US auto sales bounced back in the first half of 2021 from a year earlier, when pandemic restrictions disrupted sales. A 28.8% gain on the first half of 2020 brings the market almost back to pre-pandemic levels, as the 8.34 million deliveries are down just 1.1% on the first half of 2019. However, the gains are not shared equally among automakers and may not be long-lived as computer chip shortages plague the industry and are causing factory shutdowns, limiting new-vehicle supplies. A shortage of vehicles to sell at the end of the first half has hurt some companies more than others, most notably Ford Motor Co. and Subaru, while other automakers will start to feel the same issues in the third quarter. By the end of June, dealer inventories of vehicles have dropped 61% year over year to just above 30 days. Among brands with the lowest supplies in June were Toyota, Lexus, Chevrolet, GMC, Kia, Subaru, Honda and Land Rover, which may hurt their sales for the rest of the year. On the other hand, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Genesis, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Buick, Jeep, Ram and Audi had the highest stockpiles.
Utility vehicles (SUVs, crossovers, pickup trucks and vans) are up 31.5% and jump to a record 76.6% of the US car market, while car models (sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, coupes and convertibles) are down 1.9% to just 23.4%. American brands are up just 15.2% and lose 4.4 percentage points of market share compared to the 2020 full year, to 40.8%. Japanese brands are up 38.4% to gain 2.7 percentage points of market share to 39.3%, the highest since 2009. European brands are up 40.1% to gain half a percentage point of market share to 10.3%. If they can stay above 10% for the rest of the year, it will be a new annual record and the first time with double digit share. South-Korean brands outperform all others at +48.1% to gain 1.3 percentage points of market share to 9.7%, also on the way to a new annual record.
Toyota jumps to the top of the brands ranking with sales up 44.1%, gining 2.4 percentage points of market share while Ford is the worst performing brand in the top-15, up just 4.6% and losing 2.6 percentage points of share. Chevorlet stays in third place but loses 1.5 percentage points of market share with sales up 11.9%.
Honda and Nissan outperform the market with gains of around 39% each, while Jeep underperforms at +13.5%.
Hyundai is the best performing brand in the top-10, growing by almost 50%, and sister brand Kia is the third-best performer, leapfrogging RAM and Subaru. RAM gains share and distances the latter.
Volkswagen and Mazda have a great first half of the year, with the Japanese brand moving ahead of Mercedes-Benz.
Luxury brands are having a 2021 so far, outpacing mainstream brands. When exluding vans which are not luxury models, Mercedes-Benz is up 26.3%, allowing BMW to take over the luxury crown thanks to sales up 52.2%. Lexus is not far behind in third place with sales up 47.7%, followed by Tesla up 55.5%, Audi up 59.9% and Acura up 57.9%.
Dodge (-4.6%), Infiniti (-11.3%), Jaguar (-21.4%) and Fiat (-30.8%) are the only brands losing sales compared to 2020, the latter two also the slowest selling brands in the US, with Jaguar dropping behind Alfa Romeo, Mini and Genesis. Thanks to the addition of two crossover models, Genesis is the best performing brand with sales up 155.9%, followed by Buick at +61% and Audi at +59.9%.
Volvo passes Chrysler and Mitsubishi to move into 23td place, closing in on Cadillac. Land Rover moves ahead of Infiniti into #27, with Porsche not far behind either, as the German brand has its best first half ever in terms of sales.
The Ford F-Series remains on top of the models charts for now, but America’s top seller for the past 39 years was outsold in Q2 by both of its rivals RAM Pickup and Chevrolet Silverado as Ford didn’t have enough chips to produce all the pickup trucks it could have sold. And with no end of the shortage in sight, 2021 could become a historic year with a new best selling vehicle for the first time in 40 years. The RAM moved into second place ahead of the Silverado but is still almost 50,000 sales behind the F-Series so the latter does have a comfortable lead for now. Ford also has an extra ace up its sleeve with the launch of the all-electric F-150 Lightning planned for the second half fo the year.
The Toyota RAV4 remains the best selling non-pickup truck in fourth place, but the Honda CR-V is closing in quickly. The Nissan Rogue is boosted by its new generation to reclaim 6th place and its the best performing nameplate in the top-8. The Toyota Highlander enters the top-10 and is the best performing model in the top-25.
Best selling sedan is the Toyota Camry in 7th place, followed by the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. The Honda Accord is only in 16th place and the Nissan Sentra makes it only 5 sedans in the top-25.
Best selling newcomer is the Tesla Model Y at #26, ahead of the Ford Bronco Sport at #36, the Kia K5 at #44, the Toyota Venza at #72 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E at #139. The Genesis GV80 lands at #164, the Volkswagen ID.4 lands at #191, the Volkswagen Taos at #202, the Audi e-Tron Sportback at #231 and the Infiniti Q55 at #245.
The Model Y is also the best selling luxury model at #26, ahead of the Lexus RX at #39, the Tesla Model 3 at #43, the Acura MDX at #70, the BMW X3 at #71 and the Mercedes-Ben GLE at #73. Behind the Model 3, the second best selling luxury sedan is the BMW 3-Series at #102, ahead of the Lexus ES at #103
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