The summer is proving to be a slow season for most domestic, Asian and European auto manufacturers. Many posted lower half-year and June 2008 sales figures. The exception was Honda, which recorded increases in both its year-to-date and June sales figures. The Detroit Three continued the decline in month-to-month sales, while Audi, BMW Mini and Hyundai posted increases in June sales. Smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles, such as the Jeep Patriot, Ford Fusion, Honda Civic, Honda Fit and Toyota Corolla, led sales as higher gas prices continued to turn consumers away from the trucks and SUVs.
Audi: Audi of America Inc.’s half-year sales reached 45,023 vehicles in 2008, a 1.5 percent decrease over the previous year. Audi’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) sales for the first-half of 2008 totaled 18,241, an increase of 41.7 percent over 2007.
The Audi brand also experienced a 1.8 percent increase in market share for the month within the luxury segment to reach a total of 7.8 percent. Audi was the only luxury brand to record a year-over-year increase in sales.
Audi’s June sales totaled 8,203, an increase of 5.3 percent from last year’s figure of 7,789 units. Sales of the Audi A4 reached 4,999 units in June, a 34.3 percent increase over 3,721 units sold in June 2007. Audi CPO sales rose to 2,787 units, an increase of 23.6 percent from last year’s June figures.
BMW: For the first six months of 2008, BMW Group (BMW and MINI combined) sales are down 3.9 percent to 157,913 vehicles vs. the 164,338 sold in the first half of 2007.
The group reported June sales of 26,155, a decline of 11 percent from the 29,394 vehicles sold in the same month of 2007.
BMW brand sales declined 17 percent to 20,944 vehicles compared to 25,220 vehicles sold in June 2007. BMW's automobile sales are down 17.5 percent in June to 16,555 vs. 20,068 in the same month a year ago. Sales of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles are down 14.8 percent in June to 4,389 vehicles over the 5,152 sold last June.
MINI USA reported sales of 5,211 cars, a 24.8 percent increase compared to 4,174 cars sold in the same period a year ago. Year to date, MINI USA also reported sales of 26,400 cars, an increase of 33.6 percent over the 19,759 vehicles sold in the same period a year ago.
BMW Certified Pre-Owned reported 7,909 vehicles sold in June 2008, an increase of 4.9 percent over the 7,540 vehicles reported last June. Year to date, CPO sales are up 22.7 percent to 51,986 over the 42,384 reported in the same period in 2007.
Chrysler: Chrysler LLC posted half-year sales of 867,826 units, a 22 percent decrease from 1,113,093 units sold during the same period last year. The company’s June sales of 117,457 units were 36 percent below the 183,347 units sold the same period last year.
The drop reflects the decline in truck and SUV sales, reductions in fleet sales, and increases in Chrysler’s newest highly fuel-efficient vehicles, according to the Detroit automaker.
The Chrysler brand reported sales of 27,128 units, a 43 percent decrease from 47,658 in June sales compared to the same month a year ago.
The Jeep brand posted total June sales of 26,642, a 40 percent decrease from 44,600 units sold the same month a year ago. However, the fuel-efficient Jeep Patriot posted record monthly sales of 4,889 units in June 2008, a 6 percent increase from 4,633 units sold during the same period last year.
The Dodge brand recorded total June sales of 63,687, a 30 percent decrease from 91,089 units in June 2008. The Dodge Grand Caravan posted June sales of 14,214 units, an increase of 52 percent vs. June 2007 sales of 9,342 units.
The Detroit automaker will extend its $2.99 gas incentive program through July 31. The company reported the program has improved showroom traffic and driven sales of the company’s most fuel-efficient vehicles.
Ford: In the first half of 2008, Ford Motor Company
posted sales of 1,155,241 vehicles, down 14.3 percent from the same period last year. Cars and crossovers accounted for 59 percent of Ford’s first half retail sales, compared with 49 percent in the first half. Retail sales for cars increased 3 percent and crossovers also were up less than 1 percent.
Through June 2008, sales of the Ford Focus increased 53 percent from the same period a year ago, and the Focus was the top-selling domestic car to retail customers. Mid-size cars also posted retail sales increases in the first half with Ford Fusion up 7 percent, Mercury Milan up 2.9 percent and Lincoln MKZ up 9.3 percent.
Half-year retail sales for the company’s SUVs declined 40 percent vs. a year ago and retail sales for trucks and vans declined 31 percent.
The company’s June sales reached 174,091 units, a decrease of 28.1 percent from June 2007. However, June sales of the Ford Fusion reached 14,726, a jump of 18.4 percent from 12,435 units sold in the same period last year.
General Motors: For the first half of 2008, General Motors had sales of 1.6 million vehicles, down 16.5 percent from 1.9 million vehicles during the same period last year. Truck sales fell 21.3 percent from 1.1 million units to 915,435 units.
GM posted total June sales of 265,937 vehicles, down 18.5 percent from 326,300 vehicles sold in the same period last year. Truck sales dropped 16.6 percent from 187,949 to 156,713 units.
June 2008 sales for all certified used-vehicles reached 41,857 units, down nearly 9 percent from June 2007. Year-to-date sales are 256,543 vehicles, down 6 percent from the same period last year.
GM revised its 2008 annual sales forecast to approximately 15 million total vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), down from the mid-15 million total vehicle SAAR range estimated earlier this year. The company cited the impact of higher fuel prices and lack of economic growth led to the revised forecast.
Honda: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. posted half-year sales of 798,358 vehicles, a 4.8 percent increase from 766,929 vehicles in June 2007. Honda Division year-to-date sales reached 720,444 vehicles, up 7.4 percent from 675,389. Acura Division year-to-date sales fell 14.3 percent from 91,540 to 77,914 vehicles.
American Honda’s total June sales reached 142,539, a 13.8 percent increase from June 2007, and a new record for the month. Total car sales set a new June record for the first time since 1990 at 97,639, up 34.2 percent vs. last year.
Honda Division sales rose 17.9 percent over last year to a new June record of 130,083. Much of the increase was driven by record car sales, which increased 41.4 percent to 89,947, said company officials. The fuel-efficient Fit posted its best month ever with sales of 10,003, up 100.5 percent, while Civic hit a new June record, up 23.1 percent to 39,967. Sales of the Accord rose 54.5 percent to 39,704. Honda Division light truck sales decreased 14.2 percent to 40,136.
Acura Division sales totaled 12,456 in June, a 16.4 percent decrease from 16,766 reached in the same period last year. Sales of the completely redesigned 2009 TSX sports sedan increased 27.5 percent and set a new June record of 3,869.
Hyundai: Sales at Hyundai Motor America stood at 231,066 vehicles, a 2.3 percent decrease from the 236,595 vehicle sold last year.
The Korean automaker posted sales of 50,033 for the month of June, a 1.3 percent increase over the same record-setting period last year.
The Accent, Elantra and Sonata continued their strong month-to-month sales performance in June with increases of 70 percent, 11.9 percent and 50.5 percent, respectively.
Nissan: Nissan North America Inc. reported a year-to-date sales decline of 2.4 percent from 535,380 to 522,321 vehicles. Total June sales also fell 17.7 percent from 92,213 units to 75,847 units.
Nissan Division sales fell 18.5 percent from 81,655 to 66,534 vehicles. However, Nissan’s Versa subcompact posted strong June sales of 8,873 units, up 17.4 percent. Year-to-date sales dipped 2.4 percent from 471,584 vehicles to 460,452.
Infiniti Division sales fell to 9,304 vehicles in June, an 11.9 percent decrease from the 10,558 vehicles sold last June. The month-to-month decline reflects a decrease in both car and truck sales. Year-to-date sales dropped 3 percent from 63,796 to 61,869.
Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc., reported half-year sales of 1,240,086 vehicles, down slightly from sales of 1,331,074 during the same period in 2007. For the month of June, TMS recorded sales of 193,234 units, a decrease of 11.5 percent from last June.
The Toyota Division posted June sales of 172,981, down 10.3 percent from June 2007. Toyota Division passenger cars recorded June sales of 119,024 units, up 4.4 percent over the same period last year. Passenger car sales were again led by Corolla, which posted best-ever June sales of 42,180 units, up 30 percent over June 2007. The Camry, Camry Hybrid and Prius also posted sales increases in June. Toyota Division light trucks reported June sales of 53,957 units, down 31.5 percent from the year-ago month.
Scion posted June sales of 11,870 units for the month, down from the 14,858 vehicles sold in May.
Lexus Division reported June sales of 20,253 units, a decrease of 21.1 percent from the year-ago month. Lexus passenger cars reported June sales of 12,942 units, a decrease of 16.6 percent from June 2007. Lexus Division light trucks reported June sales of 7,311 units, down 27.9 percent vs. the year-ago month.
TMS first-half hybrid sales totaled 145,159 units. In June, TMS posted sales of 17,806 hybrid vehicles, a drop from May sales of 26,019. Toyota Division posted sales of 16,330 hybrids for the month, down from 23,654 the previous month. Lexus Division posted sales of 1,476 hybrids in June, down from 2,365 the previous month.
Suzuki: American Suzuki Motor Corp. reported year-to-date sales of 56,248 vehicles, down 2 percent from the 57,488 vehicles sold last year.
Total June sales or 9,785, a 5 percent decrease from 10,325 vehicles sold last June. The SX4 model line continued its sales growth from May with 3,663 units sold, an increase of 168 percent from the 1,368 units sold in 2007.