OEMs Report July's Auto Sales … 'cept for Detroit

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
oems report july s auto sales cept for detroit

It’s tough to gauge the state of car sales in America on a monthly basis these days. The entirety of the Detroit Three have moved to a quarterly reporting system, leaving a gap the size of a ‘70s land yacht in this month’s numbers.

Still, we press on. The remaining manufacturers are still reporting each month — for now — which gives us at least a partial picture as to the lay of the land. Many brands enjoyed a month-over-month increase in July but the year-to-date results are a bit of a mixed bag.

With three very large holes in the data, we’ve dispensed with the usual charting. Yell at us in the comments if you want it back.

The larger of the non-Detroit manufacturers, Honda and Toyota, were roughly flat compared to the same time last year. Honda’s volume went up about 3,000 units to 128,537 while Toyota dealt about 800 more machines to ring up 184,179 sales. So far this year, Honda is off by about a single percentage point while Toyota is down about three.

Hyundai had a stellar (pun intended) July, raking in more than 6,000 extra sales compared to last July. That works out to a 12.1 percent increase, if you’re wondering. The large-and-in-charge Palisade counted for 4,464 of that new volume, putting an exclamation point on the importance of this new SUV for Hyundai. This positive result builds on successes the brand realized earlier in the year, pushing gains through the first seven months of 2019 to 3.1 percent (roughly 12,000 extra units).

Mazda, for reasons known only to wizards and clairvoyants, continues its slide into the doldrums. Last month’s performance fell by about 900 vehicles compared to last July, bringing its year-to-date sales to an alarming 13.9 percent below 2018 levels. It’s a difference on 26,202 units, to be exact. The fall is baffling, especially since Mazdas are reliably the most stylish in their class and frequently the most sporty.

Subaru continues its relentless march northward, posting its best ever July on its way to racking up 92 consecutive months of yearly, month-over-month growth. That’s a lot of all-wheel drive systems. In terms of specific models, it was also the best July on record for Outback, while Ascent continues to do extremely well. It certainly doesn’t seem like the three-row machine is cannibalizing its own family as some had feared.

Talking heads are still expecting total sales in 2019 to rest south of 17 million units once the dust settles. For those who care, there were 25 selling days last month, one fewer than July 2018.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

More by Matthew Guy

Join the conversation
2 of 61 comments
  • BWalker82 BWalker82 on Aug 03, 2019

    Where the hell are the charts?!!?!?

  • TakeshiHonda TakeshiHonda on Aug 04, 2019

    Mazda: sporty, stylish, dependable Also Mazda: smaller (inside and out), less efficient than main rivals, no hybrids/EVs, wannabe luxe, charge luxe prices, limited tech, limited choices, limited dealer network, automobile media darling Consumer: i'd rather have a Civic... or even a Forte Texan consumer: Mazda... no trucks, no deal

  • Carsofchaos Bike lanes are in use what maybe 10 to 12 hours a day? The other periods of the day they aren't in use whatsoever. A bike can carry one person and a vehicle can carry multiple people. It's very simple math to figure out that a bike lane in no way shape or form will handle more people than cars will.The bigger issue is double parked delivery vehicles. They are often double parked and taking up lanes because there are cars parked on the curb. You combine that with a bike lane and pedestrians Crossing wherever they feel like it and it's a recipe for disaster. I think if we could just go back to two lanes of traffic things would flow much better. I started coming to the city in 2003 before a lot of these bike lanes were implemented and the traffic is definitely much worse now than it was back then. Sadly at this point I don't really think there is a solution but I can guarantee that congestion pricing will not fix this problem.
  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.