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Large Pickup Sales Surge in July; GM, Honda, Toyota, Subaru Reap Big Gains

8/2/2013
Large pickups and compacts--especially compact crossovers--continued to outpace most other segments in July as U.S. auto sales hit another high mark. In early reports, July new-car and light-truck sales for many U.S. automakers likely were the strongest since July 2006--before the Great Recession.

J.D. Power and strategic partner LMC Automotive determined that new-vehicle sales for the month of July reached 1.313 million units, which was an increase of 9.4% from July 2012, when adjusted on a selling-day basis. There was one more selling day in July 2013 than in the same month a year ago. On an unadjusted basis, U.S. sales rose by double digits.

Detroit Three Post Double-Digit Sales Increases in July
General Motors (GM), Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC posted double-digit sales gains in July 2013 vs. July 2012, which had one selling day fewer. On an unadjusted basis, GM's sales were up 16%, while Ford and Chrysler deliveries improved by 11% from July 2012.

The three Detroit automakers achieved sales boosts from exceptionally strong large pickup truck sales, with GM's redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra contributing to a near 50% lift in light-truck sales. The climb in large pickup deliveries for all automakers is due in part to a revival in housing construction and the commercial energy business in the United States. GM and Ford also reaped major sales gains from some sub-compact and compact car models in July as well.

Among multi-franchise automakers, Honda Group may have posted the biggest sales increase in July--deliveries were up 21% from a year ago with gains for Honda and Acura brands. Toyota Group's sales climbed 17% on an unadjusted basis. In July, Toyota Group outsold Ford Motor for the first time since 2010. Nissan Motor's deliveries rose 11% from a year ago, which was a new July record. Nissan brand sales climbed 17%, but were offset by a 33% decline from Infiniti. Hyundai Group's sales edged up in low single-digits.

Among the Europeans, Volkswagen Group posted a slight increase vs. last year with a small decline from its VW brand, offset by double-digit advances from Audi and Porsche premium brands. Porsche's U.S. sales in July were its best ever for that month. BMW Group sales rose nearly 11%, with BMW brand deliveries increasing nearly 13%. Daimler Group also posted a double-digit sales gain from July 2012. Land Rover achieved high-double digit gains with combined deliveries rising by nearly one-third. Tata Motors' Volvo brand sales improved by 3% from a year ago.

Subaru led the independents and the multi-franchise automaker gains with a 43% year-over-year increase followed by Mazda, which saw sales climb by nearly one-third and Mitsubishi also reported a double-digit increase from July 2012.

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