DETROIT -- Giving everyone the employee discount had the effect of running General Motors' sales engine on high-octane racing fuel.
GM posted a huge 46.9 percent U.S. sales gain in June compared with June 2004. Dealerships moved 550,829 units during the month -- nearly twice as many sales as rival Ford Motor Co. It was GM's best sales month since September 1986.
GM's U.S. market share for June was 32.8 percent, up 6.9 percentage points from June 2004. For the year to date, GM gained 0.1 percentage points of share to reach 27.1 percent.
The program was so successful that the Chrysler group said Friday that it would launch a similar promotion starting on July 6. The GM promotion is scheduled to end on July 5, but may be extended.
GM pulled the entire industry along in its wake. Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler posted sales gains in June, as did Nissan, Toyota and Honda.
June sales totaled 1.67 million units, up 15.9 percent from June 2004. The month's sales translated into a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 18.13 million units. That was up from a rate of 15.90 million units in May.
Many of those GM buyers rolled out in new pickups and SUVs. GM's truck sales for the month rose 75.8 percent from a year ago. Car sales rose 8.5 percent, a gain that was limited by a large drop in fleet sales.
The month's performance also was a testament to the power of a well-crafted, simple marketing message. While consumers flocked to take advantage of insider prices, GM said its spending on rebates for the month was flat to slightly up compared with June.
Most buyers in July also opted to buy the vehicle instead of leasing, GM said.
With the strong June, GM's sales for 2005 are now up 2.1 percent compared with the first six months of 2004. Its sales totaled 2.32 million for the period.
GM's sales include the Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, Saturn, GMC, Hummer and Saab brands.
DaimlerChrysler sales rose 5.1 percent in June to 238,282 units. For the year to date, sales are up 3.8 percent to 1.28 million units. The sales data includes the Chrysler group and Mercedes-Benz.
Hyundai Group sales, covering the Hyundai and Kia brands, rose 1.7 percent in June to 70,146 units. After six months, group sales are up 7.8 percent to 367,523 units.
Nissan, Toyota remain strong
Nissan North America continued its growth in June, as combined sales of the Nissan and Infiniti brands jumped 18.8 percent to 92,781 units.
The Nissan division got a boost from the redesigned Pathfinder SUV, which nearly tripled its sales from June 2004. The Infiniti luxury channel got a bump from strong sales of the redesigned M sedan.
Through the first six months of this year, Nissan North America sales are up 14.8 percent to 542,723 units.
GM's big month didn't diminish sales at rival Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. Toyota's U.S. sales arm posted a 14.4 percent gain in June with 194,875 units. After six months, Toyota's sales stand at 1.11 million units, up 10.9 percent compared with the same period in 2004.
The Toyota Division got a boost from the redesigned Avalon sedan, while luxury division Lexus was propelled by the redesigned GS sedan.
Ford posts slight gain
Ford Motor Co. eked out a 0.3 percent sales gain in June, as the automaker got a boost from car sales.
Ford said its car sales rose 8.5 percent for the month, compared with June 2004, to slightly more than 100,000 units. Truck sales for the month fell 3.0 percent to about 189,000 units.
Through the first half of this year, Ford's sales are down 4.6 percent to 1.60 million units. Ford's sales numbers include the Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo brands.
Mazda, in which Ford owns a controlling stake, saw its sales fall 18.2 percent in June to 22,063 units. Mazda's high-volume Mazda3 and Mazda6 lines both posted declines for the month. For the year to date, Mazda sales are down 3.9 percent to 134,988 units.
BMW, VW see declines
BMW group sales fell 3.3 percent in June to 27,034 units, due in part to the changeover to a new generation of the BMW 3-series sedan.
After six months, BMW group sales are up 0.8 percent to 145,053. The group includes the BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.
An uptick in Volkswagen Jetta sales and the contribution of the recently introduced Audi A3 hatchback were not enough to counteract sales drops of the VW New Beetle and Passat in June.
Total VW sales -- covering the VW, Audi and Bentley brands -- fell 11.0 percent in June to 26,620 units, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Through the first six months of this year, VW sales are down 17.3 percent to 136,236 units.
Among other automakers reporting:
For the year to date, Mitsubishi sales are down 35.4 percent to 65,753 units.
You may e-mail Dale Jewett at [email protected]
|June||June||Pct.||6 mos.||6 mos.||Pct.|
|Ford Motor Co.***||288,353||286,340||0.7%||1,609,022||1,686,817||–4.6%|
|Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere. |
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: Other includes estimates for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus
*Includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
***Includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo
Includes Honda Division and Acura
Includes Hyundai and Kia
Includes Nissan Division and Infiniti
Includes Toyota Division and Lexus
Includes VW, Audi and Bentley