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Domestic and International Automakers Report Mixed August Sales

September 15, 2008

Domestic and international automakers reported mixed results in their August sales. Chrysler and Ford recorded overall sales decreases, while General Motors had an increase due to its successful “Employee Discount for Everyone” sale. BMW and Nissan reported a one and 13.6 percent increases, respectively. Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and Suzuki had August sales declines, despite increases in sales of their fuel-efficient cars such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris.

BMW:

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported August sales of 30,931 vehicles, an increase of 1.0 percent over the 30,639 vehicles sold in August 2007. The BMW Group also reported a year-to-date sales volume of 217,821 vehicles, down 2.5 percent, compared to 223,341 vehicles in the same period of 2007.

Sales of BMW brand vehicles decreased 4.1 percent in August for a total of 25,462 compared to 26,562 reported in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date BMW brand sales were down 7.4 percent, to 180,889 vehicles compared to 195,436 vehicles sold in the same period in 2007.

MINI USA reported August sales of 5,469 automobiles, up 34.1 percent from the 4,077 cars sold in August 2007. Year-to-date, the division reported sales of 36,932 automobiles, an increase of 32.3 percent, compared to the 27,905 cars reported in the first eight months of 2007.

Sales of BMW's Certified Pre-Owned vehicles are up 26.7 percent, to 9,453 CPO vehicles versus 7,462 vehicles reported last August. Year-to-date, CPO sales are up 21.8 percent, to 69,437 over the 57,024 reported in the same period in 2007.

Chrysler:

Chrysler LLC reported total August 2008 U.S. sales of 110,235 units, down 34 percent from the same period last year. Total August sales reflect an industry-wide slowdown, segment shifts and reduced fleet sales. Compared with July 2008, Chrysler’s August sales increased 12 percent supported by enhanced financing offers, efforts to shift lease-oriented customers to purchasing, leasing availability from independent financial institutions and better demand for key vehicles. Although Chrysler Financial is no longer offering leasing options to Chrysler customers, customers are still able to lease Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products through independent financial institutions and qualify for available discounts.

The Chrysler brand reported sales of 24,337, a 44 percent decrease from 43,650 vehicles sold last August. The Chrysler Town & Country posted increased sales of 10,182 units in August, up 15 percent compared with August 2007 sales, and up 26 percent when compared with July 2008 sales.

The Jeep brand posted sales of 23,476, also a 44 percent decrease from 41,712 vehicles sold during the same period last year. Chrysler LLC sold 4,654 units of the Jeep Liberty in August, a decrease of 14 percent when compared with August 2007. However, the vehicle picked up some momentum in August, increasing sales 24 percent when compared with July 2008 sales.

The Dodge brand recorded total August sales of 62,422, down 25 percent from 82,841 vehicles sold last July. The Dodge Journey posted sales of 4,587 in August, a 33 percent increase when compared with July 2008 sales of 3,449 units. The Dodge Charger recorded sales of 8,102, a 3 percent increase vs. 2007 sales, and a 48 percent increase compared with July 2008 sales.

Ford: Ford Motor Company recorded August sales of 155,690 vehicles, down 26.6 percent from 212,120 units sold during the same period last year. Total year-to-date sales reached 1.4 million, down 15.8 percent from 1.7 million a year ago.

Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle sales totaled 151,021, down 25.6 percent from 203,001 units sold a year ago. The decline primarily reflects lower demand for SUVs (down 53 percent) and trucks (down 39 percent) and lower sales to fleet customers (down 31 percent). Year-to-date sales were 1.4 million, down 15.5 percent from 1.6 million a year ago.

Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury car sales reached 52,677, down 8.9 percent from 57,812 units. Despite those numbers, the Ford Focus sales were up 23 percent, and the Escape, a Ford crossover utility vehicles posted sales of 14,025, up 17 percent from 11,960 units a year ago.

General Motors: General Motors posted August sales of 308,817, up 31.3 percent from July and the highest monthly sales total in 2008. The company said the strong results are due to the “Employee Discount for Everyone” sales, which has been extended through Sept. 30.

Despite the strong performance, total August vehicles sales were still 20.4 percent compared with a year ago. Year-to-date sales reached 2.1 million, a drop of 18.3 percent from 2.6 million in 2007. Total car sales in August were 124,441, a decrease of 13.8 percent from 144, 516 units in 2007. Truck sales dropped 24.3 percent, from 243,652 to 184,376 units.

August 2008 sales for all certified used vehicles were 41,238 vehicles, down 8 percent from August 2007. Year-to-date sales are 339,375 vehicles, down 5 percent from the same period last year.

Honda: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. posted August total vehicle sales of 146,855, a decline of 7.3 percent compared to 158,342 vehicles sold in August 2007. Year-to-date sales of 1,083,957 represent a 1.2 percent increase on a daily-selling-rate basis compared to last year.

Honda Division posted August sales of 131,766, a decline of 7.1 percent from 141,906 during the same period a year ago. Honda models showing increased sales included the all-new Pilot, up 18.6 percent to 11,276; Civic, up 5.3 percent to 30,052; the Civic Hybrid, up 47.7 percent to 3,105.

Honda total car sales decreased by 4.9 percent to 78,674. Honda light truck sales saw a decrease of 10.3 percent to 53,092.

The Acura Division posted sales of 15,089, a decrease of 8.2 percent compared to August 2007. The MDX was Acura's top-selling model, posting 5,180 units while sales of the TL sedan increased 0.2 percent to 5,000.

Total hybrid sales in August reached 3,107 units, an increase of 30.7 percent from 2,377 units sold the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales increased 5.5 percent from 24,318 units to 25,773.

Hyundai: Sales at Hyundai Motor America reached 41,130 in August, an 8.8 percent decrease from the all-time August sales record of 45,087 units set in 2007.

The fuel-efficient Accent, Sonata and Elantra continued their upward sales trend with increases of 73 percent, 17 percent and 13 percent, respectively, over the same month last year.

Nissan: Nissan North America Inc. reported August sales of 108,493 units versus 95,527 units a year ago, an increase of 13.6 percent.

Sales of Nissan Division vehicles increased 14.2 percent from 85,275 units a year ago to 97,417 sold in August 2008. Sales of Nissan cars combined for 49,394 units, an increase of 0.6 percent from the prior year, while truck sales increased 32.7 percent to 48,023 units. The seventh-generation Maxima reached sales of 5,484 units, exceeding the prior year by 15.5 percent. The company said the all-new GT-R had a strong launch with sales 484 units in August.

Sales of Infiniti Division vehicles grew from 8 percent from 10,252 to 11,076 units in August. Sales of the FX sport crossover reached 1,581 units, an increase of 27.3 percent compared with August 2007.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc. reported August sales of 211,533 vehicles, a decrease of 9.4 percent from last August, on a daily selling rate basis.

The Toyota Division posted August sales of 182,252 units, a decrease of 9.4 percent from last August. Toyota Division passenger cars recorded August sales of 111,778 units, down 3.4 percent from the same period last year. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid, which posted combined sales of 44,064 units, up 3.3 percent over August 2007. With limited availability, the Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid posted August sales of 13,463 units. Yaris reported sales of 9,474 units for the month, up 20.5 percent over the year-ago month.

Toyota Division light trucks posted August sales of 70,474 units, down 17.6 percent from August 2007. Light truck sales were led by the Tundra full-size pickup with August sales of 17,401 units.

Scion posted August sales of 11,867 units. The xB urban utility vehicle led the way with August sales 4,626 units.

The Lexus Division reported August sales of 29,281 units, a decrease of 9.1 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus passenger cars reported August sales of 17,844 units, a decrease of 9.8 percent from August 2007. Passenger-car sales were led by the ES entry luxury sedan with August sales of 7,881 units.

Lexus Division light trucks recorded August sales of 11,437 units, down 7.8 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus sales were led by the RX luxury utility vehicle, which posted combined August sales of 8,969 units.

TMS calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 185,051 units. TMS posted August sales of 19,529 hybrid vehicles. Toyota Division recorded sales of 18,146 hybrids for the month. Lexus Division reported August sales of 1,383 hybrids.

Suzuki: American Suzuki Motor Corp. recorded sales of 6.083 units in August, a decrease of 32 percent over last year’s August sales total. The monthly results bring Suzuki’s year-to-date figures to 70,434, a 5 percent decrease from 74,347 units sold during in 2007.

Suzuki sales continue to be led by the SX4 model line, which sold 2,645 units in August, an increase of 162 percent over the same period last year.

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