Is the tide turning? Do all those green boxes below indicate that the sweeping current of auto sales ennui has subsided? That's a tough question to answer considering that the government's Cash for Clunkers rebate program began late last month. Normally an incentive program wouldn't have that much effect on monthly auto sales with only a week to work, but C4C was wildly more popular than anyone expected.
While Subaru posted a remarkable 34% sales gain last month versus July 2008, the big news, of course, is Ford's return to green. Ford Motor Company was the only multi-brand automaker to report a sales increase last month (2.0%), thanks to four of its five brands posting positive numbers (only Lincoln was down, -24%). The Korean brands also continued their strong performance in 2009, with Hyundai up 12% and Kia right behind at 5%. Sure, Volvo deserves mention for being up 26%, but it's a lot easier to move the needle when your brand is selling less than 10,000 units/month. Chrysler Group LLC also gets a kudos for clawing its way into the single-digit loss range with a 9% dip on good showings from Jeep and Dodge. General Motors, however, lagged behind the upward trend of its cross-town competitors with a smaller improvement that left it down 19% versus the same month last year.
So has the tide turned? This is the first month in a LONG time that more than two or three brands have earned green cells in our chart below, so perhaps it is a signal that Cash for Clunkers is working and/or shoppers are slowly returning to showrooms.
Check out the rest of the numbers below. Brands and Companies are both displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in June 2009 and 26 selling days in June 2008, so the change in average daily sales equals the change in monthly volume.
|Brand||Volume %||July 2009||July 2008||DSR*%||DSR 7/09||DSR 7/08|
|Ford Motor Company||2||165,279||161,530||2||6,357||6,213|
|Chrysler Group LLC||-9||88,900||98,109||-9||3,419||3,773|
|Toyota Motor Co.||-11||174,872||197,424||-11||6,726||7,593|
|Nissan North America||-25||71,847||95,315||-25||2,763||3,666|