Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Hyundai and Ford all posted healthy U.S. sales gains for July, setting the stage for the industry to begin the second half of the year on a strong note.
With a 5 percent increase, Ford more than doubled the pace of its first-half advance. Honda and GM had their biggest jumps since January. Nissan set July records for the company and its namesake brand. Fiat Chrysler extended its streak of monthly sales gains to 64.
Nissan Group’s U.S. deliveries rose 7.8 percent to 130,872 on strong sales of SUVs and crossovers. The Nissan division was up 6.7 percent. The Murano and Altima also set sales records for the month, Nissan said. At Infiniti, sales rose 22 percent to 10,433.
Honda Motor Co. posted an increase of 7.7 percent on sales of 146,324 Honda and Acura vehicles. At Hyundai, deliveries hit a July record of 71,013 vehicles, an increase of 6 percent.
Subaru continued to outpace the market, with U.S. sales rising 11 percent to 50,517 in July — a monthly record. The brand’s U.S. deliveries have now advanced 44 consecutive months year over year.
Ford Motor was boosted by a 21 percent gain at Lincoln, while Ford Division was up 4.4 percent. F-series pickups advanced 4.8 percent – their first year-over-year increase since January.
General Motors rode increases at Chevrolet and Buick to a 6.4 percent overall jump. Winning divisions were Chevrolet, Buick and GMC, while Cadillac fell. Fiat Chrysler’s U.S. sales, aided by another strong showing by the Jeep brand.
Jeep deliveries jumped 23 percent, a July record. Sales rose 1.2 percent at Ram, while volume advanced 10 at the Chrysler brand. Sales slipped 13 percent at Dodge and 15 percent at Fiat.
Toyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. sales rose 0.6 percent, with weaker Toyota, Scion and Lexus car volume offset by stronger truck demand. Lexus deliveries jumped 9.1 percent. Lexus also topped Mercedes-Benz and BMW in U.S. luxury sales last month.
Light trucks and crossovers continue to dominate vehicle mix across the industry as gasoline prices remain low and a favorable credit environment make it easier for consumers to purchase larger vehicles. Many automakers continued or launched summer clearance deals or other promotions in July.
Analyst estimates were that average industry incentives fell 1.2 percent to $2,849 in July from a year earlier. The biggest spenders on incentives last month per vehicle were GM ($3,983); Fiat Chrysler ($3,413); Nissan ($3,168); Volkswagen Group ($3,138) Ford ($2,678); Hyundai ($2,546); Kia ($2,490); Toyota ($2,034) and Honda ($1,935).
When the smoke had cleared and everyone reported July sales, July 2015 came in at 1,510,941 versus July 2014 at 1,435,502 and increase of 5.3 percent. Year-to-date sales for 2015 topped 10,510,941 versus year-to-date 2014, which finished at 9,600,000 sales.