After reviewing the U.S. auto industry's sales numbers for August 2009, the true effect of the government's Cash for Clunkers program has come into crystal clear focus. There are those automakers that were prepared for this promotion, having at the right time and place a lineup that was eminently attractive to the hoards of shoppers with a clunker to trade. Then there are those other automakers that either by the very nature of their products or the fact that they spent the last few years twiddling their thumbs (or going bankrupt) were unable to take full advantage of the U.S. government's open pockets.
Despite having sold fewer C4C vehicles than Honda and Toyota, Ford was clearly the bigger winner last month with an increase of 16.99% for all of Ford Motor Company and a 21.25-percent jump for the Ford brand itself. Those numbers include big gains for the Fusion (up 131.6 percent), Focus (up 55.9 percent) and Flex (up 106.5 percent). Even the Mercury Milan was up 111.7 percent. Toyota Motors Sales and American Honda did post positive gains as well, up 6.41 and 9.93 percent respectively, while Nissan North America improved to a slight decline of 2.93 percent.
Then there's Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors, down 15.43 and 20.19 percent respectively. While the C4C program no doubt improved what might otherwise have been an even more dismal month for these two automakers, they were clearly unable to take full advantage of the program with the baggage of recent bankruptcy around their necks and lineups, at least in Chrysler's case, that offered little incentive to upgrade one's clunker.
The trio of brands that has continually outpaced the rest of the industry this year – Subaru (up 51.51 percent), Kia (up 60.38 percent) and Hyundai (up 47.01 percent) – continued their winning ways and then some, each reporting all-time sales records last month thanks to a boost from the C4C program. To put their success in perspective, Hyundai and Kia together outsold Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler and Subaru outsold rivals Mazda and Volkswagen.
Brands and companies are both displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in August 2009 and 27 selling days in August 2008, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in the average daily sales rate for each brand/company.
|Brand||Volume %||8/09||8/08||DSR*%||DSR 8/09||DSR 8/08|
|Ford Motor Company||16.99||182,149||155,690||21.49||7006||5766|
|Toyota Mo Co||6.41||225,088||211,533||10.50||8657||7835|
|Nissan North America||-2.93||105,312||108,493||0.80||4050||4018|
|Chrysler Group LLC||-15.43||93,222||110,235||-12.18||3585||4083|