By on July 3, 2018

Midsize trucks - Images: Toyota, Honda, Nissan, GM

A sea of green greets execs at major automakers this morning, providing a feeling of relief not unlike that of a weary travelling viewing the flight board at JFK where all flights read “On Time.” Come to think of it, that example is surely one of fiction. Anyway…

Unsurprisingly, light trucks and SUVs are the main reason for industry gains, driven by insatiable consumer thirst for tall wagons and vehicles with a pickup bed. This is a familiar refrain in an industry that is up nearly two percent so far this year.

This month, GM has deemed us slovenly journalists worthy of a peek at its numbers, releasing data for both Q2 and year-to-date. This still leaves us to speculate on monthly volume, but it’s far better than the radio silence we’ve endured since earlier this year. Reflecting the industry direction, every single pickup and SUV nameplate showed double-digit gains at both Chevrolet and its corporate twin, GMC. The whole company saw an average transaction price of $35,500. Strong stuff.

You’ll notice an asterisk next to GM’s numbers in the table below. This is an attempt to provide apples-to-apples comparison data for the B&B. The General provided data for the whole of Q2 only, not monthly numbers as expected. We divided the quarterly result for the entire company by three (the number of months in the quarter) to give an approximation of its volume for a single month. It is an imperfect solution but, to take liberties with an old saying, close is good enough in sales numbers and hand grenades. Full Q2 numbers are given for each brand.

 

Jeep is still keeping the lights on at FCA, posting a roughly 20 percent gain both last month and so far this year. It has moved nearly a half-million units in 2018, a figure far eclipsing its stablemates of Ram, Chrysler, Fiat, and Alfa combined. For all the flack being tossed at Dodge as purveyor of out-of-date cars, the brand has found over 250,000 buyers year-to-date. They even managed to sell a single Avenger. I don’t know where they found that one (*exhausted Dealer Principal looks behind a filing cabinet* “Hey, guys; look what’s back here!”).

The new Ram 1500 pickup will surely be held aloft as a shining example of a bungled product launch for years to come, as the nameplate sunk about 7 percent in the first half of this year. That’s not supposed to happen, especially when the brand’s flagship vehicle was just restyled into the zenith of plushness. The new 1500 is a stellar truck but is only now starting to trickle into dealerships with a single engine choice. When the company starts delivering the new truck with V6 and eTorque engines – plus more bodystyles – we will see it reflected in the numbers.

2019 Ram 1500

Further putting an exclamation point on the America Loves Trucks statement is Toyota, whose entire line was up 3.6 percent last month and 3.0 percent this year. These numbers were made possible by the strength of its truck division, a unit which increase its sales by over 10 percent while its car division saw sales sink by about 7 percent. In 2018, Toyota 86 and Prius numbers have fallen off a cliff, while the Corolla sedan line has nosedived by 9.5 percent during the first six months of 2018. The new C-HR is more than happy to take up the slack, apparently, along with sharp increases of RAV and Highlander sales. Tacoma pickups are up a stunning 22.9 percent this year to 116,266 units sold, a number that handily eclipses any car at Ford.

Speaking of the Blue Oval, its F-Series continues to stop its competition like beetles under its feet, finding 451,138 new owners through to the end of June. That works out to 2,492 pickups every day so far in 2018, or over 100 every hour. Seemingly bent on proving its decision to bin cars from showrooms to be the right one, every car nameplate (save the Fiesta and GT) is down this year, most by double-digits.

All-New 2018 Ford F-150 - Image: Ford

According to talking-head analysts, light trucks accounted for more than two-thirds of American deliveries in the first three weeks of June. That’s the highest number ever recorded that month. Interest rates are also said to be climbing, with the APR on newly financed machines averaging 5.82 percent in June, compared to 4.96 percent last year and 4.10 percent in 2013. This, combined with an average transaction price marching steadily upwards, explains the proliferation of loan terms that now stretch far into the future.

We’ll leave comment on that alarming trend for another post.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

43 Comments on “June 2018 U.S. Auto Sales: Y’all Like Trucks – A Lot...”


  • avatar
    Groovypippin

    Looks like these Mazdas may finally be catching on.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Mitsubishi isn’t playing around.

  • avatar
    mcs

    So, we know the Tesla estimate is off. Any plans to update the chart?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Tesla might have passed Audi or at least tied. If they can step up Model 3 production to 6,000 per week, they might pass Lexus and Mazda.

      Tesla’s average per month for the quarter was 18,446. But, most of those cars were produced in June, so it’s at least 19 or 20k for June. Audi was 19,441.

  • avatar
    redapple

    HUM…….

    In late 2017 the pundits were expecting 2018 to be a down year for car sales.

    Well, not so much.

    Buick & Cadillac (GM luxury / near luxury out sell Lincoln 10:1. THAT is brutal Ford. Anybody awake over there ?????)

    • 0 avatar
      a5ehren

      How much of that 10:1 is Encores going out the door for 20% under MSRP? It’s not exactly a 1:1 lineup comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      Carroll Prescott

      Typical GM sycophant – have to add two divisions to beat one Ford one. Buick IS NOT a competitor to Lincoln. Buick doesn’t know what it is and therefore it is nothing.

      I’m surprised you didn’t try to add all of GM’s third rate truck sales to beat the Ford F-Series. That is how you clowns try to gloat.

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    In the chart, are the YTD numbers for Toyota and Lexus reversed?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The truck trend (pickups, SUVs, CUVs) and the stagnation of CAFE is further proof that Americans will pay *anything* for a gallon of gasoline.

    I have mixed feelings about CAFE standards, but the absurdity of mandates which directly buck consumer trends had to end.

    “Building what they want” means everything from pickups (Ford), hi-po V8s (FCA), cool EVs (Tesla), and affordable tin cans (Mitsubishi). We have excellent choices today.

    It’s also interesting that Alfa and Fiat have switched places at the table in a year’s time.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Myk kids, in their 20’s, are kind of shocked at the gas prices. My son’s little Mazdoyota gets pretty good mileage, but my daughter is eying my Leaf. She might end up using it locally if I end up with another EV later this summer.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        The young’uns really like to eat out all the time, so they are “shocked” at high gas prices…LOL. They also like expensive I-Phones.

        Personally I rather put $50-$60 bucks in my gas tank take a nice drive to the mountains, hike, take photos and eat the food in my cooler. To each his own.

        Plus I hate eating out continually….the heart burn gets tiring.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          I’m 23, and yes I do love expensive iphones I have a 7 plus right now and I’m going to get the new one when it comes out this fall (11? XI? I don’t like how they skipped 8 and 9). However, I never eat out, unless I’m with my family or a group of people and then I’m usually not paying for it. I buy all my food at kroger and cook it at home. I know exactly what’s going in my food and I also work out so I need to know that I am getting the proper nutrition for my meal plan. My peers are always talking about their favorite fast food restaurants and what all they like to get from there, so I do feel like I’m a bit in the minority.

          • 0 avatar
            ItsBob

            Hey carfan94
            Stick to cars as you are messing up your phone info.
            I’m 68 and even I know they didn’t skip iphone 8. :(

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          You’re right to a certain extent about the eating out, but my kids have both started their own businesses and know how to be frugal when needed. In my daughter’s case, the complaining about the gas prices is related to business costs and her bottom line.

          Both can cook for themselves and one is actually really good at it. The family tent does get checked out for camping weekends and they carpool with their friends to the mountains.

          The older one co-founded a biotech startup and they’re doing well with a growing patent portfolio and international sales. But, he’s really careful with money since they started out on a shoe-string budget and they’ve been avoiding outside investment.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            @ItsBob I know they didn’t completely skip 8 but they applied it to the updated version of the 7. I think that new numbers should be reserved for new generations of the iphone. think the iphone 8 should’ve been called the 7s and the X should’ve been called the 8. But whatever they had to use “ten” because it was the tenth anniversary of the iphone, and they wanted to be one number ahead of the Samsung phones. It reminds me of how BMW,Mercedes and even Lexus now no longer indicate the engine displacement on the trunk badge. Its just a mindless number!

  • avatar

    It must be great being Toyota. They are strong in both cars and trucks/suvs. Ford could learn a lot from them.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Guard that bridge troll…none shall pass lol. Seriously, I don’t disagree that most automakers could learn much from Toyota, but are you implying Ford is not strong in Trucks? I’m sure Toyota would love to have half of the F150’s sales.

      • 0 avatar
        VW4motion

        If toyota did any type of research and development for the tundra they could have half the F-series sales. But, no they do great with the sheep that don’t look at other products.

        • 0 avatar
          riggodeezil

          Yeah, they could probably do a little better with Tundra. But taking half of the F-150 sales? Now that would really be something. My theory is that they have basically hit the ceiling on truck development at the Big T and aren’t really capable of making any sort of quantum leap forward. Witness the 3rd gen Tacoma. Yeah, it sells like hot cakes and is probably still the value-retention champ but, objectively, it is not as good a truck as the GMC Canyon (unless you climb boulders 24/7). The notion that the Big T are “sandbagging” and purposefully sticking to their “tried and true” designs is getting a bit old. Sure, they’re still making big bux but it could well be that they are simply out of ideas and are just sopping up the lemmings who will buy nothing else and/or think they need a Tacoma to go “off-road” once every 5 years or so. The Ridgeline, for all its derision, was at least a crack at something new— a suburbanite truck-like thing with great utility that rides a helluva lot better than a “real truck”. If Honda hadn’t packaged them to be so stratospherically priced, they might have had something here.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Toyota has repeat and 1st time Tacoma/Tundra buyers locked in, with very minimal investment. That’s the sweet-spot for Toyota.

            To truly compete with the F-150 would take tremendous investing, and with little guarantee of success.

            First the F-150’s almost limitless availability of engine/trim/options/package combinations goes against everything Toyota loves, meaning 3 trims, a couple options, take it or leave it. No different that a Camry.

            There’s no way Toyota would offer 25% off sticker, on an ongoing basis. Then there’s cheapskates, commercial, industry, fleets, etc, that Toyota wants no part of, which is also what made Big 3 pickup thrive.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford and GM are learning from Toyota and Mazda for the last 40 years. The whole Saturn project and NUMMI was about that. Enough time IMO to figure out how to mass produce cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Carroll Prescott

      Apparently designing cars with designers that have no eyes is the way Toyoduh does things.

  • avatar
    brn

    Interesting that Mercedes tanked as much as they did.

  • avatar
    AVT

    That decline at jaguar kinda surprises me seeing how many SUV’s they have now. Buick also peaked my interest. Clearly they’ve made up their car sales with SUV’s, considering they’re volume is barely off. Now depending if that’s discounted volume or not is a different matter, but clearly consumers are still buying them.

  • avatar
    gtem

    I wonder what kind of deal I could get on a Frontier right now…

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      In my area? $10K cheaper than a similar optioned Tacoma or Colorado.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I suspected as much. It’s a hell of a truck to begin with, best styling and best motor in the segment as far as I’m concerned. The value pricing just makes it an even bigger winner in my book. Yeah yeah mpg stinks, but $10k buys a lot of gas.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Assuming that Cars.com listed new prices aren’t any more dishonest about Chryslers than they are about Nissans, within a couple hundred bucks of the deal that you could get on a Ram Express.

      Which is a Lexus by comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Unless the front seats have been upgraded from the 2011 that I had, you are well advised to take a strong pass. I had that rig for a little over a year and finally traded it. I could handle 100 miles or so than I was done. Seriously, it is the most uncomfortable truck available today.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Not only is Genesis getting crushed by Alfa Romeo but Maserati beat them last month as well. That could make for some tense meeting in the coming days at Hyundai corporate.

    Also Alfa Romeo almost beat Jaguar as well. They may not be anywhere near Sergio’s original dream numbers but Alfa is commanding market share in a highly competitive market.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Alfa is selling an entry-level/compact sedan and CUV.

      A bit different from Genesis which currently has a mid-size and flagship sedan.

      Alfa sold 979 Giulias.

      Kia (since there haven’t been any G70 sales yet in the US) sold 1,579 Stingers.

      If we are to gauge Audi based on last month’s A6 and A8 sales, they would be on a “deathwatch.”

      • 0 avatar
        a5ehren

        Yeah, I bet the Genesis numbers get a lot better once they have CUVs on the lot. It’s absurd that they’ve taken this long.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          While Genesis surely could use its CUVs sooner than later, the brand was launched in late 2015 – which was when 2 of the 3 upcoming planned CUVs were announced.

          Considering that they will be based on a new RWD platform, 4-5 years isn’t exactly an “absurd” time-frame.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    I hate that GM reports quarterly now. GCBC hasn’t updated the individual model stats yet but I’m guessing we’ll just get 3 months of sales lumped into June’s column.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    This is a passing fad. Once it ends, the US automakers are going to be reeling. I only hope that Trump, or whoever is in office when the house of cards collapses, doesn’t bail them out like Obummer did last time the economy tanked and the US automakers were flat-footed without products to deal with it.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      First off, it was the GWBush admin that signed off on TARP.

      Secondly, if the govt. had stood and let GM, Chrysler and Ford (Ford would have gone under w/o the C4C program), then the Great Recession would have become another Great Depression.

      Also, while the domestics for a long time haven’t been run well (doing better now), they wouldn’t have been in that situation if Wall St. and the mortgage lenders hadn’t tanked the economy (and the politicians in DC making it so that Wall St. and the banks could do so).

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The Big 3 would’ve gone bankrupt eventually, the recession just sped up the process. Their business plans all resembled a ponzi scheme.

      The design/engineer/build, or Rocket Science of small cars is overrated. Ford/GM will likely have constantly updated prototypes and “test mules” ready to deploy at any moment the “fad” ends, or a wild increase in fuel prices.

      Except GM should’ve been allowed to fail/liquidate. With Ford picking up a majority GM customers, sales and parts suppliers, they would have been 2X stronger.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Not that the domestics weren’t run rather poorly for decades, it is debatable if they all would have gone bankrupt if the auto market hadn’t tanked due to the sub-prime/financial derivatives mess.

        And even if they had gone bankrupt, the other 2 (like for Ford), would have been able to turn to the credit market for financing of their post-bankruptcy turnaround instead of having to resort to the “bank of the last resort” (due to the credit markets having been frozen).

        As for the last part, such things aren’t so simple.

        Ford wouldn’t have necessarily picked up a majority of GM’s customers and it takes a decent amount of time for parts suppliers to switch production (for not only a different model, but a different manufacturer).

        Plus, it’s not like Ford would have been able to pick up all or even the majority of suppliers that supplied GM and Chrysler – as Ford wouldn’t have been able to expand production before those suppliers went under (not that Ford had to $$ to do so).

        And as previously stated, Ford, itself, was perilously close to running out of $$ (would have done so, but for the C4C program).

        Ironically, GM was in better shape financially than either Ford or Chrysler at the time, in part due to its significant presence in China (which has since grown).

        W/o the Great Recession, GM probably could have limped along until the rise and domination of SUVs, CUVs and pick-ups (which has since bolstered GM’s bottom line, along w/ that for Ford and FCA).

        All those workers for GM, Chrysler, suppliers and other businesses dependent on them being thrown out of work would have turned the Great Recession into another Depression.

        Bailing out GM, Chrysler and their suppliers (and to a lesser extent Ford) actually cost the taxpayers less than the alternative.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • bullnuke: My wife’s 2011 Outback is at 161,000 miles and it’s CVT has had no issues.
  • Slocum: I’ve had two — a 2014 OB and a 2020 Outback XT. Why? A combination of fuel-economy, AWD (we live...
  • Lou_BC: “Some of us just oppose an abuse of power because it’s an abuse of power. People can still wear masks...
  • slavuta: I guess, he just explained why he is dressed like a trash “I woke up one morning and realized that one of...
  • Urlik: Actually all they care about is that the union and their paychecks survive. They would throw both the members...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber