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Automakers Report Decline in July Sales, Except Nissan and Suzuki

August 5, 2008

All major domestic and international automakers reported a July sales decline with the exception of Japanese manufacturers Nissan and Suzuki. Nissan posted an 8.5 percent increase, while Suzuki recorded a 2 percent increase in July sales versus the same period a year ago. Despite the disappointing month, some automakers reported increases in smaller, fuel efficient vehicles, including the BMW MINI, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Fit, and Nissan Versa.

Audi: Audi of America Inc.’s July sales reached 6,804, a decrease of 4.5 percent from last year’s figures. Audi Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales continued to grow with sales of 2,669 units, an increase of 21.2 percent compared with the previous July’s figures.

July sales of three models were up compared to July 2007, demonstrating continued excitement around the brand, which has seen consistent movement in 2008. Sales of the A3 jumped by 30.5 percent, and the A6 and A8 grew 14 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Year-to-date sales have reached 51,827 vehicles, a 1.9 percent decrease over the previous year. Year-to-date CPO sales totaled 20,940, an increase of 38.7 percent over 2007.

BMW: The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported July sales of 28,977 vehicles, an increase of 2.2 percent over the 28,364 vehicles sold in July 2007. The BMW Group also reported its year-to-date sales volume of 186,890 vehicles, down 3.0 percent compared to 192,702 vehicles in the same period of 2007.

BMW brand sales dropped slightly in July by 1.6 percent to 23,914 compared to 24,295 units in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date BMW brand sales were down 8 percent to 155,427 vehicles, compared to 168,874 vehicles sold in first seven months of 2007.

BMW's automobile sales were up 0.9 percent in July to 19,261 versus 19,083 in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales decreased 7.3 percent to 122,783 automobiles compared to 132,478 sold during the same period of 2007.

In July MINI USA reported sales of 5,063 automobiles, increasing 24.4 percent from the 4,069 cars sold in July 2007. Year to date, the division reported sales of 31,463 automobiles, an increase of 32 percent, compared to the 23,828 cars reported in the first seven months of 2007.

Sales of BMW's Certified Pre-Owned vehicles reached its best July ever. Sales were up 11.4 percent to 7,998 vehicles versus 7,178 vehicles reported last July. Year to date, CPO sales were up 21 percent to 59,984 versus the 49,562 reported sold for the same period last year.

Chrysler: Chrysler LLC reported total July 2008 U.S. sales of 98,109 units, which was 29 percent below what was reported during the same period last year. Total July sales reflect a continued contraction of the market for pickup trucks and SUV and reductions in fleet sales.

The Chrysler brand reported sales of 20,858, a 40 percent decrease from 34,631 vehicle reported sold last July. The Chrysler Town & Country posted a 24 percent increase with 8,070 vehicle sold versus July 2007 sales of 6,513 units.

The Jeep brand posted total July sales of 22,705, a 39 percent decrease from the 37,355 units sold during the same period last year. However, the fuel-efficient Jeep Patriot posted record monthly sales of 3,451, a 4 percent increase from last July. Year-to-date sales of the Jeep Patriot increased 119 percent versus July 2007.

The Dodge brand recorded total July sales of 54,546, a 17 percent decrease from 65,742 unit sold last July. Sales of the Dodge Avenger totaled 4,318 units, up 2 percent increase from July 2007. The all-new Dodge Challenger debuted in July with solid sales of 2,895 units sold.

Ford: Ford Motor Company recorded July sales of 161,530 vehicles, down 14.9 percent from 189,920 units sold during the same period last year.

Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury car sales were up 8 percent compared with a year ago. The Ford Focus led overall car sales with 15,200 units sold, a jump of 15.6 percent from 13,144 units sold during the same period last year. Year to date, Focus sales were up 26.2 percent, which outpaced the 9 percent increase in small-car sales industry wide.

Overall, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle sales totaled 156,406 in July, down 13 percent versus a year ago; year-to-date sales totaled 1.265 million, also down 14 percent. Consistent with industry trends, crossover vehicles, which include the Ford Escape, Edge and Flex, were down 8 percent. Sport utility vehicles, such as Ford Explorer and Expedition, were down 54 percent. Trucks and vans, including Ford F-Series and Econoline, were down 18 percent.

General Motors: General Motors posted total July sales of 235,184 vehicles, down 26.7 percent from 320,935 vehicles sold during the same period last year. Car sales fell 12.1 percent from 119,866 units to 105,535. Truck sales dropped 35.4 percent from 201,069 units to 129,849.

July 2008 sales for all certified GM brands reached 41,594 vehicles, down 2 percent from July 2007. Year-to-date sales were 298,137 vehicles, down nearly 6 percent from the same period last year.

The company cited the challenging U.S. economic environment, higher fuel prices and inventory shortages in critical segments such as compact cars as the reason for the overall sales decline for the month.

Honda: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. posted July total vehicle sales of 138,744, a decline of 9.2 percent compared to sales of 141,049 in July 2007. Year-to-date sales reached 937,102 vehicles, a 2.6 percent increase from 907,978 recorded during the same period last year.

Honda total car sales in July reached 82,976, an increase of 6.7 percent from 71,755, resulting in a new July record for the Japanese automaker. Honda light-truck sales decreased 27.8 percent from 54,913 to 42,940.

Honda Division posted July sales of 125,916, a decline of 8.2 percent versus July 2007. The Fit hit a company record with 12,266 vehicle sold, a 78.5 percent increase. Civic Hybrid broke its previous July record, set in 2006, with 3,440 vehicle sold, a 27.4 percent increase. The Accord increased 2.8 percent to 41,382.

The Acura Division posted sales of 12,828, a decrease of 17.7 percent compared to July 2007. The division's all-new TSX continues to perform well with July sales up 15.9 percent to 3,474.

Total hybrid sales in July were 3,443 units, an increase of 15.4 percent from 2,753 units sold the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales increased 2.7 percent from 22,666 units to 21,941.

Hyundai: Sales at Hyundai Motor America recorded sales of 40,703 for the month of July, a 6.5 percent decrease from 43,511 units sold during the same period last year.

The Accent and Elantra continued their strong month-to-month sales performance in July with increases of 96 and 31 percent, respectively.

Nissan: Nissan North America Inc. reported July sales of 95,319 units, an increase of 8.5 percent from 87,877 units a year ago.

Nissan Division sales of 86,070 units in July increased 9.9 percent compared with July 2007's 78,351 units sold. Sales of Nissan cars combined for 49,863 units, an increase of 4.8 percent from the prior year, while truck sales increased 17.7 percent to 36,207 units.

Nissan's Versa subcompact posted strong sales of 8,701 units, up 14.4 percent. Nissan's Sentra posted a 16.0 percent increase with sales of 10,977 units.

Infiniti Division sales for July declined to 9,249 units from 9,526, a decrease of 2.9 percent. Sales of the G37 Coupe totaled 1,583 units, an increase of 45.0 percent over July 2007. The all-new FX luxury crossover posted an increase of 19.2 percent with 1,729 units.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc., reported July sales of sales of 197,424 vehicles, a decrease of 12 percent from the 224,058 vehicles sold last July. Sales of light trucks, including the Lexus brand, fell 27.1 percent to 69,325 vehicles from 95,150, as Toyota-brand SUV sales dropped 26.3 percent to 26,561 units and Toyota brand light truck sales tumbled 28.8 percent to 60,362.

The Toyota Division posted July sales of 175,242 units, a decrease of 11 percent from last July. Scion posted July sales of 11,906 units, an increase from June sales of 11,870.

Lexus Division reported July sales of 22,182 units, a decrease of 18.3 percent from the year-ago month.

Passenger car sales edged down 0.6 percent to 128,099 from 128,908, as Camry sales rose 1.5 percent to 42,131 and Corolla sales rose 15.9 percent to 34,438. Sales of the automaker's Prius hybrid dropped 8 percent to 14,785 units as the company couldn't make enough to meet demand.

TMS posted July sales of 20,363 hybrid vehicles, an increase over June sales of 17,806 units. Toyota Division recorded sales of 18,801 hybrids for the month, up from 16,300 sold the previous month. Lexus Division reported July sales of 1,562 hybrids, up from the 1,476 vehicle sold the previous month. Year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 165,522 units.

Suzuki: American Suzuki Motor Corp. recorded sales of 8,103 units in July, an increase of 2 percent over last year’s July sales total. The monthly results bring Suzuki’s year-to-date figures to 64,351 vehicles. Suzuki’s market share has increased 14.3 percent through the first six months of 2008.

Suzuki sales continue to be propelled by the versatile SX4 model line, which sold an impressive 2,595 units, an increase of 160 percent over 2007. Sales of the Grand Vitara compact SUV also contributed to Suzuki’s July strong performance with 1,256 units sold.

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