U.S. New Vehicle Sales, August 2010: Oooops

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

This was the Ooops month, previously called August. Before you get a heart attack from looking at the numbers, keep in mind that they are comparing with “Crazy August” of 2009, U.S. light vehicle sales were driven nearly up to the good old days of 2008 by Cash for Clunkers, only to drop 23 percent the next month. What we see this month is a flashback of the withdrawal effects of 2009. All of this had (hopefully) been factored-in by analysts, but the numbers are coming in worse than expected.

If you don’t want to be sidetracked by the base effect of one crazy month, look at the rightmost column for the bigger picture: Up a bit for the year, but not by a whole lot.

The following list is complete. All precincts have reported.Overall, analysts polled by Bloomberg expect an August SAAR of 11.6m. Today’s declines reported by GM and Ford were worse than analysts expected. J.D. Power expects the August SAAR to come in at 11.4m, says Automotive News [sub]. Sales to individual customers “slowed considerably” in the last week of August, says J.D. Power. Also, customers may be holding out for Labor Day deals. This would benefit September sales. Expect to see great percentage numbers in September, as we compare with a cold-turkey September in 2009.

U.S. light vehicle sales, August 2010

Final list

AutomakerAug. 2010Aug. 2009Pct. chng.8 month
20108 month
2009Pct. chng.BMW Group23,99124,370-2%169,148160,2606%Chrysler Group
99,61193,2227%720,140653,31910%Daimler AG20,13318,7497%149,134130,14915%Ford Motor Co.157,327181,826-14%1,308,8871,119,86317%General Motors185,105245,550-25%1,462,3081,381,2246%Honda (American)108,729161,439-33%815,075806,9071%Hyundai Group86,068100,665-15%601,444527,65314%Isuzu––-%–165-100%Jaguar Land Rover3,9583,16025%28,58123,95319%Maserati16112925%1,32889049%Mazda19,73926,542-26%156,190145,9557%Mitsubishi4,2936,813-37%36,43138,127-4%Nissan76,827105,312-27%599,496524,90314%Porsche2,0321,52633%15,71912,72924%Saab Cars North America290–-%1,498–-%Subaru22,23928,683-23%172,182143,82820%Suzuki1,8305,748-68%15,33131,664-52%Toyota148,388225,088-34%1,164,1541,170,407-1%Volkswagen32,11832,981-3%239,011195,59322%Volvo Cars North America4,441–-%4,441–-%Other (estimate)294307-4%2,3522,449-4%TOTAL997,5741,262,110–21%7,662,8507,070,0388%Data courtesy Automotive News [sub]

Some notes:

BMW includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
Daimler includes Maybach, Mercedes-Benz and Smart
includes Volvo through July 2010, but not for August, as the Volvo sale to Geely closed on August 2nd
GM includes Saab through February 2010
Honda includes Acura
Nissan includes Infiniti
Toyota includes Lexus and Scion
Volkswagen includes Audi and Bentley

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2 of 10 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Sep 01, 2010

    To state the obvious: Suzuki is in serious trouble in the US market, and may go the way of Fiat circa 1983. They are a huge carmaker who can't get any traction in the US - interesting and sad.

  • John Horner John Horner on Sep 02, 2010

    Suzuki and Mitsubishi are toast. The Maserati, Daimler and Porsche numbers tell you that the well off are doing just fine, thank you very much.

  • SCE to AUX Faraday Future shouldn't even be here, and they won't make it. Other ultra-expensive EVs are fun projects for companies who can fund them from other revenue.The Lucid Air is a strange one because it starts at $87k but can run to over $250k. Most cars jump only around 50% for top trims, not 300%.As for EVs - don't give me more power (easy); give me more range (hard). And quicker filling time.
  • Dukeisduke It's funny how stuff like this crosses over between sites nowadays - there's an article about it today on MacRumors: Polestar 2 Software Update Brings Wave of New Apple CarPlay Features - MacRumors
  • Fahrvergnugen "If you’re itching for an ultra-exclusive EV – and who isn’t – "Me...
  • Dukeisduke Tim, once all this foam is everywhere, how do you get rid of it? Does it take a while to break down? I think of the scene in the 1963 James Garner / Doris Day film "The Thrill Of It All", where boxes of soap end up in the swimming pool, creating mountains of foam. The Thrill of It All (1963) - IMDb
  • MrIcky I have a foam cannon, it makes washing the car much faster which helps me do it more often. Foam cannon>pressure wash>suds bucket and mitt for tough spots but touch as little as possible>pressure wash those spots>spray on some detailer solution as I dry to keep the water beading up. 15 minutes-ish?