• Sep 1, 2010
Luxury marques gain ground while volume brands suffer

Just like any spending spree, there are consequences. And for the second straight month, the automakers that benefited most from Cash For Clunkers have seen their sales figures fall through the floor compared to August of last year. The program officially ended August 24, 2009, and if you take a look at the chart below, the brands with inexpensive, fuel efficient rides suffered the most last month.

On the upside, luxury marques like Cadillac, Jaguar, Porsche, Infiniti and Acura were going gangbusters compared to August of 2009, which could be further proof that America's high-rollers are either confident the recession is over or – more likely – were less affected by the downturn than us peons. No matter. When it's bust for some, it's boom for others, and this month's sales figures speak for themselves.

Brand Vol. % August 2010 August 2009 DSR %* August 2010 August 2009
Cadillac 83.08 12,689 6,931 90.40 508 267
Buick 65.98 14,294 8,612 72.62 572 331
Jaguar 61.60 1,414 875 68.06 57 34
Porsche 33.16 2,032 1,526 38.48 81 59
Infiniti 21.93 9,428 7,732 26.81 377 297
Acura 19.83 11,534 9,625 24.63 461 370
Jeep 16.63 25,706 22,041 21.29 1,028 848
Audi 13.96 9,182 8,057 18.52 367 310
GMC 12.27 25,986 23,145 16.77 1,039 890
Land Rover 11.33 2,544 2,285 15.79 102 88
Mercedes-Benz 10.02 18,826 17,112 14.42 753 658
Lincoln 9.43 6,428 5,874 13.81 257 226
Dodge 7.56 35,364 32,878 11.86 1,415 1,265
Ram 4.67 20,604 19,684 8.86 824 757
BMW 1.60 19,540 19,232 5.67 782 740
Chrysler -3.66 17,937 18,619 0.19 717 716
Volkswagen -7.93 22,855 24,823 -4.25 914 955
Ford -10.74 144,035 161,369 -7.17 5,761 6,207
Hyundai -11.35 53,603 60,467 -7.81 2,144 2,326
Mini -13.42 4,425 5,111 -9.96 177 197
Lexus -14.97 19,465 22,892 -11.57 779 880
Kia -19.24 32,465 40,198 -16.01 1,299 1,546
Chevrolet -21.52 131,952 168,130 -18.38 5,278 6,467
Mercury -22.47 7,040 9,080 -19.37 282 349
Subaru -22.47 22,239 28,683 -19.36 890 1,103
Mazda -25.63 19,739 26,542 -22.66 790 1,021
Nissan -30.93 67,399 97,580 -28.17 2,696 3,753
Honda -35.98 97,195 151,814 -33.42 3,888 5,839
Toyota -36.24 128,923 202,196 -33.69 5,157 7,777
Mitsubishi -36.99 4,293 6,813 -36.99 172 273
Saab -40.08 290 484 -37.69 12 19
Suzuki -68.18 1,830 5,751 -66.91 73 221
Smart -72.38 448 1,622 -71.27 18 62
(Hummer) -73.62 205 777 -72.56 8 30
(Saturn) -99.49 43 8,479 -99.47 2 326
(Pontiac) -99.98 7 29,921 -99.98 0 1,151
Volvo n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Companies
Jaguar Land Rover 25.25 3,958 3,160 30.26 158 122
Chrysler Group 6.85 99,611 93,222 11.13 3,984 3,585
BMW Group -1.55 23,965 24,343 2.39 959 936
General Motors (Core) -10.59 184,921 206,818 -7.01 7,397 7,955
Ford Motor Company -10.67 157,503 176,323 -7.10 6,300 6,782
General Motors -24.87 185,176 246,479 -21.87 7,407 9,480
Nissan North America -27.05 76,827 105,312 -24.13 3,073 4,050
American Honda -32.65 108,729 161,439 -29.96 4,349 6,209
Toyota Mo Co -34.08 148,388 225,088 -31.44 5,936 8,657

Note: Volvo hasn't released monthly sales figures yet, so when the Swede's new owners at Geely get their act together and send out the numbers, we'll update the chart.

*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 25 selling days in August 2010 versus 26 selling days in August 2009, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Any one month of year-to-year sales comparisons is going to contain some weird short-term variables, and this month is no exception. In addition to the distortion caused by C4C, GM was in a very weak position a year ago. Chevrolet was shored up by C4C sales, but Buick and Cadillac were slammed, so what you see here is largely a recovery of those brands to their normal levels (to the extent that you can define "normal" with GM's volatility in a volatile market).

      For luxury marques overall, it was a good month--again largely because of C4C's effect on year-to-year comparisons--but not as great as it looks at first glance. Look at Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus, the top 3 luxury brands: up 10%, up 2%, and down 15% compared to a weak market for luxury cars last year. Jaguar's and Porsche's gains are impressive, but those are very small volume numbers heavily influenced by newly introduced vehicles.

      To me the most interesting stats here are the strength of the Ford brand (solidly outselling Chevrolet and Toyota), the weakness of the Lincoln brand (outsold by Cadillac 2 to 1 and by Lexus 3 to 1...ouch), and the relatively good showing of Hyundai-Kia compared to the other import brands that got big boosts last year.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota was killed last month.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah they just have the largest drops because C4C meant a lot more Corolla and Prius sales, so they get hit with a larger dip this year. I suspect the same applies for Honda as well, since getting money for your clunker was contingent on the new car hitting certain fuel economy levels.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think Toyota was cashing in massively last Aug.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The rich are prospering and the middle class are hurting.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I noticed that as well, every luxury-focused brand (except Lexus) seemed to do really well this month.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, Lexus is doing pretty well considering the effect C4C had on last years numbers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The rich were not the typical C4C customers, thus luxury brands didn't spike last August. Since then they've had nowhere to go but up.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The rich, many of whom are politicians getting fat off taxpayer dollars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Should have read the "Note:" at the bottom of the chart on Volvo. Whoops.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Top 6 sales increase.

      Cadillac +
      Buick +
      Jaguar +
      Porsche +
      Infiniti +
      Acura +

      Top 6 brands are luxury cars and increasing luxury car sales.
      It looks like a american economy fully recovered.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well since last year, Buick, Jaguar, Infiniti, and Porsche have released new models, which tend to help sales. Also the fact those brands weren't particularly effected by C4C makes them look better compared to the brands which have less sales without C4C.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So that Hyundai-Kia's overtaking Nissan story from a few days ago? Happened this month.
      601,444 YTD for HKAG. 599,496 YTD for Nissan. In Canada, HKAG overtook Toyota YTD. 122,708 for HK, 121,016 for Toyota/Lexus, 90,800 for Honda/Acura, 56,716 for Nissan/Infinity.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's been no new recall. There an investigation open of two incidents. Get your facts correct.
        • 4 Years Ago
        With the Hyundai Sonatas new recalls I'm willing to bet it really hurts their future sales...
      • 4 Years Ago
      The term "hangover" implies a causation by the C4C program in some way.
      I realize a lot of people speculated as much.
      But their reasoning was dubious then and is dubious now.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      • 4 Years Ago
      @shane from aus

      I know its very "sheep that follows the heard" cool to be foreign to the US and criticize everything about America but you might try having a brain of your own now and then. For one Ford also benefited hugely from the C4C program with incredible sales of the Focus and Escape yet they only dropped a third as much as Toyota. Second you can cite complacency from the D3 in the past but if you care to be relevant, and want to discuss the present, then at the very least Ford, and to a lesser extent GM, are beating Toyota at they only game it knew how to play, quality. And theyre just getting started! I seriously doubt Toyota will ever fully reclaim its glory and reputation, they will just be "another manufacturer."
      • 4 Years Ago
      Are these numbers still a bit weird due to last years Cash for Clunkers legislation?
      • 4 Years Ago
      My statistics on Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep (jan 2007- aug 2010): http://www.carsitaly.net/fiat-car-sales_unitedstates.htm
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good job Chrysler, if you can manage to post an increase in sales after CFC, you really have a bright future. Imagine with all the new product.

      And kudos to everyone else, CFC a year later, posting an increase is not an easy task, but they did their best and that's all that counts.

      And, Toyota, get your act together.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Infiniti continues to do well....good for them.
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