• Sep 1, 2009
FoMoCo sales up 17%, GM and Chrysler improve but still losing sales

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
Kia 60.38 40,198 25,065 66.54 1,546 928
Subaru 51.51 28,683 18,932 57.33 1,103 701
Hyundai 47.01 60,467 41,130 52.67 2,326 1,523
Audi 25.77 8,057 6,406 30.61 310 237
Volvo 24.78 5,826 4,669 29.58 224 173
Pontiac 23.35 29,921 24,257 28.09 1,151 898
Ford 21.25 161,369 133,088 25.91 6,207 4,929
Honda 15.21 151,814 131,766 19.65 5,839 4,880
Mazda 12.09 26,542 23,680 16.40 1,021 877
Volkswagen 11.35 24,823 22,292 15.64 955 826
Toyota 10.94 202,196 182,252 15.21 7,777 6,750
Porsche 8.69 1,526 1,404 12.87 59 52
Mercury 8.19 9,080 8,393 12.35 349 311
Nissan 0.17 97,580 97,417 4.02 3,753 3,608
Suzuki -5.46 5,749 6,081 -1.82 221 225
Jeep -6.11 22,041 23,476 -2.50 848 869
Mini -6.55 5,111 5,469 -2.95 197 203
Mercedes-Benz -7.54 17,112 18,507 -3.98 658 685
Chevrolet -9.16 168,130 185,080 -5.66 6,467 6,855
Dodge -15.80 52,562 62,422 -12.56 2,022 2,312
BMW Group -21.30 24,343 30,931 -18.27 936 1,146
Lexus -21.82 22,892 29,281 -18.81 880 1,084
Chrysler -23.50 18,619 24,337 -20.55 716 901
BMW -24.47 19,232 25,462 -21.56 740 943
Mitsubishi -25.95 6,813 9,200 -23.10 262 341
Infiniti -30.19 7,732 11,076 -27.51 297 410
Acura -36.21 9,625 15,089 -33.76 370 559
Lincoln -38.43 5,874 9,540 -36.06 226 353
Smart -44.59 1,418 2,559 -42.46 55 95
GMC -45.15 23,145 42,194 -43.04 890 1,563
Buick -51.71 8,612 17,833 -49.85 331 660
Cadillac -55.01 6,931 15,405 -53.28 267 571
Saturn -58.41 8,479 20,385 -56.81 326 755
Hummer -64.03 777 2,160 -62.64 30 80
Saab -67.80 484 1,503 -66.56 19 56
COMPANIES
Ford Motor Company 16.99 182,149 155,690 21.49 7006 5766
American Honda 9.93 161,439 146,855 14.16 6209 5439
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
General Motors -20.19 246,479 308,817 -17.12 9480 11438


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  • 84 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW Group that is.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pontiac-supply and demand? Fewer pontiacs in supply are possibly rushing people in to buy up what's left of them?

      And on that note, F*** yeah for Subaru! They aren't so aesthetically displeasing now, are they? Just because so many enthusiasts love to hate on their looks just goes to show that maybe it's a good thing that SOA doesn't directly come to that niche for constructive criticism.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The article seems to be pretty down on GM, but fails to point out that GM sold more cars last month than FoMoCo, and Chevy sold more cars than Ford. Seems hard to argue that GM didn't take advantage of C4C when its sales numbers were higher.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You also have to take into account the fire sales the terminated dealers have been running. Some of the Pontiac dealers here in Detroit area are selling cars at cost just so they don't get stuck with cars like the shuttered Chrysler dealers did. That also goes for Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC dealers too.

        GM's sales will be down next August as well because the blow-out pricing on Pontiacs and the like will be gone as will many of their dealerships not everyone who went to a GM dealership before will go to another.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm guessing the problem is, as we've all read for a year or so, Ford's looking to take market share and make money doing it. GM had historically bolstered their domination with low returns on their products helping to bankrupt the company. In the real world, were margin maters just as much as pure numbers sold, the situation is not all peachy for GM simply because they moved a higher number of cars.

        Porsche's a classic example, up until their hedge fund exploits they had hand over fist more billions in profit than GM and sell a minuscule amount of cars in comparison.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai/KIA and Subaru are on a roll. It's good to see Honda and Toyota back up too.
      Kudos!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Shouldn't BMW be listed under companies, not brands?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Only if it includes Mini
      • 5 Years Ago
      I spotted an article from the Toronto Globe & Mail about the August sales in Canada, with no C4C the situation is very different http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/ford-canada-sales-up-seven-per-cent/article1271931/
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hyundai has been outselling Nissan and Mazda for a long while now. I don't understand why the American public loves Nissan so much. Hyundai has been producing higher quality vehicles than Nissan for 5 years now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GM & Chrysler had their inventories depleted by decree and even before by production cutbacks.

      The big winners in this were always going to be the Japanese who were slow to cut back production and had a bunch of '09s they needed to desperately unload before the unofficial start of the 2010 model year.

      Ford is a surprise though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Here are the three year rolling averages for July and August for the majors
      3YearRA July Aug
      BMW -21.2% -16.4%
      Chrysler -30.9% -38.9%
      Ford -17.1% -12.5%
      GM -41.2% -30.6%
      Honda -20.3% 6.1%
      Nissan -20.1% 7.5%
      Toyota -20.9% -1.4%
      Total -27.0% -15.2%
      The gains by the Japanese with C4C show up a little better as does the sliding position for Toyota vs Honda and Nissan. The woes at Chrysler are more dramatic, and although Ford is ahead of GM, this view suggests GM is moving ahead faster.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Pontiac outsells Buick, Cadillac and Saturn (all) together ?!
      WOW and they are killing off Pontiac ?
      it's like taking the best selling food platter off of your restaurant's menu... no ?
      go figure !
      • 5 Years Ago
      Say bye bye to ACURA.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yep!

        What the bad economy began that stupid shield grill-wart thing finished.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Acura may be suffering, but they are still moving more units than Audi, Infiniti, or Mini. If the rumors are true about the resurgence of the RSX, then that would be a huge boost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      New GM same as old GM. Now brace yourself people, CFC is over and the market is probably going to dip below the previous year's low.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You aren't making much sense. If all those people waited until C4C, what do you think the month after is going to look like? Logically it has to be at least as bad as before C4C but more likely it will be much worse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        doubtful. C4C was in the news for months. there may be a slight dip, but not the major drop like most of the armchair quarterbacks on this forum predict. i think C4C caused a lot of people to wait (since it was in the news/works for several months) on a new car purchase and also enticed a lot of people into the market. there will always be people who want to buy news cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to know who are the people that are still buying Hummers?
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