By on August 1, 2018

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

Major manufacturers saw their fortunes take a dip in July, with red ink spilling across the page like an airport departures board during a snowstorm.

More than ever, sales performance seems tied to the number of crossovers and SUVs available at a given OEM. Sedan heavy marques are taking a beating. Even Ford’s strong selling truck line could not drag the company’s results into the black, thanks to a tanking of sedan sales.

Are customers shying away from Ford cars because the Blue Oval has announced their impending demise? Logical or not, it is indeed possible that folks do not want to drive a nameplate they know won’t be around in the coming years, fearing a loss of resale value and potential hassle when it’s time to service the thing.

Versus July 2017, Ford’s car business is off a staggering 27.7 percent. Trucks are up 10.2 percent. Total fleet sales out of the Glass House equalled 26.4 percent of volume and there’s a 90 day supply of cars on the ground. I’ll leave those numbers in your hands for comment.

While it is true that FCA saw a 5.8 percent month-over-month increase and is up 4.6 percent so far this year, a close examination of the numbers reveal that it is the Jeep brand that is carrying the weight in Auburn Hills. All by itself, the Jeep brand is up a stunning 21 percent year-to-date, shifting very nearly 100,000 more vehicles than they did in the first seven months of 2017.

The entire FCA empire is up 56,337 units during the same time frame. The Wrangler itself is up 37,180, keeping in mind Wrangler sales currently comprise those of the old JK and the snazzy new JL, at least until dealers run out of the old model.

Toyota registered a six percent drop in monthly sales volume but are up about a percent-and-a-half to date in 2018, having sold nearly 1.4 million vehicles. Nissan is off by double digits both in July and on the year, while Honda and Mazda also fell into a fugue last month.

Other trends worth noting include Kia outselling its big brother, Hyundai, by a couple of thousand units in July. The Genesis brand sold a total of 615 cars last month. Total industry numbers remain an estimate, thanks to General Motors moving to a quarterly report.

Beyond raw sales numbers, J.D. Power said the average retail transaction price last month was tracking towards $31,561 – a new high. Average incentives are said to have risen to $3,754, with an average APR of 5.74 percent. That’s nearly a full percentage point higher than this time last year, by the way. This, combined with transaction prices heading northward, points to a customer base seeking ever-longer finance terms, girding their loins for 84- or 96-month loans.

There was one less selling day – a total of twenty four – compared to July 2017 and, thanks to a calendar quirk, one less weekend. Both of those metrics generally contribute to lower numbers, especially the latter. Seasonally adjusted, talking heads are estimating this year’s total sales to come in somewhere around the 16.7 million mark.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

55 Comments on “U.S. Auto Sales, July 2018: Plenty of Red … Unless You’re Fiat Chrysler...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    Mercedes really took it on the chin this month.
    More impressive is Audi: within striking distance of BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      Not really surprising to me. Have you been in a BMW lately?

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        Yes, RSF I have: they are still made with a proper chassis design and not the worst possible one from the get-go. BMW’s have a good chassis, unlike Audis which no engineering man-hours can save after they’ve gone for the cost-cutting FWD chassis design. And people still pay _premium prices_ for that crap for some crazy reason? Well, people bought a lot of K-cars and nowadays they buy lots of SUVs so popularity clearly is no sign of good design.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Wheel

      Part of the issue for Mercedes was loss of production at the Alabama plant due to the same Michigan auto supplier fire that took down the Ford F-150.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      BMW, however, is about to embark on a slew of new products – new 3/4 Series, new X5, the totally new X7, etc. as well as improved supply of the X3.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Probably wishful thinking, but I’m hoping that crumbling Jaguar sales (outsold by Alfa last month) means consumers are rejecting their latest half-a$$ed products.

    • 0 avatar
      hifi

      Jaguar’s SUV’s provided an initial sales pop, but are considered incredibly mediocre now that the first year excitement has passed. Range Rover, on the other hand, launched the Velar. Which I’ve seen everywhere and is stunning, so I’m assuming that this vehicle has provided a substantial incremental sales boost. Jaguar needs to move away from the design language that started with their sedans. It’s old and boring.

    • 0 avatar
      CadiDrvr

      Quite possibly.
      Had an F-Type Premium as a loaner last week, and the two words that come to mine in describing it are Cheap & Unrefined. Even though it had “30t” badge on the hatch, it was a 2.0 Turbo 4 rated at 295hp. While I wouldn’t dispute the claimed power numbers, it could certainly get out of its own way, the caucaphony from the engine compartment, vibrations at idle, etc were horrible. The ride was BRITTLE (YES, I checked tire pressures and made sure suspension was in its “softest” setting), and the road noise from the Goodyear Eagle F1s was unbearable even on the smoothest of pavement. I won’t even mention how incredibly CHEAP the interior is, at least the build quality was respectable…for a mainstream car anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      fIEtser

      We’ll see what they can do with the I-Pace, it’s reportedly already sold out. If they can deliver them, their numbers should rise.

  • avatar
    mcs

    The numbers in the chart for Tesla aren’t even close to being correct. They delivered 40,768 cars in Q2. So, how do you get a June delivery estimate of 6,000 out of that?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I think this chart is all wrong. The columns all say “June”, not “July”, and IIRC, 6000 for Tesla was the June estimate (which was also wrong) from last month’s report.

      Heck, 14k Model 3s were sold in July alone.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Looks like Tesla has passed Cadillac in deliveries for the quarter.

      Tesla: 40,768
      Cadillac: 39,222

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “Looks like Tesla has passed Cadillac in deliveries for the quarter.

        Tesla: 40,768
        Cadillac: 39,222”

        Right, because Elon the con man wouldn’t lie at all about production figures that make his circus tent company seem better than it is.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          I took a look and those are the actual delivery numbers. The production numbers are published as well and higher than that. Looks like they definitely have a bottleneck with their delivery system. They need to solve it if they’re going to increase production.

        • 0 avatar
          fIEtser

          @EBFlex

          Then how do we know that any of the other automakers aren’t also lying about their figures?

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      @mcs

      1/3 of those Teslas were delivered to people outside the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Peter Gazis: “1/3 of those Teslas were delivered to people outside the U.S.”

        Awesome! Even better! I didn’t know that. Really fantastic that an American car has appeal outside of the US. Wonder how many Teslas went to China to counteract the CT6s getting imported by Cadillac. How many cars did Cadillac export? Is it in the thousands like Tesla?

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          Cadillac tried building a PHEV in the U.S. The automotive press whined about the price non-stop. Now we get one from China and GM isn’t as flexible on price.

          Tesla has announced they will be building a second factory. 1000 points if you could guess where.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          mcs

          GM still builds more vehicles than any other company in the U.S. If they choose to import a few low volume models is no skin off my behind.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Looks like several manufacturers had a good month. I’m surprised to see VW recovering. Despite crazy good Jetta prices, volume has fallen, not sure where the sales are coming from. I guess then new Tiguan and Atlas are killing it.

    Ford, Honda, and Nissan have a bad year. Accord sales are getting hammered. Not sure if Honda has an answer.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      “Accord sales are getting hammered. Not sure if Honda has an answer.”

      It’s the Civic’s fault.

      Memo to Toyota: Don’t make the Corolla too good and/or Camry-sized.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        The Corolla is as big inside as a Camry if not bigger. But it’s crap. The Civic kills the Accord by having similar build quality, enough room, and much better performance and fuel economy with the 1.5T. From the driver’s seat the Accord and Civic don’t even look or feel that different. Only reason to get the Accord is if you need the room, want the 2.0T or just don’t like the Civic. HMA might be giving out better deals on the Accord too. But it’s too big for me.

      • 0 avatar
        asphaltcowboy

        But in July civic sales were down even more than the Accord, Civic sales -28.3% vs. Accord -19.3%.
        However, YTD Accord is down 14.5% vs. Civic down just -4.7% – even the CRV is down YTD.

        Honda is not having a great year

        • 0 avatar
          fIEtser

          Apparently the Model 3 is stealing thunder. Tesla claims that the Accord and Civic are in the top five of cars traded in by Model 3 buyers, so it stands to reason that some of those folks are no longer buying either car at all.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Looks like the VW group as a whole are doing well. Guess most folks are putting that diesel thing behind them.

  • avatar
    James2

    Looking at BMW/Mini’s numbers: how is it that they are so consistent?

  • avatar
    vvk

    I am confused. The chart says June. Are you talking about June or July?

  • avatar

    If you are going to announce the cancellation of a carline of course sales are going to drop. Who wants to own an orphaned car with a dropping resale value. It seems Hackett is oblivious even to the most basic concepts of running a car company.

  • avatar
    Elliot86

    Mitsubishi keeps rising all while ignoring all the negative energy

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      Mitsubishi’s resilience is impressive. It’s not all due to credit risks either, other companies take chances with deadbeats too.

    • 0 avatar
      asphaltcowboy

      Probably more budget shoppers out there right now looking for a low price and not worried about performance and good design. Mitsubishi is the low-rent choice.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Mitsubishi’s sales only look good because they were so bad for so long. Their volume is so low that a small unit increase is represented on paper as a large percentage increase.

      When they get to 25k units per month, I’ll start taking them seriously…and that’s not even really very good volume for a mainstream non-lux brand.

  • avatar
    RSF

    I wonder if Jim Hackett at Ford has realized yet that running a car company isn’t anything like running an office furniture company?

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’m thinking VW isn’t going to hit 800000 sales this year.

    Meanwhile, Subaru keeps on trucking. Looks like the Ascent sold close to 4600 units in July and it’s just trickling into dealers.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Honda and Toyota execs are delighted at every month, longer, it takes for Subaru to get the new Ascent to dealer lots.
      I am fairly certain it will directly takes sales of the Pilot and Highlander, and will cause both to increase incentives to keep them moving. Even with incentives, the typical Subie buyer will go with the Subie due to brand loyalty and love and such.
      The only thing holding Subaru back is factory lines.

  • avatar
    syncro87

    Honda flubbed the Accord redesign at a bad time, one where sedans are fighting against the current. Accord is hurting for two reasons in my opinion, aside from the obvious market shift. First, there is something vaguely odd and off-putting about the styling. It is weird, and not good weird. Second, the Civic is so good that it becomes tough to justify an Accord. If you need more space than a Civic, you probably buy a CR-V, not an Accord these days. The market for a mildly ugly midsize sedan that has an excellent and cheaper alternative in the same showroom is small.

    I think Honda could have updated the old body style car with the 1.5T and 2.0T engines and sold more Accords than they are now.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yep, agreed.

      What I’m really waiting to see is what happens with Acura. An ILX based on the 10th gen Civic will be another thorn in the new Accord’s side. Would love a hybrid version with more motor and the 1.5T.

  • avatar
    vehic1

    brettc: One has to rehash that several-years-old VW sales goal, in order to spin VW’s recent % sales gains – larger than Subaru’s – as somehow negative.
    I’ll give credit to the love/dogs/etc. marketing campaign – it bumped ’em up 100% since 2011; unlikely that they’ll continue anywhere near that pace of growth (they already aren’t).

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      Percentages are funny things – a large percentage change by itself looks very impressive. Not so much when applied to a smaller number. The “love/dogs/etc. marketing campaign”‘s smaller percentage increase resulted in more July ’18 sales than the VW brand alone (350 or so), a brand some 28,000+ behind in total sales to date. If looking at the VW Group (including Audi,et al), Subaru was about 350 less in July but 5400 more in total sales to date for the single Subaru brand versus the multiple brands of the VW Group. A better comparison perhaps would be the VW brand versus Mazda brand, a competitor with very similar volumes.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    We will see what the sales look like once they clear their massive backlog and how well these tent cars hold up.

  • avatar
    mjg82

    > Tesla didn’t just beat BMW at their own game, they outsold every car in the class, combined.

    Wouldn’t that just be the backlog of pre-orders? If so they can’t keep that up indefinitely. Everything with Tesla is shrouded in mystery so it feels premature to award them the title of ‘beating BMW at their own game’.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      So Telsa is beating BMW at its own game by losing 717.5 million dollars in a quarter?

      I don’t think BMW is worried. I think everyone in the segment is toasting Elon and hoping Tesla has many more of these Pyrrhic quarters., lol.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        “Tesla has been doubling sales every year for the past decade. To do that, you have to invest – in R&D, in factories, in people. That takes money.”

        10 years of doubling sales and still losing 718 million in a quarter? What an accomplishment. I’m sure you would be singing praise to FCA if they lost money for 10 years straight developing 3 new models.

        “The investment community was impressed by Tesla’s Q2 and showed confident that Tesla will be cashflow positive going forward.”

        LOL

        “But make no mistake – BMW and MB got crushed in July because 3-series and C-class buyers deserted them. ”

        The buyers are getting in higher margin X and GLx cross-overs. The “premium mid size” segment is as almost as dead as 2000’s BOF RWD sedan segment.

    • 0 avatar
      mjg82

      I’d like to know how many people cancelled their pre-order and took their deposit back. All these stacked up sales should have been spread over more months than they were, and all the delays cost them sales. I just don’t understand what about Tesla’s performance right now beats BMW at the game. Who would that ‘win’ be important to?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Behold the house that Marchionne built.

  • avatar
    Lockstops

    Let us know when Tesla actually has sales numbers that represent their actual sales figures instead of a backlog of delivery f-ups of monumental proportions. Then let us know when Tesla beats someone in another market than their home market.

    So for example when BMW decides to stop making 3-series for a year at the point of a model refresh but keeps taking in orders, and then we measure the sales figures once they start actually delivering after that year’s hiatus then let’s see if the numbers are better than Tesla’s. Then let’s add up all the other models BMW makes that are for that same segment: all the 2-series, 3-series different bodystyles, 4-series, of the X-models at least the X2, X3, X4 and then the lowest priced models of the 5-series (because yes, they do compete for Model 3 customers). How’s it looking? Not really the impression you were trying to push, huh?

    • 0 avatar
      Lockstops

      Big3, please stop lying. That’ll get you nowhere with me.

      You have not shared actual sales numbers, and definitely not comparable numbers, as I already pointed out.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @lockstops: They have the actual delivery numbers in the Q2 report and the production numbers as well.

        Production was 53,339 vehicles. They delivered 22,319 Model S and Model X vehicles and 18,449 Model 3 vehicles. Total deliveries were 40,768.

        Not enough time to do any brand comparisons myself.

      • 0 avatar
        Lockstops

        mcs: Those are not comparable numbers for the numerous reasons I pointed out:
        -Pent-up long-term demand being served in one avalanche right now after over a year of delays vs. most people choosing BMW already having theirs in the garage
        -Only one model in that price range vs. BMW having about a dozen different bodystyles (2-series in several bodystyles, 3-series, 4-series, 5-series, X1, X2, X3, X4…) So not only do BMW sales in that price range get devided up between many different models and different body styles of 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5 series but people nowadays choose BMW SUVs instead of 3-series sedans, and of those in the price range there are 4 different models that divide up the sales. Tesla has no SUV in that price range so all of their demand is funneled into that one single sedan model whereas with BMW you have to add up about 8 different models’ sales to compare. And all of those are profitable while they are continuously developing at least 8 new replacement models and countless variations and personalisation options to them too as opposed to Tesla bumbling around with approximately zero options and who knows if they’re able to develop future replacements for that one model…
        -Domestic brand vs. foreign (look at Fiat sales numbers in Italy, Citroen in France etc…)
        -Model 3 is a brand new model vs. BMW 3-series is exactly now at the end of its model cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      fIEtser

      @Lockstops

      Actually, the Model 3 outsold the entire BMW sedan lineup in July and they’re going to be increasing numbers further over the next several months. As long as they reach targets, they’re almost certainly going to deliver more Model 3s over the rest of the year than BMW delivers sedans and perhaps even all vehicles in latter months as they push to get cars to people before the end of the year.

  • avatar
    fIEtser

    The article is about July numbers but the included graphic is showing June for me? Is that correct?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • SPPPP: Are we suuuuuuuure this is a crossover? Because if this is a crossover, then I think that makes the old Suzuki...
  • SPPPP: Which of these 3 ideas is more wasteful of time and talent … Sending the NSX technicians home without...
  • -Nate: WEll ; You always wanted a convertible, right ? . -Nate
  • SPPPP: If he had kidnapped a Walmart customer FROM WALMART, then I think so.
  • Lightspeed: The roof at the header is rusting on my 2000 Lexus. It’s really irritating because it’s in a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States