GM sets U.S. sales pace with 16% July gain

Automaker July 2013 July 2012 Pct. chng. 7 month
2013 7 month
2012 Pct. chng.
BMW Group 84 79 6% 588 553 6%
BMW division – – –% – – –%
Mini – – –% – – –%
Rolls-Royce 84 79 6% 588 553 6%
BMW Group 84 79 6% 588 553 6%
Chrysler Group 140,102 126,089 11% 1,048,434 960,157 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%
Daimler AG – – –% – – –%
Maybach – – –% – – –%
Mercedes-Benz – – –% – – –%
Smart USA – – –% – – –%
Daimler AG – – –% – – –%
Ford Motor Co. 193,080 173,482 11% 1,482,816 1,313,865 13%
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%
General Motors 234,071 201,237 16% 1,654,417 1,516,950 9%
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%
Honda (American) – – –% – – –%
Acura – – –% – – –%
Honda Division – – –% – – –%
Honda (American) – – –% – – –%
Hyundai Group – – –% – – –%
Hyundai division – – –% – – –%
Kia – – –% – – –%
Hyundai Group – – –% – – –%
Jaguar Land Rover – – –% – – –%
Jaguar – – –% – – –%
Land Rover – – –% – – –%
Jaguar Land Rover – – –% – – –%
Maserati – – –% – – –%
Maserati – – –% – – –%
Mazda – – –% – – –%
Mazda – – –% – – –%
Mitsubishi – – –% – – –%
Mitsubishi – – –% – – –%
Nissan – – –% – – –%
Infiniti – – –% – – –%
Nissan Division – – –% – – –%
Nissan – – –% – – –%
Subaru 35,994 25,183 43% 240,591 189,487 27%
Subaru 35,994 25,183 43% 240,591 189,487 27%
Suzuki* – 2,266 –100% 5,946 15,260 –61%
Suzuki* – 2,266 –100% 5,946 15,260 –61%
Toyota – – –% – – –%
Lexus – – –% – – –%
Scion – – –% – – –%
Toyota division – – –% – – –%
Toyota/Scion – – –% – – –%
Toyota – – –% – – –%
Volkswagen 48,889 48,764 0% 330,234 322,905 2%
Audi 13,064 11,707 12% 87,341 76,865 14%
Bentley – – –% – – –%
Lamborghini* 46 43 7% 322 301 7%
Porsche – – –% – – –%
VW division 35,779 37,014 –3% 242,571 245,739 –1%
Volkswagen 48,889 48,764 0% 330,234 322,905 2%
Volvo Cars NA – – –% – – –%
Volvo Cars NA – – –% – – –%
253 246 3% 1,771 1,717 3%
TOTAL 652,473 577,346 13% 4,764,797 4,320,894 10%

Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: *Estimate
**Includes estimates for Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Lotus

Ford, Chrysler, Nissan each up 11%
JULY U.S. SALES
GM sets U.S. sales pace with 16% July gain
Ford, Chrysler, Nissan each up 11%
David Phillips
Automotive News | August 1, 2013 – 8:00 am EST
— UPDATED: 8/1/13 11:46 am ET – adds details
General Motors posted a 16 percent increase in U.S. July sales, outpacing its closest rivals in a month where the industry’s biggest players were projected to post double-digit gains.

Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group, and Nissan Motor Co. each posted sales gains of 11 percent over a weak July 2012.

Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. will report July sales later today.

GM, Ford and Chrysler continue to benefit from surging sales of large pickups.

GM’s four brands each produced double-digit sales advances, led by an increase of 17 percent at Cadillac and Chevrolet. It was the biggest gain for Chevrolet — GM’s volume brand — since March 2012.

Sales of GM’s full-sized pickups soared 44 percent to more than 60,000, with the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra representing 15 percent of the total, the company said. GM’s car deliveries jumped 24 percent.

Kurt McNeil, head of U.S. sales operations, said it was the “most well-balanced month of the year from a retail sales standpoint” for GM.

“The difference between good sales and great sales in a slow-growth economy is how many new products you have to offer, and we are starting to hit our sweet spot,” McNeil said.

At Ford, sales of small cars rose 32 percent in July to 27,131, while F-series pickup volume advanced 23 percent to 60,449 units. Ford brand deliveries increased 12 percent, while Lincoln volume slipped 1 percent.

Retail sales rose 19 percent despite tight inventories of some car models, Ford said.

Three Ford crossovers and SUVs — Escape, Explorer and Edge — generated July gains of 4 percent to 15 percent last month.

Nissan up, Infiniti off

Nissan said its July deliveries were paced by a 17 percent increase at the Nissan brand, offsetting a 33 percent drop at Infiniti. Sales of the Nissan Altima climbed 11 percent to nearly 30,000 units, while Versa deliveries jumped 21 percent to more than 9,000.

The results at Chrysler were spurred by fatter discounts and another strong month of car and Ram pickup deliveries. It was the 40th consecutive month Chrysler Group’s U.S. deliveries have advanced.

Chrysler said car sales rose 14 percent while light truck demand advanced 10 percent, with Ram pickup deliveries climbing 31 percent to more than 31,000 units.

Among brands, sales rose 31 percent at Ram, 18 percent at Dodge, and 2 percent at Fiat and Jeep. Volume slipped 4 percent at the Chrysler brand.

“We continue to see strong retail sales, particularly with our pickup trucks and SUVs,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales for Chrysler Group, said in a statement.

Sales at Jeep — Chrysler’s No. 2 brand last year after Dodge — have slipped 4 percent this year following the discontinuation of the Jeep Liberty in August 2012. The Liberty’s replacement, the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, is not expected to be widely available until September or later.

TrueCar and Edmunds.com estimated Chrysler Group’s average incentives last month rose 8 percent to 10 percent from July 2012 and now top $3,000 per vehicle.

Subaru soars

Record July sales of the Forester, Outback and Impreza pushed Subaru’s U.S. sales up 43 percent to 35,994 — enough to outsell the VW brand and keep Subaru on track to set another high mark for annual U.S. volume.

“At our current pace, selling 400,000 vehicles in 2013 is certainly within reach,” said Bill Cyphers, senior vice president of sales for Subaru of America.

Volkswagen posted a 3 percent decrease in sales as steady demand for the Passat and Jetta failed to make up for a lack of new products and tougher competition in the small and mid-sized sedan segments.

Jetta sales are down 2 percent for the year, with 94,684 units sold through July. Passat sales spiked 12 percent in July and are up 3 percent for the year, with 66,170 units sold.

“We’re coming off some pretty strong numbers,” Mark McNabb, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America, told reporters today, referring to the brand’s double-digit gains over the past few years. “We knew it would be a year of consolidated growth.”

Perhaps the best news for VW was a sharp increase in the rate at which customers chose diesel, the German brand’s hallmark. Nearly 30 percent of cars sold in July had TDI engines — and in the Passat, that number was nearly 40 percent.

At Audi, sales rose 12 percent, propelled by SUV demand. Sales of the mid-sized Q5 increased 52 percent over last year and sales of the large Q7 grew by 49 percent.

Hot and cold
First-half 2013 sales performance vs. first half 2012

Segment winners Change
Large luxury car 41%
Compact sporty car 38%
Mini cars 27%
Large pickups 22%
Compact crossover 21%
Compact luxury car 17%
Large crossover 16%

Segment losers
Compact pickup -20%
Mid-sized luxury car -14%
Mid-sized sporty car -6%
Subcompact car -4%
Minivan -3%
Large car -2%

Source: Automotive News Data Center
Other automakers are scheduled to report July results later today in what is expected to be another healthy month for an industry still climbing back from the collapse of 2008 and 2009.

U.S. light-vehicle sales are forecast to rise 15 percent in July to 1.33 million units, based on the average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

‘Summer surge’

“The summer surge continues,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a research note published Tuesday. “July started with relatively weak showroom traffic through the third week. However, momentum picked up since and we expect the month to finish strong driven by a much healthier consumer sentiment.”

Six of the seven largest producers — GM, Ford, Toyota Motor Corp., Chrysler, Honda Motor Co. and Nissan – were projected by analysts to post increases of at least 10 percent for the month.

The annualized industry sales rate, adjusted for seasonal trends and a broad sign of the industry’s overall health, is forecast to reach 15.8 million light vehicles in July, based on the average of 15 analysts estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Chrysler today estimated the July SAAR will reach 15.8 million units, including medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks. GM pegged the SAAR at 15.7 million.

A year earlier, the SAAR came in at 14.1 million — one of the weakest rates of 2012. That will allow some automakers to enjoy favorable comparisons this year.

Beginning with November 2012, the SAAR has topped 15 million units every month except April.

The pace of sales in July is expected to keep the U.S. market on track to post its best year since 16.1 million light vehicles were sold in 2007. U.S. light-vehicle sales have jumped 8 percent this year through June and are forecast to finish the year at around 15.5 million units.

That would mark about a 50 percent increase from the industry total of just four years ago.

Low interest rates, widespread credit, attractive lease deals, pent-up demand, new or redesigned models and a steady rebound in the U.S. economy and housing market are fueling sales.

Bigger deals

Many automakers also joined Chrysler in hiking incentives last month to clear inventories of 2013 models.

Large pickup trucks, crossovers and small cars were predicted to drive July’s sales gains.

Analysts are especially encouraged because retail sales — those made to individual customers — account for the bulk of industry volume.

Edmunds estimated fleet deliveries represented 14 percent of industry volume in July — the lowest level of the year so far.

“Consumer confidence has a played a key role in the ongoing recovery and currently is at the highest levels seen since January 2008,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “With modest improvements in unemployment and housing expected to continue through the rest of the year, confidence likely will follow suit, driving new-car demand along with it.”

Ladis Sanchez, fleet manager at Galpin Ford in North Hills, Calif., described July sales as “phenomenal.”

Sanchez said demand remained strong last month for the C-Max, Escape, Fusion, Focus, F-150, Edge, and Explorer, while Taurus and Flex sales were slower.

“A lot of [our] clients just seem to be a lot more stable,” Sanchez said.

But it was a tougher month at Allen Samuels Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Chevrolet in Ennis, Texas, despite a big promotional push.

“We had mail for every week and radio for every week and two big inserts for the newspapers,” said Tim Fowler, general sales manager at the dealership. “We’re going to track out an average month, but it was like every deal had to be fought out.”

Adam Rubenfire and Isabella Shaya contributed to this report.

Annual U.S. light-vehicle sales

*Through June
Source: Automotive News Data Center

Sales of GM’s full-sized pickups soared 44 percent to more than 60,000 in July, with the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra representing 15 percent of the total, the company said.

Photo credit: LEONORA ANDERSSON

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