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August 2017 Auto Sales: Slide More Than Expected


Between 300,000 and 500,000 vehicles were damaged in the Houston market alone from Hurricane Harvey, Cox Automotive projects. While the devastating hurricane and flooding certainly brought car and light truck sales to a standstill in that part of the country before the end of August, the inference is that there will be a bump in sales in the coming months as those vehicles are replaced.

Across the country, car and truck sales continued to level off, and a projected Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of 16.1-million appears to be a few hundred thousand below analysts’ projections. Incentives were up slightly, according to TrueCar.com.

Some automakers did pretty well as others languished. General Motors had a particularly good month thanks mostly to several new Chevrolet and GMC sport/utility models, while Ford Motor Company continued its slide, mitigated only by a very good month for its highly profitable F-Series pickup trucks. GM’s long-term goal is for Chevrolet to eventually become the nation’s number-one car and truck brand, and in August, it was just 817 units short of number-two Toyota, though still 5,182 behind number-one Ford. Chevy surely will need those new ’19-model pickup trucks before it gets close to Ford.

Subaru had its best month ever with strong Outback and Crosstrek sales, though Forester suffered. It outsold Hyundai, which declined 25 percent compared with its best ever August in 2016, by 8,905 units, and Kia by 9,892 units. Subaru is now up one spot, to eighth place, behind Hyundai and ahead of Kia, for the year so far.

And so, to the numbers …

1. General Motors: 275,552, up 7.5 percent.

  • Chevrolet was up 11.4 percent, to 196,007, GMC was up 12.4 percent, to 47,718, Buick fell 22.5 percent, to 16,811 and Cadillac fell 8.1 percent, to 15,016.
  • Fueled by the new model, the Chevy Equinox jumped 84.9 percent, to 28,245. Malibu was up 35.9 percent, to 22,725.
  • Chevy Cruze dropped 26.1 percent, to 16,500.
  • Silverado was up 3.9 percent, to 54,448 while GMC’s Sierra was off 1.3 percent, to 17,254. Combined sales totaled 71,702.
  • Colorado sales rose 11 percent, to 10,256 and Canyon dropped 19.8 percent, to 2,698, for a combined 12,954.
  • Buick Envision was up 78.1 percent to 2,726 and Encore sales rose 31.5 percent, to 7,682, though all other Buick models were down, including LaCrosse, off 25 percent, to 1,198.
  • Cadillac XT5 was up 46.8 percent, to 7,236 and Escalade ESV rose 1.8 percent, to 1,191, though all other Caddys were down, including Escalade, off 3.4 percent to 1,803, and CT6, which plummeted 31.1 percent, to 856.
  • Corvette was nearly halved, off 42.9 percent to 1,748. Chevy Volt was off 30.6 percent, to 1,445 and the brand sold 2,107 Bolts. Sales of the Bolt EV, at 11,670 year-to-date, are catching Volt sales, at 13,895 so far.

2. Toyota Motor Sales: 227,625, up 6.8 percent.

  • Toyota division was up 8 percent, to 196,824 and Lexus was off 0.4 percent, to 30,801.
  • With a new model hitting showrooms, Camry jumped 12.7 percent to 37,051, though Toyota moved a whopping 43,265 RAV4s, up 30.4 percent.
  • Corolla slid 14 percent, to 27,644 and Prius fell 26.4 percent, to 9,551.
  • Toyota 86/Scion FR-S was off 8.2 percent, to 586.
  • Tacoma was up 13.1 percent, to 17,394, while Tundra was up 4.5 percent, to 10,320.
  • Highlander was up 25.9 percent, to 18,845. Toyota sold 2,901 C-HRs.
  • Lexus ES was up 9.7 percent, to 6,404 and IS dropped 30.6 percent, to 2,445.
  • Perennial Lexus bestseller RX was up 7.1 percent, to 10,391. NX ticked up 2 percent, to 5,517.

3. Ford Motor Company: 209,879, off 2.1 percent.

  • F-Series is Ford sales, and reported a steep 15 percent gain, to 77,007. The Ford brand sold 201,189, off 2 percent, and Lincoln was down 5.8 percent, to 8,708.
  • Mustang ceded Pony Car Wars to Dodge Challenger, which reported sales of 6,253, up 19 percent. Ford Mustang sales dropped 33.3 percent, to 5,535 and Chevy Camaro slid 10.5 percent, to 5,017.
  • Escape sales were down 15.8 percent, to 23,631 and Fusion was off 8.8 percent, to 17,378.
  • Focus sales rose, though, by 9.2 percent, to 12,850, as Explorer fell 0.9 percent, to 18,125.
  • Transit sales slid 15.2 percent, to 10,172.
  • All Lincolns were down, with sales leaders MKX of 10.3 percent, to 2,371, MKC off 4.4 percent, to 2,343 and MKZ down 21.6 percent, to 2,160.
  • Lincoln sold 816 Continentals, 40 fewer units than Cadillac CT6.

4. FiatChrysler: 176,033, off 11 percent.

  • Jeep took a 15 percent hit, to 73,191, though sales of the outgoing Wrangler were up 10 percent, to 16,808. Grand Cherokee was up 28 percent, to 23,572 while Cherokee fell 50 percent, to 11,874.
  • Compass was up 5 percent, to 9,305 and Renegade was up 10 percent, to 8,974.
  • Dodge was off 2 percent, to 43,608, ahead of Ram by 286 units. The holdover Caravan minivan was up 62 percent, to 17,109.
  • Charger sales rose 11 percent, to 9,589, Durango was off 13 percent, to 4,522 and Journey fell 52 percent, to 5,665.
  • Viper was up 2 percent, or one unit, to 59.
  • Ram was off 2 percent, to 43,322, with Ram pickup off 7 percent, to 37,608. ProMaster was up 45 percent, to 4,589.
  • Chrysler dropped 33 percent, to 12,652. Pacifica was up 2 percent, to 7,621, and 300 was down 23 percent, to 4,073.
  • Fiat dropped 23 percent, to 2,120, with 500 off 25 percent, to 937.
  • Fiat 500X was off 27 percent, to 660 and the 124 Spider fell 17 percent, to 382.
  • Alfa Romeo was up 2,981 percent, to 1,140, consisting of 916 Giulias, 203 Stelvios and 21 4cs (off 43 percent).

5. American Honda, 146,015, off 2.4 percent.

  • Honda fell 1.8 percent, to 132,883, while Acura was off 7.8 percent, to 13,132.
  • Civic was up 11.2 percent, to 36,482. CR-V, off 15.2 percent to 30,960, edged Accord, off 0.3 percent, to 30,019.
  • Pilot was up 3.2 percent, to 9,568 and Odyssey was off 12.8 percent, to 8,709.
  • RDX was Acura’s bestseller, up 11.2 percent to 4,679, while MDX was off 11.7 percent, to 4,532.
  • TLX was off 33 percent, to 2,410. ILX was up 17.7 percent, to 1,380.

6. Nissan Group: 108,326, off 13.1 percent.

  • Nissan division was off 14.8 percent, to 97,340, and Infiniti was up 5.2 percent, to 10,986.
  • Bestseller Nissan Rogue dropped 9.5 percent, to 29,84 and Altima lose 25.2 percent, at 14,694. Sentra was up 7.2 percent, to 15,285.
  • Pathfinder plummeted 35.7 percent, to 3,726. Titan was up 182.1 percent, to 3,521.
  • QX60 led the Infiniti division, up 13.1 percent, to 3,697. Q50 fell 32.1 percent, to 2,541. Q60 was up 308.3 percent, to 690.
  • Infiniti sold 806 QX30s, compared with 74 shortly after its launch last year.

7. Subaru: 63,215, up 4.6 percent.

  • Outback was up 17.1 percent, to 20,327.
  • Forester took a 21-percent hit, to 15,528.
  • Crosstrek, bolstered by the new model, was up 45.9 percent, to 12,823.
  • Legacy was off 27.4 percent, to 4,210, and WRX/STI was down 20.9 percent, to 2,528. Impreza was up 40.3 percent, to 7,462.
  • BRZ sales rose 11.6 percent, to 337. Combined sales for the joint-venture sports car, with Toyota 86/Scion FR-S, was 923.

8. Hyundai: 54,310, off 25 percent.

  • Though this is coming off a record August in 2016, it’s losing ground to Subaru, which is 31,005 units behind Hyundai for the year-to-date.
  • Hyundai brand sold 52,507 last month, off 25.5 percent, and Genesis sold 1,803, up 20.4 percent over Genesis/Equus models last year.
  • Cars still lead Hyundai. Its bestseller was the Elantra, off 27 percent, to 15,127.
  • Santa Fe was next, though also off, by 24.4 percent, to 11,474.
  • Sonata was down 27 percent, to 10,886.
  • Tucson was up by 28.2 percent, to 9,757.
  • Genesis G80 was off 0.9 percent, to 1,484. Genesis sold 319 G90s.

9. Kia: 53,323, off 1.7 percent.

  • Forte had its strongest August ever, up 28.7 percent, to 10,693.
  • Soul was bestseller, though, up 15.5 percent, to 14,151. Sportage sales dropped 12.7 percent, to 6,014.
  • Sorento was up 4.7 percent, to 8,934 and Optima dropped 25.3 percent, to 7,072.
  • Kia sold 2,677 Niros.

10. Volkswagen: 32,015, up 9 percent.

  • The new Atlas SUV continues to ramp up, with 2,807 sold last month.
  • VW sold 2,516 of its new Tiguans and 1,005 of the old ones, the latter down 69.6 percent.
  • Jetta had a very good month, up 5.9 percent, to 12,409.
  • Golf was up 23.2 percent, to 5,951.
  • Passat dropped 22.7 percent, to 5,714.

11. Mercedes-Benz USA: 29,183, off 8.5 percent.

  • The Mercedes brand was off 10.7 percent, to 25,373, while Benz van sales rose 13.6 percent, to 3,581. Smart shrunk 35.1 percent, to 229.
  • Mercedes cited shortages of several models. C-Class was off 13.4 percent, to 5,304 and E-Class/CLS was down 26.8 percent, to 3,710.
  • GLA-Class jumped 88.5 percent, to 1,994, while GLC slid 4.6 percent, to 4,498. GLE was off just 0.2 percent, to 3,750, and GLS was down 10.4 percent, to 2,610.

12. BMW Group: 28,001, off 8.2 percent.

  • BMW fell 7.7 percent, to 23,553. Mini was off 10.5 percent, to 4,448.
  • The 3-to-4 Series shift continues, with 3 Series off 8.6 percent, to 5,379 and 4 Series jumping 49.3 percent, to 3,412.
  • The 5 Series rose 37.6 percent, to 3,587.
  • X5 sales dropped 25.3 percent, to 3,079, and X3 plummeted 37.5 percent, to 2918.
  • Countryman was Mini’s bestseller, up 4 percent, to 1,365. Clubman dropped 28 percent, to 1,103.
  • The Mini 2-Door Hardtop was up 10.1 percent, to 848 while the 4-Door fell 23.9 percent, to 639.

13. Mazda: 25,846, off 4.7 percent.

  • CX-5 was up 9.6 percent, to 11,631. CX-9 was off 3.3 percent, to 1,801.
  • CX-3 sales slipped 3.8 percent, to 1,436 and Mazda3 was off 7.4 percent, to 6,754.
  • MX-5 Miata had another strong month, up 9.5 percent, to 901. Combined, the Miata/Fiata combo totaled 1,283.

14. Audi: 19,811, up 2.8 percent.

  • Q5 is sales leader again, up 7.9 percent, to 4,767.
  • Q7 had a 35.2-percent gain, to 3,174.
  • A4 was off 7.4 percent, to 2,746 and A3 fell 29.1 percent, to 1,904.
  • A3 e-tron, counted separately, was off 63 percent, to 129.
  • A5 jumped 207 percent, to 2,603.
  • A6 was down 29.6 percent, to 1,380.

15. Jaguar/Land Rover: 9,421, up 1 percent.

  • Land Rover was up 5 percent, to 6,320, while Jaguar slid 6 percent, to 3,101.
  • Range Rover was up 14 percent, to 1,409. Range Rover also sold 413 Velars.
  • Discovery Sport was up 17 percent, to 1,211.
  • Jaguar F-Pace was up 38 percent, to 1,681.

16. Mitsubishi: 8,164, up 11.3 percent.

  • Outlander Sport was up 12.7 percent, to 2,898, and Outlander was up 29.4 percent, to 2,730.
  • Mirage was up 1 percent, to 1,557, and Lancer was off 10.1 percent, to 979.

17. Volvo: 7,994, up 4.1 percent.

  • The XC90 continues to lead, up 0.3 percent, to 2,869.
  • XC60 was up 20.1 percent, to 2,218.
  • S90 was up 373.2 percent, to 918. Volvo sold 32 new V90s and 253 V90 Cross Country models.

18. Porsche: 4,709, off 9.1 percent.

  • Macan sales dropped 28.8 percent, to 1,641.
  • Porsche’s second-bestseller last month was the 911 line, up 35.6 percent, to 1,016.
  • Cayenne was off 28.1 percent, to 869 and Panamera was up 25.2 percent, to 557.
  • Cayman/Boxster sales rose 32 percent, to 626.

Luxury/Premium Brands, YTD:

1. Mercedes-Benz 213,242
2. BMW 194,604
3. Lexus 193,463
4. Audi 141,606
5. Acura 101,180

Sports Cars and EVs, YTD:

1. Chevrolet Corvette 17,385
2. Chevrolet Volt 13,895
3. Chevrolet Bolt 11,670
4. Nissan Leaf 9,685
5. Mazda Miata 8,871
6. Toyota 86/Scion FR-S 4,977

Midsize cars, YTD:

1. Toyota Camry 238,373
2. Honda Accord 221,013
2. Nissan Altima 183,292
4. Ford Fusion 138,489
5. Chevrolet Malibu 117,173

Compact CUVs, YTD:

1. Toyota RAV4 269,835
2. Nissan Rogue 257,958
3. Honda CR-V 249,997
4. Ford Escape 208,303
5. Chevrolet Equinox 185,233



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