[Update: we have updated the figures with accurate Tesla sales estimates]
After see-sawing for most of the year, the market delivered a surprisingly stable performance in August, with sales up by 1.0%. However, because of the serious sales decline in July, the YTD growth is still just 1.4%, meaning that it’s far from guaranteed that 2018 will end up being a better year than 2017. Despite a lot of dynamism
coming from brands like Jeep and Tesla, the market’s fate will probably be driven more by whether General Motors and Ford can rekindle customers’ interest in their offerings.
Seven out of the Top 10 brands registered positive sales growth in August, up from four in July
From among these brands the two with the fastest growth rate were both FCA brands: Ram saw its sales grow by over 26%, as the new pickup sales finally came fully on-stream, while Jeep once again saw growth of almost 20%
Also doing very well was Hyundai, which registered double-digit growth and managed to push itself into the black YTD
The largest decline came courtesy of brands belonging to General Motors, whose almost 13% decline meant that its lead over the Ford brand shrank by half compared to 2017
Outside of the Top 10, only two mainstream mainstream brands eked out positive sales growth in August: Volkswagen and Mitsubishi, both growing considerably slower in the summer month than over the course of the year so far
The remaining mainstream brands all saw their sales fall, with the usual suspects all present and accounted for (Dodge, Mini , Chrysler, Fiat and Smart), with only Mazda truly disappointing by seeing its sales slide by the smallest amount (relative to an almost 10% YTD growth)
Among luxury brands, Tesla‘s sales took off remarkably thanks to the Model 3, with the brand quintupling (!) its sales since this time last year, allowing it to jump Audi for fourth in the luxury brand standings
Audi continued its remarkable 100+ month sales rise wave, getting to within 3,000 units of its closest Top 3 Luxury competitor, BMW, all the while the leading luxury brands Lexus, and especially Mercedes-Benz, suffered sales declines
Acura was next from among the luxury brands, and did well to register growth of almost 15%, which brought it close to moving up from YTD sales decline to growth
Other than Tesla, the luxury brand that grew most was Alfa Romeo, sales for which practically doubled on August’17, with double-digit growth also coming from Volvo and Land Rover
By comparison, August was not a great month for the likes of Porsche and Maserati, both of which saw sales fall by 13%, or Jaguar, for which they fell by over 20%
Still, this is nothing compared to Genesis, which once again saw its sales fall by two-thirds relative to last year!
Among the exclusive brands Bentley was the only brand to register a sales decline (of over 22%), while McLaren once again posted impressive growth of over 40%
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