of last year– for now. Toyota's woes continued, with Highlander* sales down 38.9 percent in June and 5.2 percent compared to 2007. The new Honda Pilot wasn't exactly pulling them in either; sales were down 29.8 percent for the month and 16.7 percent YTD.


Toyota's Prius dropped for the second month in a row. Due to short supplies and high demand worldwide, stateside sales are down 33.7 percent from last June. Sales drops in May and June pulled its year-to-date sales to 3.2 percent below last year. Toyota plans to produce 450k Priora in 2008; they've already sold 91.4k of them in North America alone so far this year. So look for their sales numbers to remain relatively low, in spite of growing demand.

By Manufacturer

GM's Hail Mary end-of-month 0% financing deal helped stave off a total rout. The General managed to finish June a "mere" 18.2 percent below last June's pace, down 16.3 percent for the year. Toyota's performance was June's shocker. ToMoCo ended the month 21.4 percent below June '07 (well below GM's dismal performance), dropping 6.8 percent on the year. Meanwhile, Chrysler sales fell by a staggering 35.9 percent for the month. ChryCo's trailing last year's sales by 22 percent. Ford was down 29.5 percent for June, 14.5 percent YTD. Honda managed to finish the month relatively unscathed, showing a 1.1 percent increase, with a 4.1 percent increase year to date.

Looking Ahead

July's misery may well eclipse June's. GM ran their 0% financing deal for the first week of the month, so they've up you-know-where without a you-know-what (small car?). Ford, Chrysler and Toyota are all offering incentives of varying sizes, particularly on the trucks and SUVs nobody wants. At what point will the deals become sweet enough to overcome the fuel bill? The sales numbers show we aren't there yet. As fuel prices climb, or even just hold steady, as the Fed declares that the economic gloom will extend well into '09, it's clear we're still a long way from the bottom of this combination of a violent contraction and a wholesale shift in product preference.

*Includes hybrids

** Includes Matrix

Click here for June's market share numbers

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2 of 47 comments
  • Nick Nick on Jul 11, 2008
    Chrysler's once-proud full-size sedan continues to tank; 300 sales dropped 61.6 percent from last June, down 36.5 percent YTD Funny, quite recently I expressed surprise that the 300 is tanking so badly. However, I parked a few spots down from one the other day and when I gazed over and looked at it from the side it occurred to me...'Damn, that car is ugly.' From the front and back, it's ok, but from the side? Awful.

  • Ttilley Ttilley on Jul 14, 2008
    [NB: As per TTAC policy, sales numbers not adjusted for "sales days."] Thank You! Living in an area where dealerships are open 7 days per week, I never, never, understood why "sales days" "adjustments" served any purpose other than putting lipstick on a pig.

  • Lou_BC VW has had a stellar reputation with their electronics and now they go full EV. What's not to like? ;)
  • MaintenanceCosts "roughly the same external footprint as a two-row VW Atlas Cross Sport but with - per a VW rep - more interior capacity than the three-row Atlas."And this is why I'm kind of intrigued by this little van, even though for me it's in spite of, not because of, the retro styling and Type 2 nostalgia.
  • Ajla From what I can see in the NHTSA data nontire part failures make up about .5% of reported crashes and aren't listed as a cause in the fatal accident reports. While we've all seen hoopties rolling around I'm guessing they don't go far or fast enough for many negative outcomes to occur from their operation.While I wouldn't want to be in that .5% I'd also want to avoid a "Bear Patrol" situation. When it comes to road safety nontire part failures are more like animal attacks while aggressive or impaired driving are heart disease and cancer.
  • Art Vandelay On the right spec truck, that is a screaming bargain for the price. And you can buy it safe knowing that as it is a Ford you'll never have your vehicle's good name sullied by seeing EBFlex and Tassos puffing each other's peters in one...a nice bonus to the horsepower!
  • Art Vandelay Too small for Tassos and EBFlex to puff each other's peters in.