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