By on August 2, 2013


The recovery of the auto industry in the U.S. continues with July sales being the best in seven years, up 14% from last year. Every domestic and foreign based automakers had increased year to year sales, with double digit gains at six companies. Leading the pack were Honda, Toyota and General Motors, with sales up 21, 17 and 16 percent respectively. Ford, Chrysler and Nissan each were up 11%. Subaru, whose North American sales helped parent Fuji Heavy Industries to record earnings, had the best year to year performance, up 43%.

The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate, SAAR, was just below analysts’ forecast at 15.7 million cars and light trucks. The strong July sales are expected to help total U.S. sales in 2013 to be the best since 2007’s 16.1 million units, analysts forecast 15.5. For the year through July, U.S. sales are up 8% industry wide.

In the actual sales race, the top five were led by GM with 234,071 units sold. Toyota was next with 193,394, just 314 units ahead of Ford. Honda was in fourth place at 141,439, with Chrysler close behind at 140,102.

As the housing and construction industries recover and the shale energy boom continues, pickup sales, Detroit’s bread and butter, have allowed the domestic brands to gain market share. GM’s sales of full size pickups were up 44%. All four brands at GM were up by double digits, with Cadillac and Chevrolet up 17% from 2012, Chevy’s best monthly year to year gain in over a year.

F-series pickups at Ford weren’t up as much as GM’s pickups, 23%, but they still outsold the Silverado and Sierra slightly with 60,449 units sold. Overall, Ford deliveries were up 12% while Ford’s luxury Lincoln volume slid 1%.

Nissan’s luxury brand, Infiniti, was also off, though by a much larger percentage, 33% but that was more than offset by a 17% increase in deliveries at the larger volume Nissan brand.

Chrysler deliveries were up for the 40th straight month, paced by strong Ram pickup sales. All Chrysler brands were up, including Fiat at 2%, except for the Chrysler brand itself, down 4% for the month. Jeep sales are down 4% for the year so far, due to the discontinuation of the Liberty and the slowed introduction of its Cherokee replacement.

Hyundai had a record July with 66,005 units sold and Mazda had it’s best gain in a year and a half, up 29% from 2012, on very strong sales of the CX-5 and CX-9 light trucks and an 18% increase in car sales.

Subaru also had strong sales for July, putting the company within reach of 400K units for the year and keeping it ahead of VW for the month, which was down 3%. VW did have some good news, with the brand’s heavily promoted TDI diesel engines having a big increase in take rate, up to almost 30% across the brand and nearly 40% for the Passat. Strong sales of the Q5 and Q7 SUVs paced sales at VW’s Audi brand, which were up 12%.

Automaker July 2013 July 2012 Pct. chng. 7 month
7 month
Pct. chng.
    BMW division 24,043 21,297 13% 164,474 147,801 11%
    Mini 5,950 5,855 2% 38,306 37,914 1%
    Rolls-Royce 84 79 6% 588 553 6%
BMW Group 30,077 27,231 11% 203,368 186,268 9%
    Chrysler Division 19,978 20,792 –4% 183,817 188,546 –3%
    Dodge 41,986 35,630 18% 360,400 297,208 21%
    Dodge/Ram 74,064 60,028 23% 567,540 464,089 22%
    Fiat 3,783 3,710 2% 25,395 24,416 4%
    Jeep 42,277 41,559 2% 271,682 283,106 –4%
    Ram 32,078 24,398 32% 207,140 166,881 24%
Chrysler Group 140,102 126,089 11% 1,048,434 960,157 9%
    Maybach 4 –100% 28 –100%
    Mercedes-Benz 25,563 21,516 19% 176,996 159,398 11%
    Smart USA 860 780 10% 5,319 5,528 –4%
Daimler AG 26,423 22,300 19% 182,315 164,954 11%
    Ford division 186,161 166,507 12% 1,437,609 1,264,928 14%
    Lincoln 6,919 6,975 –1% 45,207 48,937 –8%
Ford Motor Co. 193,080 173,482 11% 1,482,816 1,313,865 13%
    Buick 16,393 14,391 14% 117,230 104,589 12%
    Cadillac 15,652 13,417 17% 99,331 76,229 30%
    Chevrolet 162,670 138,942 17% 1,177,804 1,100,604 7%
    GMC 39,356 34,487 14% 260,052 235,528 10%
General Motors 234,071 201,237 16% 1,654,417 1,516,950 9%
    Acura 15,150 12,825 18% 92,131 85,761 7%
    Honda Division 126,289 104,119 21% 794,886 732,165 9%
Honda (American) 141,439 116,944 21% 887,017 817,926 8%
    Hyundai division 66,005 62,021 6% 427,015 418,690 2%
    Kia 49,004 48,074 2% 326,355 336,781 –3%
Hyundai Group 115,009 110,095 5% 753,370 755,471 0%
    Jaguar 1,613 1,011 60% 9,411 7,517 25%
    Land Rover 4,050 3,320 22% 27,034 24,311 11%
Jaguar Land Rover 5,663 4,331 31% 36,445 31,828 15%
Maserati 267 208 28% 1,536 1,496 3%
Mazda 24,977 19,300 29% 169,920 163,097 4%
Mitsubishi 5,230 4,194 25% 35,699 37,067 –4%
    Infiniti 7,762 11,619 –33% 59,995 65,996 –9%
    Nissan Division 101,279 86,722 17% 673,755 610,066 10%
Nissan 109,041 98,341 11% 733,750 676,062 9%
Subaru 35,994 25,183 43% 240,591 189,487 27%
Suzuki* 2,266 –100% 5,946 15,260 –61%
    Lexus 23,031 18,235 26% 141,446 126,367 12%
    Scion 6,261 6,904 –9% 41,261 42,025 –2%
    Toyota division 164,102 139,759 17% 1,119,478 1,042,602 7%
    Toyota/Scion 170,363 146,663 16% 1,160,739 1,084,627 7%
Toyota 193,394 164,898 17% 1,302,185 1,210,994 8%
    Audi 13,064 11,707 12% 87,341 76,865 14%
    Bentley 206 172 20% 1,380 1,249 11%
    Lamborghini* 46 43 7% 322 301 7%
    Porsche 3,820 2,803 36% 25,129 19,253 31%
    VW division 35,779 37,014 –3% 242,571 245,739 –1%
Volkswagen 52,915 51,739 2% 356,743 343,407 4%
Volvo Cars NA 5,909 5,717 3% 38,487 40,333 –5%
253 246 3% 1,771 1,717 3%
TOTAL 1,313,844 1,153,801 14% 9,134,810 8,426,339 8%


Chart: Automotive News.

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44 Comments on “Car Sales: Best July Since 2007, Almost Everybody Up, Truck Sales Yield Big 3 Market Share Gains...”

  • avatar

    I’d be interested to see how many of the truck sales were fleet sales or not. Are truck numbers up because Joe Sixpack is parking a shiny new truck in his driveway or because fleet sales are on the rise? I know in my neck of the woods in Texas, oilfield companies are expanding and renewing their fleets. Starting to see a whole lot more new work trucks about, especially 3/4 and 1 tons.

    • 0 avatar
      TTAC Staff

      Fleet sales were down.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford’s commercial fleet sales were roughly flat year-over-year, but their rental-car fleet sales were down significantly. At GM, they said year-over-year retail sales of pickups were up 51% vs 44% for overall-sales-including-fleet. Ford has said repeatedly that oilfield services and the boom in residential construction have a lot to do with the recent jump in pickup sales, but there are an awful lot of retail buyers in the equation right now too.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, it’s great to see the US economy improving.

    Vehicle sales have been quite low for the past several years due to the GFC. Also, I do know people are quite emotive about cars manufactured locally, but any vehicle sale is good for the economy as they all produce jobs.

    I think 2007 was the best year with 16.2 million vehicles sold, which was a while ago. This year I think they are looking at above 15.2 million vehicles to be sold.

    If you take into account demographics ie, population increase of 5.5% over that period of time you would hope 17 million in the next year or two is achievable. This doesn’t include the many ‘old’ tired vehicles that haven’t been replaced over the past 6 years or more.

    So there is potential in the future if the US economy can sustain growth of a figure above 18 million units in the near future.

    That’s if the wheels don’t fall of the cart again. Here’s hoping.

    Remember every year the average age of the US vehicle fleet is aging and becoming more aligned to the rest of the world.

    An interesting figure would be the average price people are paying for a motor vehicle, taking into consideration the CPI.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t imagine the world has a much older fleet than the us. Well besides Russia which is nearing 20 years old. Then again i figured you ran the numbers.

      I forget the average car purchase is nearly 30,000 imho. It been on a few articles here. Plus right now car financing is very easy to get and interest rates are stupid low.

      It should be a interesting time. Chrysler and GM have no debt and will cash then they would have had for a long long time.

  • avatar

    >>As the housing and construction industries recover and the shale energy boom continues, pickup sales, Detroit’s bread and butter, have allowed the domestic brands to gain market share.<<

    Trucks. Overall, I think they lost share.

    btw, Ford is so overly dependent on One segment, pickups. Is Ford profitable w/o trucks? I.e., does Ford lose money on cars?

    • 0 avatar

      Ford is currently profitable in the US without trucks. They have done a good job of utilizing resources and cutting costs. However, its not enough profit to offset losses in Europe right now. Non-truck sales would be more profitable, but Ford can’t make enough Escapes and Fusions right now.

      In the long run, they are going in the right direction. Flexible manufacturing and consolidating platforms will continue to bring costs down. I can’t fault them for printing F-150 money though. Take that cash when you can.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford says all of its cars are profitable. But pickups are cash cows, Ford’s are very popular, and making big hay while that corner of the market is hot makes total business sense.

      Interestingly, the current crop of GM execs will go on at great length about how they no longer want to rely on just pickups — this is a BIG driver behind the push to turn Cadillac into a serious global luxury brand, to give them another big profit generator in a separate set of segments — but Ford doesn’t seem all that worried about it, at least in public.

      • 0 avatar

        Ford sells almost the same amount of vehicles in the US as GM. That is basically with one brand. If they can continue to sell 200K $35-50,000 Explorers in the US a year, it might not matter if they have a credible luxury brand.

        Ford is worried enough about future truck sales that they are going to all aluminum body panels, along with other ways to find more MPGs, on the F-series.

      • 0 avatar

        Ford cars seem to be very weak in the engine category. Ecoboosts just do not deliver what is promised, here C&D just tested the Taurus w/ a new Ecoboost option and found, like CReports, that the Ecoboost delivered both inferior economy and inferior performance.

        18 mpg for the 2.0 Ecoboost vs. 21 for the 3.5V6 AWD and 23 for the 3.5V6 front drive.

        So they got 28% better mpg plus better performance w/ the oldV6 over the new 2.0 Ecoboost.

        • 0 avatar

          Here the Fusion EcoBoost is receiving high marks. Maybe in places where the V6s and V8s that are ubiquitous in America are as rare as diamonds, the EcoBoost is a real improvement over the last gen I4s?

        • 0 avatar

          I agree, from what I have read the Ecoboost engines haven`t delivered improved fuel economy with comparable performance to an V6 or comparable fuel economy with improved performance to an I4. If they offered some benefit (performance or mpg) then they would be worth it.

          Mazda, Nissan and Honda have shown how you can get great fuel economy in their midsize offerings without offering a turbo. Admittedly two of them use CVT’s, so kudos to the company that can do it with a normal 6 speed auto.

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t like the downsizing of engines on the D-platform vehicles. The 2.0T does well enough in the Edge and Fusion, even though I would prefer a smallish turbocharged V6. However, the Taurus and Explorer are just too big for the 2.0T. It turns what is a great engine in the Focus ST into a dog.

          The Ecoboost version that I have had the most seat time with is the 3.5TT. It does very well in the Explorer, Flex/MKT. Taurus/MKS. I’ve beat EPA combined ratings with the Explorer Sport and Taurus SHO. This has been over mutiple weeks of mixed driving. I also drive fast.

  • avatar

    I bought a truck this month just to piss off the snobs in the B&B. I make sure that my truck runs over koala’s that drive Brats and that I achieve less than the EPA city rating. I also fill it up with ethanol because I love gov’t pork.

    If only I had financed it, I would have completed the B&B’s 3 deadliest sins… damn.

  • avatar

    It seems like ever since Toyota bought that big chunk of Subaru a few years ago and had some Camry production added to the Subaru Lafayette, Indiana plant, that Subaru has been going gangbusters with their sales. I wonder how much influence Toyota Management has in Subaru?

    • 0 avatar

      The cars are much the same mechanically, not much toyota influence there, brz a little bit. Seems like subaru has just hit the right product features and price despite alienating some of their biggest fans.

  • avatar

    I seem to recall all these OMG the sky is falling posts a few months ago about look at all the pickups that GM has on their lots and a new model coming out!
    Maybe they got the timing right for a change with regards to inventory and economic rebound.

    • 0 avatar

      I recall that and in this case GM was correct. Remember management on this site has changed and some of the commentators have moved onto other topics. Without the good grace to admit they were wrong.

  • avatar

    Lincoln looking good as usual. MKZ down this month and YTD.

    • 0 avatar

      Fusion is looking less and less like a contender. Despite the talk about “shortages”, there are no shortages at the rental counter. If there were real shortages, why then the big discounts?

      Stark contrast to the smash hit that was the original Taurus.

      GM, Ford, Chrysler July sales fall short of expectations

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe they missed some expectations but for GM and each of its component 4 brands to meet or exceed market growth this month and for GM out perform the industry YTD (unlike say Toyota or VW) is good news for them, however you spin it.

        The real loser is VW, they barely kept volume in a reasonably fast growing market. They are hurt by the lack of a CRV competitor and inferior fuel economy for the Jetta and Passat.

      • 0 avatar

        Well, supposedly both the Fusion and Focus only have a 30 day supply.

  • avatar

    I’m just glad to see that 29% increase in Mazda sales. Great styling and rave reviews will do that. :)

    • 0 avatar

      The CX5 grew 80%+ which I assume is largely because of the addition of the 2.5L engine. They also did well with the 6, but that is only in relation to abysmal sales last year with the old 6 – which averaged something like 1400 sales a month for the second half of 2012. That makes it easy to beat. They should be disappointed that such as well regarded car which either wins or comes second in pretty much very comparison test I see is only selling 3K a month.

  • avatar

    Lincoln outsold Scion. I don’t know whether to rejoice for Lincoln or cry for Scion.

    • 0 avatar

      Lincoln has been outselling Scion for a while, if not since the start of Scion. Their sales are both headed in the wrong direction, but Lincoln’s sales are falling faster. At this rate, there may come a day when Scion ‘outsells’ Lincoln, but their combined sales are still lower than Acura’s for the year.

    • 0 avatar

      Lincoln, Scion, and Infiniti are all pretty redundant at this point.

      Lincoln sells nothing that couldn’t be an option on a Ford (and sell just as well).

      The FR-S and tC can easily be Toyotas.

      The QX80 becomes the Nissan Patrol (a la Toyota Land Cruiser) and the Q50/Q60 becomes the Silvia or Skyline. Any popular QX60 features go to Pathfinder Platinum trim. Nothing else they have sells with any noticeable volume.

  • avatar

    Let’s just hope US makers don’t get distracted by the numbers and fall back into the old habit of just focusing on trucks and letting their cars get old and outclassed. Part of the reason for the strong showing of US makers must be credited to their cars improvements. Fusin, Focus, Cruze among others are all fine cars that give American makers real competitive advantages worldwide.

    • 0 avatar

      I would assume they wouldn`t fall back into their bad habits because for Ford and Chevrolet they are selling versions of their cars in both Europe and North America. By selling cars designed for Europe they have to work at maintaining their competitiveness. In the old days when they had US specific models like the Cobalt or Saturns range they could just let them languish and ficus on SUV’s and trucks.

      • 0 avatar

        Hadn’t really thought of that from that angle. Very good point. I think you’re right!

        • 0 avatar

          My reasoning is, if they let say the Cruze go stale they now not only put US sales in jeopardy but global sales. Same for Focus, Fusion etc.
          Now no guarantee they won`t be stupid and do that but certainly more incentive to do it right than they had in the past.

          • 0 avatar

            Fiat has already committed to letting Chrysler become synonymous with obsolete. As for European sales being a motivation to build competitive product, I think Ford and GM have already conceded that isn’t motivation enough to exert much effort. The Lacetti’s success will rationalize quite a bit of complacency. Ford’s resurgence with haphazardly assembled, badly engineered cars won’t inspire them to throw money at excellence.

          • 0 avatar

            GM is delaying the new Cruze by about a year; but they want to get it right (design-wise, it looks promising) and the current Cruze is still selling well and they want to wring out every ounce of profit.

          • 0 avatar

            CJ, the Focus and new Fusion are cars in the great European tradition and are very well engineered and put together. The Fiesta too. I have no idea what you’re going on about.

            The Cruze is quite a surprising car in terms of design and ride. The car could be more economic but it’s durable. Daewoo is unexpectedly doing a fine job substituting Opel. I credit its bad showing in Europe to badge snoberry.

            Chrysler is up in the air. Its cars are fine for NA but not the ROW.

          • 0 avatar

            Ford’s quality has been in free-fall for a couple of years now. They’ve gone from average to fighting it out with the VWs and Land Rovers for worst cars in the US. They fell from 5th in quality in 2010 to 23rd in 2011 and have only gotten worse since. The cars you listed are the ones that ruined their reputation. They’re awful.

          • 0 avatar

            CJ, I’ll give it to you that the implementation of the new hardware has been less than perfect, but they hold a lot of promise. Tô me wouldn’t matter much as I’d get the manual. The engines are better than what’s on offer here so that doesn’t matter to me either. The infotainment, I don’t care.

            What matters to me is the suspension, handling and ride. They got that down, better than much of the competition. It doesn’t hurt that they’re all interesting aesthetically.

            They fit ME. For a myriad of reasons the ones on offer in your country don’t fit ME. Here we have some Frenchies, Italians and the Cruze hatch that interest ME much more than anything the Asians have.

            So, and I stress for ME, I completely disagree with you. Sorry.

  • avatar

    GM is the one to watch in the near future with so much new product hitting. Strongest Impala since 1977! Honda has had a good launch of the Accord and MDX and must worry Toyota. How high can Ram go?

    I predict the new Cherokee will be a smash hit in a surging market segment when it finally comes out and power Jeep to new heights.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Here is a link to some sobering information. I just hope the Big 3 aren’t basing a big future on the full size pickup cash cow.

    After reading this link I think the US vehicle industry model isn’t sustainable, unless you guys end up importing most of what you will require in a decade or so.

    • 0 avatar

      The real problem is a surplus of global stupidity and freshly printed USD. The article touches on how NIMBYism is harming Australia, but it is also keeping the US from being a net oil(not BS petro-products) exporter. It isn’t the cost of extraction that’s stopping us, it is carefully cultivated suicidal idiocy.

  • avatar

    D3 are growing mostly thanks to truck sales, but japanese brands had very strong month, i think yen is finally starting to showing how much it is game-changer. Even Mitsubishi is up double-digit. Hyundai-Kia limited by their decision not to make any factories so they are running at maximum capacity and won is strong, VW is basically gaining just on premium vehicles, they lack trucks portfolio of D3 or currency advantage of japanese. But Toyota and Honda after long time outselling Ford and Chrysler means something for sure, we will see how next months will ends this minirace Ford-Toyota and CHrysler-Honda

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