July 2012 Car Sales: Summer Heat Brings Surprising Numbers Page 2

August 1, 2012
2012 Dodge Journey

2012 Dodge Journey

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General Motors: GM (NYSE: GM) says it sold 201,237 cars in July across its four brands, a decline of 6.4 percent total against July 2011 and a significant dip from June. Retail sales of 153,519 in July mark a 3.2 percent decline from last July. GM says the overall decrease is due to a planned 41 percent reduction in rental fleet sales.

Small, mini, and compact cars lead GM's charge, up 41 percent year-on-year, including: the Buick Verano, with sales of 4,235 cars sold in July continuing the month-to-month increases since launch in December, 2011; Chevrolet Sonic sales of 6,278, which continue the segment-leading volume first achieved in April, 2012; and a total of 1,460 Chevy Sparks sold in its first month on the market.

With the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu four-cylinder and Cadillac ATS now entering production, with the addition of five other new models later this year, Chevrolet is forecasting a 13.8-14 million July SAAR but a full-year SAAR of 14.0-14.5 million.

Ford: Ford (NYSE: F) says it sold 173,966 cars in July 2012, down 3.8 percent from July 2011. The year-to-date total is still up 5.1 percent on last year, however, at 1,317,589 cars sold.

Ford's mix of vehicle sales splits fairly evenly across cars, utilities, and trucks, with standout sales among its Ford and Lincoln brands including: the Fiesta, down 23.4 percent against last year and 25.4 percent year to date; the Ford Explorer, up 14.3 percent against July 2011, and the SUV's best July sales since 2006; the Fusion, up 202.7 percent; the Lincoln MKT, up 57 percent but selling a total of just 738 cars; and the Lincoln MKS, down 19.7 percent from July 2011.

Like GM, Ford's overall sales decrease in July is blamed on lower fleet sales, down a total of 16 percent. Retail sales increased 2 percent.

Toyota / Lexus / Scion: Toyota (NYSE: TM) said it sold 164,898 units across its three brands, an unadjusted increase of 26.1 percent against last July, or an adjusted increase of 36.6 percent. 

Lexus constituted 18,235 of those sales, a 25.4 percent rise in raw volume, or a 35.9 percent rise in Daily Selling Rate (DSR). Of those, the ES 350 led at 3,759 units, followed by the IS sedan. The CT 200h hybrid sold 1,499 units.

Toyota brand vehicles sold 80,061 units, led by Camry and Camry Hybrid for a combined 29,913 cars.

Scion's sales of 6,904 cars for July represent a 97.3 percent rise in volume from July, 2011. The new FR-S sold 1,649 units, more than three times the number of its doppelganger, the Subaru BRZ.

Chrysler:  Chrysler Group LLC sold 126,089 cars, down about 18,700 units from June, but a 13 percent rise from July 2011, making last month the strongest July for Chrysler since 2007.

Chrysler brand cars saw the biggest single year-on-year increase, rising 35 percent. Of the three models it currently sells, the Chrysler 200 was the volume leader, up 43 percent against last July at 9,287 cars sold.

Models to note among Chrysler's Fiat, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram brands include: the Jeep Grand Cherokee, up 22 percent year-on-year, and the Jeep Liberty, up 34 percent; the Dodge Journey, up 69 percent from July 2011; the Fiat 500, up 22 percent from last year; and the Ram pickup, up 17 percent.

Chrysler's 65-day supply of cars is two days smaller than it was in June, but still above the 60-day supply considered normal in the industry. The company projects a 14-million unit SAAR based on July.

Honda / Acura: American Honda reported total sales of 116,944 vehicles, an increase of 45.3 percent against July, 2011. Of those, Honda brand vehicles accounted for 104,119 units, and Acura the remaining 12,825.

Leading Honda's sales tally was the Accord at 28,639, a rise of more than 70 percent, followed by the Civic, which rose 78 percent to 25,004 cars sold. The CR-V is up for the seventh consecutive month, rising 47 percent over last July to 20,554 units.

Acura sold a record number of the RDX, up 142 percent from last July to 2,664 units. The MDX remains Acura's top seller, at 4,288 crossovers sold, a rise of 24 percent. The new 2013 ILX sold 1,410 units in July.

Nissan / Infiniti: Nissan North America reported sales of 98,341 units, a rise of 16.2 percent compared to July 2011 sales of 84,601.

Nissan Division made up 86,722 of the total sales tally, a rise of 12.3 percent year-on-year. The Altima rose 24.7 percent, selling a total of 26,602 units, a best-ever result for July, and the first full month of the new 2013 Altima's sales. The Nissan Rogue also set a best-ever July total, rising 17.2 percent to 13.193.

Infiniti sales rose 56.8 percent over July, 2011, to 11,619 units. Leading the way at Infiniti was the G Sedan, rising 88.8 percent over July, 2011. The results mark the best July result for Infiniti since 2005.

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