July sales at American Honda Motor Co. continued their upward climb this summer, with robust demand for light trucks pushing sales up 4.4 percent over the same month last year.
The automaker sold 152,799 vehicles in July for its Honda and Acura divisions. It also set a record for monthly light-truck sales, with 77,729 units sold, a 12 percent gain over July 2015.
American Honda’s gains come as rivals like Toyota, GM and Ford all posted slight declines, raising concerns that the industry is plateauing after six consecutive years of increases.
Sales at the Honda division were up 5.9 percent to 139,125total vehicles. This gain was almost entirely on the strength of the brand’s light trucks, which broke their own record with 68,507 units sold, a jump of 14 percent over last July.
The Honda CR-V, an aging model which is expected to be replaced next year, set an all-time monthly record with 36,017 vehicles sold, a 13 percent increase over July 2015. The smaller HR-V was up 25 percent, while sales of the larger Pilot rose 8 percent.
Honda’s car sales were dipped 0.9 percent. Bright spots were the renewed Fit sales, which rose 25 percent, and the Civic, which was up 5.8 percent and set a July record with 32,952 units sold.
“The strong cadence of new Honda products we continue to bring to market has created extraordinary retail demand that is unprecedented in our history,” said Jeff Conrad, general manager of the Honda Division, said in a statement.
Things were less rosy at Acura, which posted an 8.3 percent decline to 13,674 sales in July.
Acura’s car sales dropped 17 percent to 4,452 units and every car in its lineup posted double-digit declines from July 2015.
The division’s light-truck sales were down 3.5 percent. This included a 1.5 percent drop for Acura’s refreshed 2017 MDX crossover, which Acura blamed on inventory issues related to production ramp-up.
The strong sales gains for American Honda in July came even as the automaker cut incentives by just less than 12 percent versus July 2015. It averaged $1,794 in incentives per vehicle this July, compared to an industry average of $3,225, according to a forecast by TrueCar.
Overall sales for 2016 are up 5.1 percent for American Honda, to 945,154 total vehicles.