So we've told you about the surge in domestic auto sales; how did the competition do? Toyota saw an increase of 12.2% over their July '05 sales. Honda was up 14.5%, and Nissan shot up 19% with a 25% jump in their truck sales. VW, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Volvo, and Jaguar are all down from a year ago, but their combined drop is insignificant compared to the gains by the rest of the automakers. So where the hell are all these car buyers coming from?
It?s difficult - no, make that impossible - to believe that the market can continue on at a rate of 20M units/year, so the bubble?s gotta burst at some point. For Nissan, Toyota, and Hyundai, the sales increases over the past two months have largely mirrored their year-to-date numbers, suggesting that they?re simply continuing to grow their market regardless of what the Big 3 do. For the domestic manufacturers, the leap in sales in the past two months have to be raising serious concerns about ?pull-ahead? sales, which might lead to some extremely dark times in upcoming months. Then there?s a few manufacturers such as Mercedes and Honda that did well in July but are only performing at a so-so level for the first half of the year. So will a collapse in the new-car market: A) affect only the domestic brands; B) suck down a few of the weaker foreign brands as well; or C) pull down the market as a whole? We should be able to find out the answer to that in a few more months, unless Americans decide that we somehow need 25% more new cars at a time when the population growth is in the low single digits and vehicles are lasting longer than ever.