August 2014 U.S. New Auto Sales Defy Analysts Flat Sales Predictions


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Washington DC September 4, 2014; The AIADA reported that a perfect storm of factors combined to defy analysts who predicted flat U.S. auto sales compared to August 2013. Low fuel prices, a stabilizing economy, an early Labor Day, and cheap credit brought consumers to dealerships in droves. Hyundai’s sales were up 5.9 percent, Mazda’s were up 11.4 percent, and Toyota’s sales rose 5.7 percent. Volkswagen continued its 2014 sales slide with a drop of 12.8 percent from August 2013.

“The U.S. auto retail market is even more resilient than analysts predicted,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “Dealers are entering the final third of 2014 confident in their new vehicle models and a healthy economy.”

Internationals Dominate August Market Share

Led by Toyota, international brands occupied a 56.5 percent share of the August auto market, up from 55.9 percent last month and 53.8 percent in June. Together, they sold 895,602 vehicles, an improvement over 802,355 vehicles sold in July and 764,029 sold in June.

At 48 percent, Asian brands held the largest share of the U.S. auto market, improving on the 46.9 percent share of the market they held in July. The share represented sales of 760,533 vehicles, up from 673,783 vehicles last month. Sales for Asian brands were up 7 percent over sales in August 2013 and have improved 6.2 percent for the year-to-date. European brands captured 8.5 percent of the market, down from the 9 percent share they held in July. However, sales were up as European brands sold 132,547 vehicles, up from 128,572 in July, and experienced a 1.9 percent increase over last August and the year-to-date. Domestic brands finished August with 43.5 percent of the market, down from 44.1 percent in July.

Top Ten List Highlights International Nameplates

International brands continued to sell some of the most popular cars on American roads. Just as they did in July, models manufactured by Toyota, Honda, and Nissan represented seven of the month’s top ten selling vehicles. In second place overall, the Honda Accord unseated the Toyota Camry as the most popular car in the U.S. Sales of the midsize car were up 32.5 percent over last August. The Toyota Camry moved to fourth place.

In sixth place, the Toyota RAV4 was up 51.5 percent over last August. The Toyota Corolla/Matrix also experienced a successful month, logging a ninth place finish with sales up 23.2 percent over last August. In seventh and eighth places, the CR-V and Civic rounded out Honda’s presence on the month’s top ten list. The Nissan Altima maintained its position in tenth place with sales up 3.8 percent from last August.

North American Facilities Provide August Vehicle Supply

North American manufacturing facilities contributed to the vehicle supply in August. International nameplate brands sourced 573,808 vehicles from their North American manufacturing units, up from 504,229 last month. These facilities provided 319,452 Asian cars, representing 41.6 percent of all cars sold in the U.S. in August. Likewise, they provided 219,076 Asian nameplate trucks, representing 26.8 percent of all trucks sold here. European brands sourced 23,740 cars (3.1 percent of all cars sold) and 11,540 trucks (1.4 percent of all trucks sold) from their North American operations.

Outlook

AutoData Corp. estimates the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for August was 17.53 million units versus 15.94 million units a year ago. This is the highest reported SAAR since January 2006. Industrywide, 1,586,015 light vehicles were sold in August. Sales for all brands, unadjusted for business days, were up 5.5 percent from August 2013 and 5.1 percent year over year.

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