US sales: August 2017, brands

The decline in the US car market continued with a 1.6% decline in sales, despite August this year having one more sales day than last year. Despite the fact that some of the fall may be attributed to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which hit the US towards the end of the month, it is clear that the market is not going to pick up anytime soon. The poor performance in August caused the SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) figure to drop to 16.13 million vehicles, the lowest figure in over three years.

August’17 Highlights:

  • After upsetting the status quo in July Toyota is back in second spot behind Ford, though the gap between the two, at around 3,500 cars, is about a tenth of what it was this time last year, with Toyota sales rising by 11.5%, compared to a 1.9% fall at Ford
  • Things looked much better over at Chevrolet, which after recording a dismal 15.3% sales drop in July bounced back with an 11.4% sales rise in August, which put the brand where it was last year – right behind Toyota
  • There were only two other brands in the Top 10 who saw their sales rise in August: Subaru, who on the back of a 4.6% sales rise bettered its previous monthly sales record from December 2016, and GMC, which recorded a great 12.4% sales rise

  • Despite recording a 1.8% decline in sales, and moving to a YTD net sales decline in August, Honda handily outsold its closest rival, Nissan, to claim fourth in the YTD standings just as it had done at this point last year – aided by Nissan’s 14.8% decline in sales
  • Sales fell even faster over at Jeep (15.4% decline) and Hyundai (25.7% decline), making Kia‘s 1.7% decline in August appear small by comparison
  • Outside the Top 10 things again looked grim for mainstream manufacturers, with only two brands recording positive growth: Mitsubishi saw its sales rise 11.3%, while VW, which after a sales decline in July bounced back with 9.0% sales growth in August
  • By comparison, the list of mainstream losers is long, beginning with those who saw their sales slide just a bit (FCA’s Dodge and Ram, Mazda), through those for which the decline was in the low double-digits (Mini, down 10.5%), all the way to those like Fiat (down 22.4%), Buick (down 22.5%), Chrysler (down 32.5%) and Smart (down 35.1%)
  • August again was not a great month for higher volume luxury brands, with the biggest ones all recording falling sales: Lexus saw its sales fall by 0.4%, Mercedes-Benz by 8.2%, BMW by 7.7%, Cadillac by 8.1%, and Acura by 7.8%; the only exceptions were Audi, whose sales were up 2.8%, and Infiniti, with sales up 5.2%

  • Further down the luxury sales table things were mixed: while Maserati saw its sales rise by 15.1%, Genesis by 9.8%, Land Rover by 4.8% and Volvo by 4.1%, there were quite a few brands who saw their sales fall: Jaguar will be disappointed to see its sales fall by 6.0%, Porsche saw its sales by 9.1%, while estimated sales at Tesla fell by 18.9%
  • Even though it’s impossible to compare its sales growth to last year, before the Giulia and Stelvio reached the market, it is reasonable to think that Alfa Romeo will hope that its sales rise above the 1,000 or so cars per month mark soon, something that should be possible while sales of the crossover Stelvio hit full steam (they only began in June this year)
  • Among the exclusive brands only Rolls-Royce and McLaren recorded positive sales growth in August: 11.8% and 21.4%, respectively
  • Ferrari saw its sales fall by 7.2%, Lamborghini saw their sales fall by 15.1%, but it’s Bentley that posted the highest loss of 46.6% (if you look at Bentley’s monthly sales overall, though, you’ll notice that this is misleading – it was August’16 that was an abnormally good month for Bentley, and not that August’17 was a particularly bad one)

Brand ranking

Monthly YTD
# Model Aug’17 Aug’16 Δ # 2017 2016 Δ
a1 Ford 200,321 204,168 -1.9% a1 1,628,824 1,774,211 -8.2%
a2 Toyota 196,816 176,560 11.5% a2 1,411,194 1,364,996 3.4%
a3 Chevrolet 196,007 175,965 11.4% a3 1,316,387 1,361,675 -3.3%
a4 Honda 132,883 135,325 -1.8% a4 987,701 987,812 0.0%
a5 Nissan 97,340 114,199 -14.8% a5 955,340 969,865 -1.5%
a6 Jeep 73,191 86,468 -15.4% a6 548,833 633,845 -13.4%
a7 (1) Subaru 63,215 60,418 4.6% a8 (1) 423,728 391,969 8.1%
a8 (1) Kia 53,323 54,248 -1.7% a9 (1) 405,462 442,544 -8.4%
a9 (2) Hyundai 52,419 70,518 -25.7% a7 441,279 519,581 -15.1%
b10 (2) GMC 47,718 42,440 12.4% b11 358,305 348,164 2.9%
b11 Dodge 43,608 44,340 -1.7% b12 (2) 335,852 351,610 -4.5%
b12 (2) Ram 43,322 44,426 -2.5% b10 (2) 367,007 345,467 6.2%
b13 (2) Volkswagen 32,015 29,384 9.0% b14 (1) 220,344 207,156 6.4%
b14 Lexus 30,801 30,938 -0.4% b17 (3) 193,560 210,392 -8.0%
b15 (2) Mercedes-Benz 28,954 31,556 -8.2% b13 235,381 241,890 -2.7%
b16 Mazda 25,846 26,109 -1.0% b16 (1) 194,559 199,378 -2.4%
b17 BMW 23,553 25,531 -7.7% b15 (1) 194,604 204,744 -5.0%
b18 (1) Audi 19,811 19,264 2.8% b19 (1) 141,606 134,562 5.2%
b19 (1) Buick 16,811 21,678 -22.5% b18 (1) 143,093 148,845 -3.9%
b20 (1) Cadillac 15,016 16,346 -8.1% b23 (1) 98,316 103,918 -5.4%
b21 (1) Acura 13,132 14,246 -7.8% b21 101,180 106,914 -5.4%
b22 (2) Chrysler 12,652 18,753 -32.5% b20 (2) 128,050 175,220 -26.9%
b23 Infiniti 10,986 10,439 5.2% b22 (1) 100,969 85,362 18.3%
b24 Lincoln 8,708 9,234 -5.7% b24 73,920 71,629 3.2%
b25 (1) Mitsubishi 8,164 7,336 11.3% b25 70,765 67,160 5.4%
b26 (1) Volvo 7,994 7,682 4.1% b26 49,066 52,786 -7.0%
b27 Land Rover 6,320 6,031 4.8% b27 (1) 48,074 48,754 -1.4%
b28 (1) Porsche 4,709 5,181 -9.1% b28 (1) 36,178 35,767 1.1%
b29 (1) Mini 4,448 4,969 -10.5% b29 (1) 31,048 34,887 -11.0%
b30 (1) Tesla* 3,800 4,685 -18.9% b30 (1) 27,045 26,419 2.4%
b31 (1) Jaguar 3,101 3,298 -6.0% b31 (2) 26,932 17,687 52.3%
b32 (1) Fiat 2,120 2,732 -22.4% b32 19,046 23,221 -18.0%
b33 (1) Genesis 1,644 1,497 9.8% b33 (4) 13,204 1,497 782.0%
b34 (8) Alfa Romeo 1,140 37 2981.1% b35 (7) 6,084 389 1464.0%
b35 Maserati 1,103 958 15.1% b34 8,884 6,971 27.4%
b36 (2) Ferrari 231 249 -7.2% b37 (1) 1,652 1,528 8.1%
b37 Smart 229 353 -35.1% b36 (1) 2,394 3,439 -30.4%
b38 (2) Bentley 213 399 -46.6% b38 1,516 1,192 27.2%
b39 Rolls-Royce 114 102 11.8% b39 (1) 914 688 32.8%
b40 (1) McLaren 85 70 21.4% b41 550 544 1.1%
b41 (1) Lamborghini 73 86 -15.1% b40 (1) 658 718 -8.4%

* estimates

About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. What on earth is happening to Hyundai?

    Sales are collapsing!

    • Krzysztof Wozniak says:

      @Rob – if you look at the model breakdown (latest one we have up online is July, though the August article will come out soon: http://carsalesbase.com/us-sales-july-2017-models/), you’ll see that it’s the collapse of the mid-sized sedan segment that’s hurting Hyundai most, with the latest badly-received Sonata almost a third down on 2016 so far, as well as the new Elantra being unable to build on the success of the previous generation. The only shining light is the Tucson, but that car alone is not enough to lift Hyundai out of the gloom. A lot will ride on how well the upcoming Kona and Sonata facelift do, as well as the next Santa Fe, though that is still probably a year away from market

  2. Great emails. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

    • Krzysztof Wozniak says:

      @R – thanks, it’s actually a really fun job, especially knowing that we have a good and passionate following!

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

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