US car sales analysis July 2018 – brands

True to form in 2018, the market followed up two months of healthy growth with a decline in July, with sales falling by 3.7%. While this was not enough to erase all of the hard-earned gains so far this year, the YTD growth figure is now down to 1.1%. With the gap growing ever-wider between crossovers and mainstream cars, it is clear that for the growth to continue the crossover sector has to keep performing as well as it has so far this year.

Highlights:

  • Only three brands in the Top 10 registered positive sales growth in July, down from all 10 in June (although this is not so far from the YTD trend in 2018, where four out of the Top 10 brands have seen their sales increase)
  • Of those four brands, two registered positive growth once more in July: Jeep (up 15.2%, a bit slower than the remarkable YTD growth of 20.9%) and Subaru (up 6.7%, in line with YTD growth of 6.0%, benefitting from the introduction of the Ascent)
  • The two other brands with positive YTD growth recorded a sales drop in July: GM brands were down 3.0% (relative to 3.2% YTD growth), while Toyota was 5.1% down (relative to 1.9% YTD growth)
  • The one brand that experienced positive growth in July after YTD sales decline was Ram
  • From the remaining brands in the Top 10 almost all saw their sales fall faster than they have so far in 2018, with the worst hit being Nissan: sales were down 15.7%, relative to 5.9% sales decline so far in 2018
Jeep Cherokee
  • Overall, sales declines were greater for luxury brands than for mainstream brands
  • Even so, only two mainstream brands registered positive sales growth in July: Volkswagen saw sales rise unexpectedly by 12.7%, while Mitsubishi continued its good roll and saw sales rise by 24.0%, roughly in line with YTD sales growth trend
  • Of the remaining mainstream brands some lost out more than others, with Dodge and Mini experiencing only a moderate sales loss, Mazda and Chrysler both seeing sales fall in the low double-digits, while Fiat and Smart once again saw their sales fall by over 40%
  • Among luxury brands, Audi continued its remarkable 100+ month sales rise wave, and was the only bigger luxury brand to register significantly positive sales growth; losers included Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Acura
  • Further down, Volvo, Tesla and Alfa Romeo were once again the big winners in July, followed by slowly-growing Land Rover and Porsche
  • Still, moderate growth would have been something the remaining luxury brands would have happily traded for, not least Jaguar, whose sales were down 40.6%, and Genesis, whose sales fell by almost two-thirds in July
  • Among the exclusive brands, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini all reported moderate growth in July, with McLaren yet to report their (undoubtedly also positive) figures
  • Brand ranking

    Monthly YTD
    # Model Jul’18 Jul’17 Δ # 2018 2017 Δ
    a1 General Motors 219,250 226,107 -3.0% a1 1,693,420 1,640,549 3.2%
    a2 (1) Ford 184,845 190,443 -2.9% a2 1,406,290 1,428,503 -1.6%
    a3 (1) Toyota 183,367 193,148 -5.1% a3 1,237,677 1,214,381 1.9%
    a4 Honda 125,355 136,803 -8.4% a4 (1) 840,526 854,818 -1.7%
    a5 Nissan 99,045 117,455 -15.7% a5 (1) 807,570 858,000 -5.9%
    a6 Jeep 79,906 69,351 15.2% a6 574,928 475,642 20.9%
    a7 (1) Subaru 59,426 55,703 6.7% a7 (1) 382,286 360,513 6.0%
    a8 (1) Kia 53,112 56,403 -5.8% a9 346,675 352,139 -1.6%
    a9 Hyundai 51,137 52,419 -2.4% a8 (1) 378,922 388,878 -2.6%
    b10 Ram 45,065 44,090 2.2% b10 305,406 323,685 -5.6%
    b11 Dodge 31,119 31,264 -0.5% b11 282,052 292,244 -3.5%
    b12 (2) VW 30,520 27,091 12.7% b12 (1) 203,418 188,329 8.0%
    b13 (1) Lexus 25,403 28,902 -12.1% b16 160,403 162,662 -1.4%
    b14 (1) Mazda 24,125 27,089 -10.9% b14 (1) 188,049 168,713 11.5%
    b15 (2) Mercedes-Benz 22,955 28,667 -19.9% b13 (1) 198,713 206,427 -3.7%
    b16 BMW 21,982 21,965 0.1% b15 (1) 175,368 171,051 2.5%
    b17 Audi 19,221 18,824 2.1% b17 127,163 121,795 4.4%
    b18 (7) Tesla* 16,775 3,105 440.3% b25 61,387 23,245 164,1%
    b19 (1) Acura 13,247 14,177 -6.6% b19 (1) 85,900 88,048 -2.4%
    b20 (1) Chrysler 11,624 13,303 -12.6% b18 100,254 115,398 -13.1%
    b21 (1) Mitsubishi 9,950 8,025 24.0% b21 (1) 77,277 62,601 23.4%
    b22 (2) Infiniti 9,747 10,840 -10.1% b20 (1) 81,917 89,983 -9.0%
    b23 Volvo 8,622 6,967 23.8% b24 56,244 41,072 36.9%
    b24 (3) Lincoln 7,898 8,875 -11.0% b23 (1) 58,167 65,212 -10.8%
    b25 (1) Land Rover 6,209 5,915 5.0% b24 (1) 50,988 41,754 22.1%
    b26 Mini 4,296 4,398 -2.3% b27 26,932 26,603 1.2%
    b27 Porsche 4,020 3,901 3.1% b26 (1) 33,441 31,469 6.3%
    b28 (3) Alfa Romeo 2,016 1,225 64.6% b29 (3) 14,281 4,944 188.9%
    b29 (1) Jaguar 1,880 3,166 -40.6% b28 16,667 23,831 -30.1%
    b30 (1) Fiat 1,240 2,244 -44.7% b30 (1) 9,525 16,926 -43.7%
    b31 (1) Maserati 950 1,063 -10.6% b32 (1) 6,513 7,783 -16.3%
    b32 (2) Genesis 615 1,644 -62.6% b31 (1) 7,877 11,545 -31.8%
    b33 (1) Bentley 165 155 6.5% b33 (1) 1,147 1,303 -12.0%
    b34 (1) Smart 103 182 -43.4% b34 (1) 753 2,165 -65.2%
    b35.5 (0.5) Rolls-Royce 90 86 4.7% b35.5 (0.5) 630 599 5.2%
    b35.5 (0.5) Lamborghini 90 88 2.3% b35.5 (0.5) 630 616 2.3%

    * estimates

  1. It’s only a matter of time for Fiat and smart to be discontinued from the US market. Even Mini is down which shows Americans, unlike Europeans, still don’t care about small (luxury) cars.

    1. Yea because small and luxury in one word sounds like wooden steelSoon Jeep FCA will be overtaken by the PSA Gorup or Huyndai/Kia because of Jeep.If they are smart they will do that.

    2. Honestly I don’t know, because in an interview of Autonews, if I remember well, an FCA person said that in the case of Fiat, they will continue to source vehicles for the US lineup directly from Europe, so I think they’ll still import the models they are selling nowadays, maybe their electrified versions. Plus, they said that the new 500E will be a global product for both Europe and North America

  2. I appreciate that this is an estimate but 2 things.

    1: Other people have commented that they are off by a factor of 10!!!
    Not a simple addition error.

    2: When pointed out and not just by me there has been no acknowledgement of same.
    Also tesla report did indeed provide 2nd quarter numbers.
    I d appreciate the work put in but if the numbers are inaccurate then it is not fact but fiction.
    Additionally I do not know how many other errors there are in other manufacturers as I only follow Tesla

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