General Motors was the only one of the Detroit three to post an August sales gain, with the numbers moving lower for both Ford and Fiat Chrysler, according to data just out this morning.
Retail deliveries picked up 4 percent at the General and if one adds in commercial deliveries, GM posted a 7.5 percent sales increase.
“We had a very strong month, and grew our retail and commercial fleet business on the strength of robust crossover sales at all four of our brands,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “But our focus is on the unfolding crisis in Texas and what we can do to help our customers, employees, dealers and everyone else impacted by the flooding.” A sentiment echoed by other car makers.
Chevrolet reported its best August since 2004 and best crossover month ever. Leading the charge were the Traverse, Equinox, and Trax.
But over at Ford, sales fell 2.1 percent despite a 15 per cent increase in demand for the F-150 pickup, particularly the high-trim level Super Duty trucks. Ford cars were off 9 percent while SUV demand declined 11.6 percent. Lincoln sales were down 7.6 percent last month.
Jeep Compass and Renegade models recorded their best August sales ever but overall Fiat Chrysler reported sales fell 11 percent, partially due to a planned cut back in fleet sales.
August was not kind to Nissan with total group sales falling 13.1 percent with car sales falling across the board with the exception of the Sentra and Leaf models. In the truck category, sales were generally lower with the exception of the Titan pickup and the Armada.
On a daily selling rate basis, Toyota said sales increased 2.8 percent with the RAV4 posting an all-time record for back-to-back monthly sales.
Year over year sales rose 9 percent at VW with demand for the redesigned Tiguan and new Atlas SUV just starting to gain traction, as it were. Interesting that sales of the Beetle coupe were lower but more people took home the convertible model.
Audi posted a gain of 2.8 percent as the Q7 and the new Q5 and A5 Sportback helped drive the numbers higher. “We are in the midst of our biggest product rollout in our U.S. history and consumers are responding to the designs, the technology and the brand’s reputation for dependability,” said Cian O’Brien, chief operating officer, Audi of America.
Kia sales declined roughly one percent.
The average price for a new vehicle rose $243 last month to $34,648, an increase of seven tenths of one percent from one year earlier, according to Kelley Blue Book. It pointed out that the gain is “far lower” than the 2 to 3 percent increases in the first half of the year. When it came to trucks and mid-size cars, prices actually went down last month, KBB said.