More than halfway through the 2015 calendar year, automotive sales remain steadfastly strong. As has been the case all year long, light truck sales are boosting the bottom lines of pretty much every automaker that does business in the United States. Light truck sales were up around 11 percent last month, when compared to the same period exactly one year ago. Demand for cars (sedans, hatchbacks, etc.) was down almost two percent, overall, but because trucks, crossovers and SUVs are selling so well, the industry as a whole surged over five percent in July.

As far as individual brands go, Mitsubishi's 24-percent sales gain led all automakers, followed closely by Jeep, Lincoln and Audi. Each of those brands saw sales gains of more than 20 percent, and Acura was close, with a 19.5-percent increase. Subaru extended its streak of consecutive months of growth to 44, which is impressive if still behind Fiat Chrysler's amazing run of 64 straight gains.

While FCA owns the longest streak, it was the VW Group with the biggest percentage of sales growth last month, followed closely by Nissan. Brands that focus mainly on small cars aren't seeing the big gains that their more truck-heavy rivals are, as Smart is looking kinda dumb with a 67-percent drop, Fiat sank 15 percent and Mini dropped more than 10 percent. We hasten to add, though, that low fuel prices surely won't last forever...

A few more noteworthy data points:
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate for 2015 sits at 17.55 million, according to Wards Auto. That figure is higher than anticipated.
  • Lexus just managed to squeak past BMW and Mercedes for the luxury brand sales lead last month, but is still slightly behind its German rivals for the year.
  • There were 26 selling days in July of 2015, which is the same as the same month a year ago.
As always, you're encouraged to peruse our past By The Numbers posts for all the sales data from previous months and years.



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