Large Pickups Bolster July U.S. Sales; Consumers Enticed by Easier Credit Terms

CarDealership Compact CUV 06In July, consumers continued to replace aging vehicles and take advantage of easier credit, including low-interest rate loans and longer terms. New-vehicle sales totaled 1.313 million units in July and were up 9.4% on a selling-day adjusted basis from July 2013, according to J.D. Power’s Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate in July was 15.8 million units. There was one more selling day in July 2013 than in July 2012.

Large pickups and compacts—especially compact cars and compact crossovers—outpaced most other segments as nearly all U.S. automakers reported higher sales than in July 2012. Some U.S. automakers said they had their best July sales since 2006—before the Great Recession.

On an unadjusted basis, all three Detroit automakers achieved double-digit gains that were bolstered by strong large pickup sales. The redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra contributed to a major sales lift of 16% for GM. The climb in large pickup deliveries was due in part to a revival in housing construction and the commercial energy business. Chrysler’s Ram brand and Ford’s F-Series line posted double-digit gains. Ford said that it sold more than 58,000 F-Series trucks in July.

Honda Group likely posted the best July sales increase among the multinationals—sales were up 21% from a year ago with gains for both Honda and Acura brands. Toyota Group’s sales climbed 17% (up nearly 13% when adjusted for 1 more selling day than the month last year ). Toyota’s Lexus brand sales advanced the most, while Scion deliveries dipped from a year ago. Nissan’s deliveries rose 11% from a year ago, which set a new July record. Nissan brand sales climbed 17% but were offset by a 33% decline from Infiniti. Hyundai Group’s sales edged up in low single digits.

Among the Europeans, Volkswagen Group posted slightly better sales vs. last year with a small decline for its VW brand, offset by double-digit advances from Audi and Porsche. Porsche’s U.S. sales in July were the best ever for that month. BMW Group sales rose nearly 11% with BMW brand deliveries increasing nearly 13%. Daimler Group also posted a double-digit sales gain from July 2012. Jaguar Land Rover’s combined deliveries rose by nearly one-third. Tata Motors’ Volvo brand sales improved by 3% on an unadjusted basis.

Subaru led the independents and the multi-franchise automakers with a 43% year-over-year sales increase, followed by Mazda, which saw sales climb by more than one-fourth from a year ago. Mitsubishi Motors also reported a double-digit increase from July 2012.


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