US auto sales rebounded in May and June of 2020, but not nearly enough to overcome a market collapse in March and April. In the second quarter, car dealers delivered 33% fewer vehicles than in the same period of last year, with first half figures down 24% on 2019. Pickup trucks, the industry’s life line in terms of volume and profit, greatly outperformed the market with a decline of just 10.4%. This gives them a market share of 21%, and when excluding luxury brands the share even jumps to 25%. However, the best performing segment was that of small crossovers, with sales down just 5.8%. Large cars (-52%), subcompact cars (-50%) and minivans (-41%) are the segments with the biggest volume declines. Not a single brand sold more cars than last year, and only two brands managed single-digit declines: Mazda at -7% and Subaru at -8%.
Chevrolet is catching up on Toyota for the #2 spot behind Ford, reducing the gap by two thirds to fewer than 20,000 sales. Chevy is the best performing brand in the top-6 and adds more share (+0.6 percentage points) than any other brand.
After Mazda and Lincoln, which were mentioned above as the best performers among all brands, Mercedes-Benz (-11%), Kia (-13.6%) and Volvo (-13.7%) also outperformed the market by a large margin. As a result, Kia gained 0.5 percentage points of share and Mercedes-Benz gained 0.4 percentage points.
Nissan is the biggest loser in the brands top-13 and loses the most share (-1.7 percentage points). The Japanese brand was down 50% in Q2 and nearly 40% in the first half. However, its abysmal performance is eclipsed by Dodge, down 62.8% in Q2 and losing 41.9% in the first half. Fiat (-51.7%) and Mini (-40.1%) also collapse in the first half.
Mitsubishi and Chrysler also each had a Q2 to forget, with sales down 58% and 57.8% respectively. Their first half scores are down by about a third, also trailing the market.
Subaru falls 2 spots in the ranking, with Hyundai and RAM moving up a place each. Dodge also loses 2 places, falling behind Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, while Mazda jumps ahead of BMW. Tesla is closing in on Buick, looking to become the #7 domestic brand.
Lincoln outsells Chrysler, which hasn’t happened since 1992, and Volvo outsells Infiniti for the first time since 2004.
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