If you only look at plug-ins, things actually look pretty good.
Bad news for U.S. consumers turned into good news for sellers of advanced-powertrain vehicles like the Toyota Prius and the Chevrolet Volt, as higher gas prices drove a near doubling of August alt-fuel U.S. vehicle sales compared to numbers from 2011.
It's that time of month again. August 2011 sales in the U.S. have been tallied, including, of course, hybrid vehicles. Once again, it's worth at least a mention that quake-related vehicle production issues have more or less subsided, so output of most hybrids manufactured over in Japan is roughly back on track.
You didn't think we forgot to report the numbers, did you? We imagine some automakers wish we had, for instance Jaguar and Mercury, which share our Biggest Loser honor this month by dropping an identical 20.2% in sales. Another of Ford's brands, Land Rover, was the Biggest Winner, jumping 32.2% in sales last month versus August 2006.
What a weird month. We were told a week or so ago that sales for the month of August might look artificially good compared to last year because of Hurricane Katrina's negative impact on sales. Really, however, Katrina didn't hit land until August 29th, so if next month is the greatest month ever for car sales, we'll know why.
Overall August wasn't a great month of sales for Ford, with total sales falling 11.6 percent compared to August of 2005 to 255,112 units. Every Ford Motor Company brand saw a drop last month, with Jaguar taking a beating to the tune of –35.3 percent and Volvo faring the best by falling only 2.1 percent. The tanking of truck sales also continued with Ford's workhorses selling 20.7 percent less last month than last year.
Last year Hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked the wind right out of automakers' sails, who were enjoying three months of healthy summer sales fueled by big incentives and employee pricing. From August through October of last year, however, sales were down 21 percent at GM, 13 percent at Ford and up only 2.1 percent at DaimlerChrysler, the Detroit Free Press reports. Because of this extended period of sales depression, the results this year for the next few months may look rosy in comparison. At