August Vehicle Sales Results – Car Pro News

Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the Volkswagen brand and the Detroit 3 posted solid sales gains for August, signaling the auto industry’s recovery remains on track despite sluggish economic growth and widespread consumer uncertainty.
The VW brand led the way with a 63 percent jump, its 12th straight month of increases of at least 25 percent.
Honda Motor Co. reported August U.S. sales of 131,321 units, a gain of 60 percent from 2011, when it suffered from quake-related inventory shortages. Volume at the Honda brand jumped 58 percent to 115,675 units; Acura deliveries climbed 73 percent to 15,646 units.
Toyota also continued its recovery from an earthquake-hampered 2011 with a 46 percent rise. Toyota division sales rose 45 percent and Lexus deliveries climbed 34 percent. At Scion, sales advanced 112 percent last month.
Advances at General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group ranged from 10 percent to 14 percent.
Chrysler and GM forecast the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for August will reach 14.6 million units — the highest since April 2008 and well above most analysts’ estimates. Chrysler said the SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rate) forecast includes medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
August sales at the VW brand surged to 41,011 as the automaker continued to benefit from redesigned models in key segments, notably small and mid-sized sedans.
Toyota’s 46 percent increase followed advances of 60 percent in June and 87 percent in May.
Chrysler, helped by a 21 percent gain in car deliveries and an 18 percent increase in Ram brand volume, produced a 14 percent increase.
Ford Motor reported a 13 percent increase in sales last month, with retail volume up 19 percent over August 2011. Sales rose 13 percent at the Ford division and 2 percent at Lincoln. The company said it also plans to boost fourth-quarter North American output by 7 percent — or 50,000 vehicles — to 725,000 over 2011 levels.
GM — aided by Olympics advertising and a Chevrolet promotion — said its sales rose 10 percent. GM’s retail sales rose 11 percent while fleet deliveries climbed 6 percent.
Nissan Motor Co. said its U.S. sales for August totaled 98,515, up 8 percent from a year ago, while Subaru climbed 36 percent. Hyundai Motor Co. said it set an all-time August sales record of 61,099 units for the Hyundai brand, an increase of four percent.
At Jaguar Land Rover, sales jumped 31 percent last month, helped by new models such as the Range Rover Evoque.
August marked Chrysler’s 29th consecutive monthly increase in U.S. sales, though the gains have slowed over the last two months from their torrid pace early this year.
The automaker continues to benefit from new or refreshed models, notably a stronger passenger car lineup, as well as generous incentives, fleet shipments and easing credit terms.
Chrysler said volume rose 25 percent at the Chrysler brand, 34 percent at Fiat, 13 percent at Dodge and 5 percent at Jeep.
Sales of the all-new Dodge Dart compact sedan totaled 3,045 units, the automaker said.
Chrysler’s U.S. sales have advanced 26 percent this year, with car volume up 49 percent and truck deliveries rising 18 percent.
Light-vehicle demand is forecast to rise 18 percent last month compared with August 2011, based on a survey of nine analysts by Bloomberg.
The SAAR for August was forecast to accelerate to 14.2 million from 14.1 million in July and 12.5 million a year earlier, according to Bloomberg’s poll of analysts.
Pent-up demand, consumer discounts, new models, fleet deliveries, more favorable credit and low financing rates are aiding light-vehicle sales.
In some cases, automakers are also offering aggressive incentive programs that reward dealers for selling more cars and light trucks. estimates industry incentives averaged $2,457 last month, down 2 percent from July and off 6 percent from August 2011. Chrysler, GM and Nissan offered some of the biggest deals in August, while Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda were less generous with discounts, TrueCar said.
“Underlying consumer demand remains solid,” TrueCar analyst Jesse Toprak said, pointing to falling discounts and rising transaction prices compared to August 2011. “It could not be a better environment for automakers.”
U.S. light-vehicle demand has increased 14 percent to 8.43 million units this year through July.
While some analysts say the sales pace could slow in the second half compared with early in the year, the industry remains on track to produce sales of 14 million units or more in 2012.
The SAAR has topped 14 million each month this year except for January and May.
Industry sales have advanced each year since 2009, when sales plunged to a 27-year low of 10.4 million.


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