• Oct 1, 2009
Here it is, the first full month of sales after the government's popular Cash for Clunkers has ended. The expected result – that auto sales would plummet once the feds stopped handing out free money in exchange for clunkers – didn't exactly happen. Nine brands posted positive sales in September versus the same period in 2008 with another three posting single-digit losses.

Of course, there were automakers that dropped right back into the cellar, including General Motors (-44.98 percent) and Chrysler LLC (-42.06 percent). General Motors, however, is in the process of shrinking, shedding brands and dealers left and right, so its sub-par performance will be par for the course for a while. Chrysler LLC, however, apparently just can't compete with its dated products.

The Koreans have once again remained remarkably popular, with Hyundai sales up an incredible 27.24 percent and Kia enjoying a 24.39-percent rise. Subaru, which can usually be found on the sales podium along with the Koreans, fell back a bit but still managed a 0.70 percent increase. Ford, meanwhile, continues to out play its cross town rivals and delivered a decent -5.08 percent drop for the entire company and -4.06 percent fall for the Ford brand itself. The Blue Oval's September sales performance even bests its competition from Japan with Toyota (-12.65 percent), Honda (-20.07 percent) and Nissan (-7.0 percent) all down more.

Check out how the rest of the industry performed in the chart below.

NOTE: Audi not yet reported.

Brands and companies are both displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in September 2009 and 24 selling days in September 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 % 9/09 9/08 DSR*% DSR 9/09 DSR 9/08
Hyundai 27.24 31,511 24,765 22.15 1,260 1,032
Kia 24.39 21,623 17,383 19.42 865 724
Volvo 16.33 4,716 4,054 11.68 189 169
Lexus 11.80 17,939 16,045 7.33 718 669
Mini 9.73 4,128 3,762 5.34 165 157
Porsche 8.44 1,581 1,458 4.10 63 61
BMW 2.06 15,047 14,744 -2.03 602 614
Volkswagen 1.46 17,358 17,109 -2.60 694 713
Subaru 0.70 14,593 14,491 -3.32 584 604
Ford -4.06 98,516 102,685 -7.90 3,941 4,279
Nissan -5.80 48,783 51,786 -9.57 1,951 2,158
Cadillac -8.79 11,339 12,432 -12.44 454 518
Mercedes-Benz -9.55 16,985 18,779 -13.17 679 782
Mazda -11.97 14,234 16,169 -15.49 569 674
Infiniti -15.03 6,610 7,779 -18.43 264 324
Toyota -15.71 108,076 128,215 -19.08 4,323 5,342
Mercury -15.98 5,443 6,478 -19.34 218 270
Honda -19.23 69,970 86,629 -22.46 2,799 3,610
Jeep -19.34 17,287 21,431 -22.56 691 893
Lincoln -21.01 5,980 7,571 -24.17 239 315
Acura -27.39 7,259 9,997 -30.29 290 417
Buick -33.04 9,455 14,121 -35.72 378 588
Mitsubishi -36.13 4,712 7,378 -38.69 188 307
Chevrolet -40.66 102,538 172,803 -43.04 4,102 7,200
Dodge -42.68 35,864 62,572 -44.98 1,435 2,607
Pontiac -52.50 11,079 23,324 -54.40 443 972
GMC -52.96 18,359 39,029 -54.84 734 1,626
Smart -54.22 814 1,778 -56.05 33 74
Suzuki -54.42 1,861 4,083 -56.24 74 170
Chrysler -61.25 9,046 23,346 -62.80 362 973
Saab -72.58 484 1,765 -73.67 19 74
Hummer -81.46 426 2,298 -82.20 17 96
Saturn -83.85 2,993 18,528 -84.49 120 772
COMPANIES
BMW Group 3.62 19,175 18,506 -0.53 767 771
Ford Motor Company -5.08 114,655 120,788 -8.87 4,586 5,033
Nissan North America -7.00 55,393 59,565 -10.72 2,216 2,482
Toyota Mo Co -12.65 126,015 144,260 -16.14 5,041 6,011
Honda America -20.07 77,229 96,626 -23.27 3,089 4,026
Chrysler Group LLC -42.06 62,197 107,349 -44.38 2,488 4,473
General Motors -44.89 156,673 284,300 -47.10 6,267 11,846


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 110 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wish the Autoblog guys would stop beating the Chrysler dead horse. Chrysler numbers are down for September because THERE IS NO PRODUCT OUT THERE!!!

      Look at any Chrysler dealer...NO CARS....

      We could have sold 30 more Jeeps this month had we had the vehicles.

      Chrysler is going to emerge if the media would let them. The media wants Chrysler to fail, so therefore they have "stale product, ugly vehicles, etc"

      In the meantime, how is the public relations dept at Toyota doing these days?
        • 5 Years Ago
        When Chrysler consistently makes a variety of cars that aren't utter crap, then perhaps peceptions will change.

        But first, Chrysler has to produce a quality product, and do this consistently.

        Don't blame people for stating the obvious.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Your going to tell me that Toyota has consistant quality? Frame rustouts on the Tacoma, vibration issues on the Tundra, waterpump issues onthe Canry and the Corolla....I guess you are right, they are consistant.

        I am the proud owner of a 2007 300C AWD hemi. I sold my 2000 Subaru Legacy GT, after 2 sets of headgaskets, a set of pistons, and a short block for piston slap noise.

        I am a warranty admin for a 7 import franchise dealer, along with Jeep. Quality is not an issue with chrysler once Daimler left. Daimler was the one who denied all of the quality problems, even though we were having them.

        So, yes, it is my opinion that the media is biased against Chrysler. the 300C, despite being 5 years old, is still a great car. 24MPG, with Hemi power, and AWD can't be touched.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ahhh... i see porsche... solly solly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sales are down as expected as the clunkers program did magic during August. As usual, i have the Hyundai numbers broken down per model and those of other Asian brands.

      http://www.hyundaifans.com/rides/viewtopic.php?t=73&f=27

      http://www.hyundaifans.com/rides/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=74
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wobbly_ears
      5:42PM (10/01/2009)
      Hyundai & Kia seem to be on a roll even in these tough times!

      Good showing! Maybe GM & Chrysler can learn from them & see that even a tattered image can be resuscitated with hard work & consistency.

      ------------------

      What a ricer you are, try doing the math in English, the 2 combined in sales was still 100,000 units less then GM your bashing.

      Same crap from this blog who brainwashes the kiddies here but in this Sept and the same month last year GM sold about 441,000 units versus TOY ota of only 270,000 units, being they sold 40% less units then GM yet this propaganda blog wants you to believe TOY ota is the world leading in sales.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think the whole brand shedding thing really makes sense seeing as how Chevy and GMC posted awful numbers even though they're not being shed.
      Do you guys realize that Kia actually outsold GMC as a nameplate?
        • 5 Years Ago
        You know what's sad is that the numbers from 2008 were already bad compared to 2007. I guess in GM's defense Ford had a much worse September 2008 than GM did so it would have been hard to have posted as huge a drop.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Brian, i was just looking at those two number myself (kia and GMC).

        What really made me laugh though was the number of cars SAAB sold. I hope the Swedes can get it back soon so it becomes again what it used to be....
      • 5 Years Ago
      there is wrong information. Hyundai's 08 sep. sales numbers are 24,765, instead 21,765.
      so, there sales incresa is 27% not 44%.
      Still amazing number to me .
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're right. Added the numbers up on both press releases and the one on Hyundai's own media site is incorrect. Numbers corrected in table and text of post.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I found on theautuchannel.com it says Hyundai's press release.


        FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., Oct. 1, 2009 -- Hyundai Motor America today announced September sales of 31,511 units, a 27 percent increase compared with September 2008. For the calendar year to-date, Hyundai sales are up 1.4 percent compared to last year. This also marks the ninth consecutive month of significant year-over-year gains in retail market share. Hyundai leads all automotive brands in market share growth this year.

        "While consumer demand following the Cash-for-Clunkers program softened during the month of September, we are encouraged with our continued growth in retail share and overall sales through the first nine months of the year," said Dave Zuchowski, vice president of sales. "With our solid product and marketing plans going into the fourth quarter, in addition to the upcoming launch of the all-new Tucson and Sonata, we are cautiously optimistic during these challenging times."

        Genesis continued its strong growth trend with sales of 1,665. The fuel-efficient Elantra had an increase of 104 percent versus 2008, while the Santa Fe delivered a significant sales gain of 50 percent leading up to the introduction of the even more fuel-efficient face lifted 2010 model.

        Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 790 dealerships nationwide.

        CARLINE SEPTEMBER/2009 SEPTEMBER/2008 CY/2009 CY/2008

        ACCENT 4,864 3,014 55,525 44,393
        SONATA 7,898 8,629 93,575 97,442
        ELANTRA 7,513 3,681 82,706 86,144
        TIBURON 37 677 8,579 7,730
        SANTA FE 7,010 4,676 58,067 56,629
        AZERA 339 483 2,932 13,437
        TUCSON 1,583 1,294 12,772 16,247
        ENTOURAGE 28 455 3,423 4,360
        VERACRUZ 574 827 8,704 8,427
        GENESIS 1,665 1,029 15,934 2,855
        TOTAL 31,511 24,765 342,217 337,664
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 2008 sales numbers for Hyundai are correct according to Hyundai's press release. Where did you get 24,765?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Saturn: A drop of 80%+. That is insane.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This isn't entirely surprising, Hyundai/Kia: cheap brands tend to do best during a recession. McDonald's and WalMart are doing quite well these days, and suffer when times are good. Hyundai is trying to do two things now: continue to appeal to cheap/value shoppers at the same time improving their brand. This might be a good strategy, but the fact that their sales are up means people still associate the brand as being "cheap". When the economy improves people will again swarm to Lexus/BMW/MB/Audi because they will want the name, as they want Brooks Brothers instead of JC Penny shirts when they can afford them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They went to Toyota/Honda due to the gas crisis, not the recession. They stayed because they made good products.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They went for both. I was there. Furthermore, I don't think HKAG is really hurting many of the manufacturers you mention with their surging Forte, Accent, Elantra and Soul sales. Plus, Hyundai is on their way to passing Honda and Toyota in fuel economy in several key segments. Then there's the matter of their quality increase. Plus, it's well proven that with expensive durable goods once someone changes brands they're unlikely to go back without a really compelling reason, unlike with the soft goods to be found at Wal-Mart or Penny's. The big reason they're gaining is product value, not price. So you really don't have a compelling argument that people will flood back to wherever they came from come when the economy picks up.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chrysler did better than expect in August but they are suffering due to lack of product. Chrysler's poor performance this year is going to make it easier for them to post decent results in 2010 when the Charger, 300 and JGC go on sale. Chrysler will not see any real positive news until 2010 so the media can have a field day beating them down every month if they wish but they will do better next year. Factory shutdowns, bankruptcy and stale products will lead to poor monthly sales.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Chrysler has shrunk below half of their previous size, and they still managed to move 60k units last month. BMW sells
      • 5 Years Ago
      FWIW GM's problem isn't brand-shedding: Chevy lost 40%. GM's problem is GM.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At this rate Chrysler will be lucky if it survives till 2011.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And Toyota/GM will be lucky if Ford isn't #1 by then. For Sept 09 MTD vs Sept 08 MTD, they picked up almost 3% market share. And 2009 CYTD? Up one whole percentage point market share. They only lag Toyota 60k units TYD, which is about a half a month of sales. We'll be looking at a different landscape soon enough...
        • 5 Years Ago
        My automotive team power rankings will be out later today... I'm thinking of ranking Hyundai first because of the leadership of their CEO and their depth at skill positions, specifically design and manufacture. In looking at next month's matchup, I'm seeing more of the same issues as far as going up against the stalwart defense Ford and Toyota bring to the table, but ultimately their offense may seize the day.

        Really I didn't have a point, but now that you mention it, GM should be scared. Toyota, maybe not. In the end though, the goal of all of these companies is to provide value to their owners. Since Ford and Toyota are both partially family and publicly owned, their value depends on market share. If they lose market share, their value to their owners goes down. Should they be scared? What do I know? Probably not much, but I know enough to not be put off by someone who consistently bashes commenters on this site. If you'll excuse me, I have to go pick up Brent Celek and drop Donnie Avery.
      • 5 Years Ago
      John,
      It would be nice to see Hyundai Kia Automotive Group in the list of Companies.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Confusingly, I believe Hyundai-Kia only owns a minority stake in Kia, while I think the "companies" section is based on majority ownership.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The guideline we use for what counts as a Company is when an automaker reports the sales results for those brands together. Hyundai and Kia report their numbers separately.
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