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June Auto Sales Sag despite Healthy Demand for SUVs

June Auto Sales Sag despite Healthy Demand for SUVs

By Philly Murtha, July 03, 2017

Solid demand for SUVs and pickups wasn’t enough to raise U.S. new-vehicle sales totals in June from a year ago. Major Japanese automakers eked out small gains, while the Detroit Three reported declines even with healthy SUV and pickup increases.



For a sixth straight month new-car sales slipped, as predicted by J.D. Power and auto forecasting partner LMC Automotive. Sales in June fell nearly 3 points to 1.47 million units vs. 1.51 million units in June 2016. Both months had 26 selling days. Car deliveries suffered the steepest drop, and most automakers said they sold fewer new vehicles to rental fleets.

Auto Sales photo

Staging a comeback after its diesel-emissions cheating debacle, Volkswagen Group (VW) posted the best year-over-year improvement (+10.9%) among the majors, while American Honda (Honda), Nissan North America (Nissan), and Toyota Motor (Toyota) saw low single-digit increases. Detroit’s General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Co. (Ford), and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) reported single-digit declines, despite gains for some SUV and pickup models.

Mercedes-Benz also reported a slight improvement from last June, taking the month’s luxury lead, while BMW was about even. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor (-14.9%) posted one of the sharper declines despite reporting a few June model records. Among independents, Subaru (+11.7%) continued to be the top achiever. Also, Jaguar Land Rover continued to gain with popular SUV entries.

Highlights: June 2017 Auto Sales
Following are June 2017 new-vehicle sales highlights (based on actual totals) for each major automaker:

American Honda Motor Co.—Total sales at Honda (+0.8%) inched up 1,078 units to 139,793 with help from demand for Honda brand SUVs and premium Acura products. Honda brand (-1.3%) sales slipped to 125,755 units. Top Honda performers included the HR-V, Ridgeline, and Accord (+3.4%). Acura (+23.7%) deliveries rose to 14,038 units, with gains for the ILX, TLX, MDX, and RDX plus 31 halo NSX deliveries.

BMW of North America—BMW group (-1.2%) sales dipped to 33,372 units. However, BMW brand (+0.4%) improved with a gain of 107 units to 28,962 units. Mini (-10.3%) sales fell to 4,410 units. BMW’s new 5 Series (+42.9%) and X1 (+62.5%) were strong sellers and the X5 (+14.2%) was an over-achiever.

Daimler AG—Group deliveries at Daimler (+1.1%) advanced to 32,328 units. Mercedes-Benz brand (+1.8%) reported its best June ever, with sales of 28,994 units to take the monthly lead in the premium brand sales race. Volume sellers in June included the best-selling C-Class, plus the GLE-Class and E-Class. Van sales totaled 3,108 units and Smart sold 226 units.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles—FCA (-7%) total sales fell to 187,348 units. Only the Ram brand (+6%) posted a gain with double-digit increases for its vans. Fiat (-4%); Jeep (-11%); Dodge (-14%); and Chrysler (-15%) brands reported lower sales than a year ago. A few positive standouts: the Jeep Grand Cherokee (+21%) posted its best June since 2005. Chrysler Pacifica sales climbed 59%—the best sales month since launch. Alfa Romeo and the Fiat Spider provided incremental momentum.

Ford Motor Co.—Ford (-5.1%) deliveries in June slid to 227,979 units, with a 13.9% decline in rental and fleet sales. June’s best-selling Ford brand (-5.4%) delivered 218,704 units, with double-digit gains from SUVs, including the Edge, Flex, and Explorer. The F-Series (+9.8%) large pickup, which is America’s best-seller, also added strength with 77,895 unit sales. Lincoln (+5.3%) created energy with gains from premium SUVs (MKC, MKX, MKT, and Navigator), plus the new Continental.

General Motors—Total sales at GM (-4.7%) declined to 243,155 units in June. Buick was the star with a double-digit (+16.4%) gain bolstered by demand for the new Envision and Encore. Stablemates GMC (-3.6%), Chevrolet (-6.4%), and Cadillac (-11.8%)  posted lower totals. Trucks and SUVs were stronger performers for these three brands. Chevrolet sold 169,842 units in June and posted gains for the Colorado and Silverado pickups plus the Equinox, Traverse, Trax, Suburban, and Tahoe SUVs. Halo Corvette also was a strong performer for Chevy. The best-sellers for Cadillac were the XT5 and Escalade, while the Acadia and Savana supported GMC deliveries.

Hyundai Motor—Total deliveries at Hyundai Motor (-14.9%) declined to 110,650 units. Hyundai and Genesis brand sales plummeted 19% to 54,507 units in June. The Tucson (+39%) continued to outpace the brand’s lineup and the new Ioniq added incremental sales (1,406 units). Kia (-10.3%) deliveries fell to 56,143 units, despite a June record for the Forte.

Jaguar Land Rover—Jaguar Land Rover (+3.1%) delivered a combined 8,706 vehicles in June. Jaguar (+7.4%) sales rose to 2,946 units with momentum from the F-Pace. Land Rover (+1%) sales edged up by 55 units to 5,760 units.

Mazda—Mazda (-14.7%) sold 22,342 units in June, with gains for the CX-5 (+3.5%) and MX-5 Miata (+17.7%).

Mitsubishi—Deliveries at Mitsubishi (-5%) declined to 7,625 units, despite the Outlander’s best monthly performance since 2007.

Nissan North America—Total deliveries at Nissan (+2%) were 143,328 units in June. Nissan brand (+1.2%) sold 131,057 new vehicles with the Rogue (+17%) setting a June benchmark of 34,349 unit sales while Infiniti (+11%) boosted monthly totals to 12,271 units. Nissan Leaf EV sales soared 37.4% while the Sentra compact car posted an increase. On the truck side, the Titan, Pathfinder, and Armada were strong performers. Infiniti’s strongest models were the Q50 and Q60 premium cars plus the QX80 premium SUV.

Subaru—Subaru (+11.7%) set a June record with 52,057 unit sales and best June totals for the Crosstrek, Forester, Outback, and Impreza.

Toyota Motor Sales—June totals at Toyota (+2.1%) reached 202,376 units, with June records achieved by some SUV models. Toyota brand (+2.3%) sold 177,981 units, while Lexus (-5.4%) declined to 24,395 units. The Toyota RAV4 (+24.7%) and Highlander (+28.3%) SUVs set monthly benchmarks and the 4Runner posted a double-digit gain (+16.6%). Tacoma and Tundra pickup sales also improved. The Lexus NX posted its best-ever June sales, and the RX Series and LX SUVs also posted gains.

Volkswagen Group—Total VW Group (+10.9%) sales rose to 47,099 units. The VW brand (+15%) sold 27,377 units with better performances from the Golf, Jetta, and Beetle. The new Atlas large SUV garnered 2,413 unit sales. Audi (+5.3%) delivered 19,416 units with big gains for the Q7 and continued strength for the A4 and A5. Porsche deliveries rose 0.8% to 4,516 units, bolstered by the Macan and Panamera.

Volvo—Deliveries at Swedish automaker Volvo totaled 7,303 units, with the XC90 achieving 2,751 unit sales.


Additional Research:


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