Subaru, Chrysler and Nissan Headline Aug. 2014 US Auto Sales.
US auto sales for August 2014 were robust with some surprises in the mix. Toyota, projected to experience a decline for the month, sold more than 246,000 vehicles last month, moving ahead of the Ford Motor Company for second place behind GM. Ford sales rose by about 1 percent; GM sales fell by nearly 1 percent.
Subaru, Chrysler Keep Streaks Alive
The big news, however, came a bit further down the sales line. Subaru, one of the smaller Japanese automakers, continues to break sales records. In August, Subaru hit a new milestone with 50,246 vehicles sold. Sales for the month were up by 22.3 percent and for the year are up nearly 19 percent. It was also the 33rd consecutive month-over-month increase with the Forester leading the way.
Chrysler sales fell just short of the 200,000 unit mark with 198,379 models sold. Sales rose 20 percent for the month, representing the 53rd consecutive month-over-month sales increase. Jeep (up 49 percent) and Ram (up 33 percent) continue to provide the boost that carries the company. Chrysler brand sales rose by 4 percent based on the new 200 sedan.
“Chrysler Group sales soared 20 percent last month resulting in our strongest August sales in 12 years” said Reid Bigland, Head of U.S. Sales. “Our Jeep brand continued its torrid sales pace recording its best August sales ever and our Ram Truck brand contributed with a massive 39 percent sales increase, both helping Chrysler Group achieve its 53rd-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth”
The Nissan brand set a record for the month, topping 125,000 units sold for the first time. Together with Infiniti, 134,388 models went out the door. Nissan brand sales were up on the strength of the Altima, Rogue, Sentra and Versa, rising 15.3 percent for the month. Infiniti sales fell by 22.9 percent.
New Models on Deck
Ford and GM sales have been subdued, as both automakers are set to introduce all-new models that should boost volume significantly. GM has a pair of smaller GMC and Chevrolet pickup trucks set for release this fall and claims 28,000 dealer orders for the Chevy Colorado and 14,000 dealer orders for the GMC Canyon, five times the rate the company had anticipated. Ford will be debuting its next generation and aluminum-body F-150 pickup truck by year-end with the 2015 Ford Mustang also on its way.
Toyota sales rose by 6.3 percent, surprising analysts who were expecting a slight drop for the month. “The industry had its best August in over a decade with sales topping 1.5 million vehicles, said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager. Boosted by standout SUV sales and a record-shattering month for RAV4, Toyota was the number 1 retail manufacturer in August.
Hondas auto sales nearly topped an August record, but fell just short of a record. Still, American Honda sales rose by 0.4 percent on the strength of a record-breaking month of 51,075 Accords sold. The CR-V and Civic both topped 34,000 units as Honda once again relied on its 1-2-3 punch to sustain the brand.
The fundamental strengths of the Honda brand are on full display as the Accord strengthened its position as the best-selling car uniquely driven by retail sales to individual buyers, said Jeff Conrad, Honda Division senior vice president and general manager. Our other core models, Civic, CR-V and Odyssey are also performing well and continue to drive our retail sales leadership in 2014. And the early market response to the redesigned 2015 Fit is a strong indicator of great things to come as supplies improve, added Conrad.
Korean Manufacturers Climb
Hyundai manufacturing is strained to capacity, but the Korean automaker continues to quickly sell everything it produces. Sales finished at 70,003 units, only the second time Hyundai has hit the 70K milestone. Hyundais auto sales rose by 6 percent and are up 2 percent for the year.
Kia was also up for the month, rising by 5.1 percent and is up by nearly 7 percent for the year. Sales of 54,667 units were an August record as the Optima sedan and Soul multipurpose vehicle led the way.
Auto Sales: Best of the Rest
Volkswagen continues to go in the wrong direction as brand sales fell by 12.8 percent. Golf and Golf GTI sales were among the bright spots for the beleaguered brand. Volkswagen needs new product; a refreshed Jetta may not be enough.
Auto sales for other manufacturers were as follows: BMW brand up 11.6 percent, MINI down 21.1 percent for a net increase of 5.4 percent. BMW is on pace to sell more than 300,000 models this year. Mercedes-Benz sales also rose on the strength of a record-breaking 27,192 units sold. M-B sales were up 15 percent; Sprinter sales climbed by 15.6 percent and Smart sales surged by 57.1 percent.
Volvo sales fell by 10.4 percent, Jaguar Land Rover dropped by 14.8 percent and Tesla sales plunged by 17.9 percent. Porsche sales climbed by 36.5 percent. For the month, sales finished up 5.5 percent to 1.586 million units and are on track to approach 17 million units for the year.
Auto sales data based on manufacturer-supplied news.