June Auto Sales Led by a Boost in Demand for Trucks
New-car sales in the United States are showing signs of losing steam in the second half of 2016, according to J.D. Power and auto forecasting partner LMC Automotive. However, June deliveries appeared stronger for some automakers, due to one extra selling day (June 2016 had 26 selling days vs. 25 in June 2015) last month and a boost from higher fleet sales. Total sales were expected to inch up by 2-3 percentage points to more than 1.5 million units, but dip when selling-day adjusted.
Two of the major automakers—General Motors (-1.6%) and Toyota Group (-5.6%)—reported lower deliveries last month. Yet, Ford Motor Co. (+6.4%) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (+6.5%) relied on demand for their pickups and SUVs to beef up sales. GM was hurt by dips at Buick and GMC. Although Toyota Group faltered, Nissan Group (+13.1%) set a June sales record, and American Honda (+3.2%) posted best-ever June truck deliveries. Hyundai Group (+6.9%) celebrated June with a 15.6% rise from Kia.
Among the Europeans, Daimler Group (+2.3%) reported best-ever van sales. Mercedes-Benz sold 1.5% more new vehicles in June to take the month’s luxury sales crown. BMW Group (-11.9%) officials noted some uncertainty in the market. Volkswagen Group (-13.3%), stymied by the diesel emissions embroilment, saw VW brand sales plunge 22%, though Audi eked out a 1% gain. Jaguar Land Rover sales rose 44%, while Volvo Cars sales were up 41%. Among the independents, Subaru (+5.1%) and Mitsubishi Motors (+0.8%) were in positive territory, while Mazda’s sales diminished (-3.8%).
Highlights: June 2016 Auto Sales
Following are June 2016 new-vehicle sales highlights, based on unadjusted actual totals, for each major automaker.
American Honda—Light-truck sales bolstered American Honda (+3.2%) to tally 138,175 units in June. Honda brand (+7.1%) sales rose to 127,363 units, with increases from the Civic and Accord in addition to the CR-V crossover setting a June record. The new Ridgeline reaped first-week sales of 2,472. Acura (-26.9 %) sold only 11,352 units. However, the NSX and MDX debuted.
BMW Group—BMW Group (-11.9%) sales totaled 33,769 units. BMW brand (-10.3%) sales tumbled to 28,555 units even with double-digit gains from the 2 Series and 7 Series, plus the X3. Deliveries at Mini (-20.4%) fell to 4,914 units.
Daimler AG—Deliveries at Daimler (+2.3%) edged up to 31,965 units. Mercedes-Benz (+1.5%) sold 28,473 units in June. The C-Class, GLE, and the new E-Class were volume leaders for the German luxury brand. Mercedes vans (+2.9%), including Sprinter, set a June record with 3,085 deliveries, while Smart sold 407 units.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles—June sales for FCA (+6.5%) were the best since 2005, according to the company, with 190,073 deliveries. Jeep (+17%), Ram (+14%), and Dodge (+3%) offset dips from Chrysler (-20%) and Fiat (-19%). The Jeep Compass, Patriot, Renegade, and Wrangler posted records. Dodge Grand Caravan and Durango sales rose in double digits, while Fiat 500X sales were up. Chrysler’s new Pacifica minivan was in ramp-up mode with 7,207 deliveries.
Ford Motor Company—Ford Motor (+6.4%) sold 240,109 units in June, bolstered by a 24% gain in truck deliveries and 7.3% improvement in SUV sales. Deliveries of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickup rose 28.6% to 70,937. Other top performers were the Escape, Expedition, and Transit. The Fusion sedan also posted a gain. At the brand level, Ford (+6.4%) was the industry June sales leader with 217,321 units delivered. Lincoln (+5.8%) saw stronger demand for the MKZ and the new MKX.
General Motors—Sales at GM slipped 1.6% to 255,210 units. Two of GM’s four brands—Cadillac (+5.5%) and Chevrolet (+0.1%)—posted increases. Chevrolet sales totals in June were the best since 2006, with the Colorado, Suburban, Tahoe, and the Trax up in double digits along with surges for the Impala, Sonic, Spark, and the plug-in Volt on the car side. The Cadillac Escalade and the new XT5 crossover were strong performers in June. Buick (-5.5%) and GMC (-8.6%) brands posted declines in June, despite gains from the Encore, Canyon, and Yukon.
Hyundai Group—Group sales (+6.9%) were 130,083 units. Hyundai brand sales were 67,511 units in June—up by 9 units from a year ago with gains from the Tucson, Santa Fe, and Santa Fe Sport. Kia deliveries rose a significant 15.6% to 62,572 units, with best-ever monthly totals for the Forte, Sportage, and Sorento. The Soul continued as the brand’s sales leader.
Jaguar Land Rover—Combined sales at Jaguar Land Rover soared 44.2% in June, mainly due to the Jaguar brand more than doubling deliveries. Land Rover sales surged 22.9% for the month.
Mazda—Sales at independent Mazda declined 3.8% from a year ago to 26,188 units. Niche model MX-5 Miata (+94%) was a strong sales performer along with the all-new CX-9 crossover SUV.
Mitsubishi—The Japanese independent brand was up 1% and posted best June sales since 2007 for the Outlander and Outlander Sport SUVs.
Nissan Group—Nissan Group (+13.1%) was one of the strongest performers in June in terms of sales, delivering 140,553 new vehicles during the month. Nissan brand (+13.4%) sold 129,495 units with momentum from cars and SUVs. On the car side, there were double-digit gains from the Versa, Sentra, and Maxima. Rogue sales climbed 25.8%, plus the Frontier was up 84%. Infiniti (+11.4%) added luster with a threefold gain for QX50 and sales strength from its premium SUVs—QX60, QX70, and QX80.
Subaru—Subaru (+5.1%) set a June sales record with gains from the Legacy, Outback, Crosstrek, and WRX/STi.
Toyota Group—June sales for Toyota Group (-5.6%) skidded to 198,257 units. Toyota brand (-6.2%) sales declined to 172,478 units. Toyota SUVs eked out a half-point gain with strength from the RAV4 and Land Cruiser, while truck sales dipped 2.1%. Prius sales declined 26.7%. Scion, whose models join the Toyota brand in August, gained momentum (+61%) from the iA and iM small cars. Lexus (-1.3%) sold 25,779 cars and SUVs in June, with the RX-Series, LX, and NX SUVs offsetting a slide on the car side.
Volkswagen Group—VW Group deliveries fell 13.3%, hampered by issues related to settling the diesel emissions cheating scheme. VW brand (-21.8%) sales sank to 23,809 units, although the Tiguan and GTI set June records. Audi (+1%) sales were bolstered by demand for its SUVs—Q3, Q5, and Q7—and Porsche (+6.1%) posted a gain.
Volvo—Sales at Volvo were 8,454 units in June (+41.3%)—led by the XC90 and XC60.