US Light Duty Vehicle Sales Continue Decline in July
1 August 2008
|The SAAR for US light-duty vehicles dropped to 12.55 million in July. Click to enlarge.|
US sales of light-duty vehicles continued their decline in July, dropping to a total 1.136 million units, a 13.2% reduction in volume compared to July 2007, according to Autodata. The seasonally adjusted sales rate (SAAR) dropped to 12.55 million units. July 2008 had two selling days more than July 2007 (26 vs. 24).
The year-on-year decrease came, in general, out of the light-duty truck segment. Sales of cars in July 2008 slightly increased 0.3% on a volume basis (not on a day-sales rate) to 620,213 units, according to Autodata. Light truck sales, however, dropped 25.2% by volume from the year before to 515,963 units. The car-truck ratio for the month was 55:45, the fifth consecutive month cars have held the majority of the new light vehicle market.
|In July, car sales held the majority position for the fifth month running. Click to enlarge.|
GM. GM’s total sales in July dropped 26.7% by volume, reflecting a 34.7% drop in light trucks sales to 128,005 units and a 12.1% decline in car sales to 105,335 units. The Malibu, now GM’s top-selling car, posted a 78.6% increase in sales year-on-year to 16,637. Sales of the Cobalt, GM’s second top-selling car in the month, climbed 3.5% to 16,410 units.
GM also announced a preliminary second quarter net loss of $15.5 billion, including significant charges and special items, compared with net income from continuing operations of $784 million in the second quarter of 2007.
The second quarter adjusted automotive loss of $4.0 billion ($9.1 billion reported) reflects the losses in GM North America (GMNA) driven largely by volume declines including the impact of the American Axle and local strikes as well as adjustments to lease vehicle residual reserves. In addition, GMAP results were negatively impacted by adjustments relating to hedge accounting. The losses were partially offset by strong performance in the GMLAAM (Latin America, Africa & Middle East) region and continued profitability in GM Europe. The loss compares with adjusted automotive earnings from continuing operations of $1 billion in the second quarter of 2007 (reported earnings of $803 million).
|US car and light truck sales in July 2008 for top 6 vendors. Click to enlarge.||Change in US car and light truck sales for top 6 vendors from July 2007 to July 2008. Click to enlarge.|
Toyota. Toyota reported an 11.9% decrease in sales by volume in July 2008 to 197,424 units. Passenger car sales declined a slight 0.6% by volume to 128,099 units. Truck sales dropped 28.8% to 60,362 units. Sales of the full-size Tundra pickup were off 42% to 13,413 units.
Toyota’s top gainer amongst its passenger cars was the Corolla, with a 15.9% increase to 34,438 units. The top-selling Camry, including the hybrid version, rose a modest 1.5% to 42,131 units.
On the hybrid side, Toyota said it continued to be hampered by availability, with the Prius posting 14,785 units for the month, and the Camry Hybrid 2,645, out of a total of 20,363 hybrids sold. Toyota’s total hybrid sales in July dropped 11.9% year-on-year.
Ford. Total Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury sales dropped 13.3% to 156,406 units. Within that, however, passenger car sales increased 7.8% in July, climbing to 57,177 units. On the truck side, crossover sales declined 7.8% to 27,336 units; SUVs plunged 54.4% to 10,213 units; and trucks and vans dropped 18.1% to 61,680 units. Total light truck sales were 99,229 units, a decrease of 22.1%. The Ford Focus was the company’s top-selling car in July, with a 15.6% increase in sales year-on-year to 15,200 units.
Honda. Honda’s total sales dropped 1.6% by volume in July to 138,744 units. Total car sales increased 14% to 90,943 units; total truck sales dropped 22% to 47,801 units.
The Accord was the top-selling car, with an 11.4% increase to 41,382 units, followed by the Civic with a 4.6% increase to 29,125 units. The Fit almost doubled its sales, jumping 93.3% to 12,266 units.
Chrysler. Chrysler LLC sales dropped 29% in July by volume to 98,109 units. Passenger car sales dropped 25% to 25,839 units; truck sales dropped 30% to 72,270 units. Chrysler’s sole major gainer was the Town & Country van, which increased its sales 24% to 8,070 units in July.
In discussing its second quarter and first half performance, Chrysler said it nevertheless remained ahead of its financial plan primarily due to restructuring. For the six months ended June 30, 2008, Chrysler posted an EBITDA of approximately $1.1 billion.
Nissan. Nissan sales increased 8.5% in July to 95,319 units. Nissan car sales increased 2.4% to 55,720 units. Bucking the overall trend, Nissan’s truck sales increased 18.3% to 39,599. The Altima, including the hybrid model, posted a slight decrease of 0.1% to 24,429 units, but remained the top-seller. Nissan posted strong gains with its Versa (up 14.4% to 8,701 units) and the Sentra (up 16% to 10,977 units). On the truck side, the Frontier was the top seller, with a 24.3% increase to 6,627 units.
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