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July 2019 US Auto Sales Data and Commentary


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July 2019 US Sales As Reported By Auto Manufacturers

With the Detroit-based automakers—accounting for more than 40% of U.S. auto sales—no longer officially reporting monthly sales numbers, the Cox Automotive Industry Insights team continues to deliver the insights they can.

The July forecast called for sales volumes slightly above year-ago levels thanks to an additional July selling day, and for the most part the market delivered. Many of the reporting automakers posted numbers slightly above our forecast, notably Toyota and Honda. We also believe the Detroit Three all delivered sales volumes above year-ago levels, with GM increasing the most and more than our forecast increase of 3.0%.

Transaction prices for new cars continued to rise in July. According to Kelley Blue Book estimates, average transaction price for a new vehicle in the U.S. was $37,169, which is down from last month but up 3.5% from year-ago levels. Read those details here.

Our data also shows traffic on dealer websites was strong in July and the volume of incentives helped deliver sales. Please find below commentary and notes from the Industry Insights team at Cox Automotive. If you would like to speak to anyone from our team about July 2019 U.S. auto sales, please reach out. We’d be happy to help.

From Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist, Cox Automotive
July sales are coming in near where we expected – a slightly slower pace than the YTD average. Clearly, the market remains on solid ground and buyers are still in the new-car market even with higher prices. Strong sales of some small cars may suggest that affordability shoppers have not entirely abandoned the new-vehicle market. Given the strength of used-vehicle prices, and supply constraints limiting selection, more interest in lower priced new vehicles is not surprising.

Our full-year forecast for the new-vehicle market in the U.S. remains at 16.8 million. July’s results will not alter the outlook. And while the Fed’s interest rate cut yesterday will help contain borrowing costs, we do not think the impact in car sales will be much and not for a while.

From Michelle Krebs, executive analyst, Autotrader
Traffic on our Dealer.com-powered website was strong in July and, of course, the team has seen continually increased shopping activity for sport-utility vehicles. However, on Autotrader.com, we’re seeing some resurgence in shopping for cars, particularly compacts like the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Mazda3. That suggests some consumers are looking for affordability and finding it in small cars, a market largely abandoned by Detroit’s automakers. As a result, sales for the two best-selling compact—Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic—were up double digits in July (15% for Corolla and 11% for Civic) to about 30,000 units each.

From Brad Korner, general manager, Cox Automotive Rates and Incentives
We often see a slowdown in the number of incentives available this time of year, as model year changeovers and strong spring sales have dwindled vehicle supply on dealer lots. That was not the case last month. The volume of unique incentive programs ran high in July 2019, as it has all year.

Read Brad’s blog on incentive volume: 2019 is the Summer of Incentives

Fiat Chrysler is joining Ford and GM in ending monthly U.S. sales reports. They all now release quarterly. Automotive News will continue to report on automakers that issue monthly sales data.

U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales, July & YTD
July
2019
July
2018
%
change
7 mos.
2019
7 mos.
2018
%
change
BMW 23,015 21,982 4.7% 179,455 175,368 2.3%
Mini 2,827 4,296 -34.2% 20,410 26,932 -24.2%
Rolls-Royce* 110 108 1.9% 770 755 2%
BMW of N.A. 25,952 26,386 -1.6% 200,635 203,055 -1.2%
Acura 12,759 13,247 -3.7% 86,526 85,900 0.7%
Honda 128,537 125,355 2.5% 831,765 840,526 -1%
American Honda Motor Co. 141,296 138,602 1.9% 918,291 926,426 -0.9%
Genesis 1,586 615 157.9% 11,593 7,877 47.2%
Hyundai brand 57,340 51,137 12.1% 390,668 378,923 3.1%
Hyundai Motor America 58,926 51,752 13.9% 402,261 386,800 4%
Kia Motors America 53,405 53,112 0.6% 358,249 346,675 3.3%
Hyundai-Kia 112,331 104,864 7.1% 760,510 733,475 3.7%
Jaguar 2,020 1,880 7.4% 18,302 16,667 9.8%
Land Rover 6,456 6,209 4% 52,579 50,988 3.1%
Jaguar Land Rover N.A. 8,476 8,089 4.8% 70,881 67,655 4.8%
Mazda N.A. 23,292 24,125 -3.5% 161,847 188,049 -13.9%
McLaren* 180 106 69.8% 1,386 786 76.3%
Mercedes-Benz 27,490 22,955 19.8% 190,911 198,713 -3.9%
Smart USA 56 103 -45.6% 552 753 -26.7%
Mercedes-Benz USA 27,546 23,058 19.5% 191,463 199,466 -4%
Mitsubishi Motors N.A. 8,613 9,950 -13.4% 79,710 77,277 3.1%
Infiniti 8,660 9,747 -11.2% 71,718 81,917 -12.5%
Nissan 90,220 99,045 -8.9% 744,198 807,570 -7.8%
Nissan Group 98,880 108,792 -9.1% 815,916 889,487 -8.3%
Nissan/Mitsubishi 107,493 118,742 -9.5% 895,626 966,764 -7.4%
Subaru of America 64,106 59,426 7.9% 403,631 382,286 5.6%
Lexus 25,025 25,403 -1.5% 160,760 160,403 0.2%
Scion - - - - 2 -100%
Toyota 184,179 183,367 0.4% 1,200,552 1,237,676 -3%
Toyota/Scion 184,179 183,367 0.4% 1,200,552 1,237,678 -3%
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. 209,204 208,770 0.2% 1,361,312 1,398,081 -2.6%
Audi 19,370 19,221 0.8% 120,810 127,163 -5%
Bentley* 169 165 2.4% 1,183 1,147 3.1%
Lamborghini* 232 125 85.6% 1,624 875 85.6%
Porsche 4,956 4,020 23.3% 35,213 33,441 5.3%
VW 31,188 30,520 2.2% 215,796 203,418 6.1%
VW Group Of America 55,915 54,051 3.4% 374,626 366,044 2.3%
Volvo Cars N.A. 8,795 8,622 2% 58,915 56,244 4.7%
Other** 328 321 2.2% 2,296 2,247 2.2%
U.S. LIGHT VEHICLE 784,914 775,162 1.3% 5,401,419 5,490,578 -1.6%
*Estimate
**Reflects Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lotus sales estimates.