Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia posted higher U.S. sales in July while Nissan and Mazda fell in the first monthly sales report without a Detroit 3 participant.
And in another sign the market continues to cool, the seasonally adjusted, annualized pace of sales come in at 16.82 million, slightly above the average estimates from J.D. Power/LMC Automotive, ALG, Edmunds and Cox Automotive.
It marks the fourth month this year the SAAR has dropped below 17 million. The July sales pace compares to a revised 17.22 million rate for June and 17.06 million in July 2018. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis updated and released on Thursday new seasonal factors used to the calculate the SAAR.
July marks a new era for U.S. sales results tallied by Automotive News as Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles join General Motors in abandoning monthly reports in favor of quarterly. The absence of companies representing 45 percent of U.S. sales will undercut the value of the monthly data as a barometer of the industry’s health.
Industry sales had fallen each month through June, and most forecasts indicated July would be down as well. Automotive News estimates GM volume rose 7.2 percent last month, while sales dropped an estimated 0.4 percent at Ford and 1.7 percent at FCA, for an overall industry increase of 1.2 percent, the first gain of the year.
Light-trucks sales, up an estimated 6.8 percent in July, continue to support the market, while car demand remains weak, falling an estimated 11 percent last month and year-to-date.
GM went to quarterly reports last year, abandoning a tradition that begin with the demise of 10-day reports in the early 1990s. Ford stopped public release of its numbers this year while continuing to issue figures to the Automotive News Data Center. FCA will next report in October, at the close of the third quarter. Excluding those three companies, along with Tesla Inc., U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 1.3 percent in July.
Results by automaker
Hyundai’s 12 percent increase marked its 12 straight monthly advance. At Toyota Motor Sales and American Honda, gains at the mainstream brands offset declines in their luxury units. Nissan and its Infiniti unit were both down as the company continued to scale back its incentive offerings.
At Honda, July volume edged up 1.9 percent to 141,296 units, with sales up 2.5 percent at the Honda division but slipping 3.7 percent at Acura. American Honda, ending two straight months of declines, said total light-truck demand increased 2.1 percent while car deliveries advanced 1.8 percent in July.
Honda brand light-truck sales, benefiting from the new Passport and higher CR-V and Ridgeline demand, rose 3.1 percent to 68,778, setting a record for the month, the company said.
July volume rose 0.4 percent at the Toyota division but slipped 1.5 percent at Lexus. Overall, Toyota Motor's car deliveries rose 3.6 percent while truck demand slipped 1.7 percent.
At Nissan, which continues to reduce incentive spending and fleet business, volume dropped 9.1 percent, with car deliveries sliding 25 percent. Sales dropped 8.9 percent at the Nissan brand and 11 percent at Infiniti, extending the luxury brand's losing streak to seven months.
Subaru, with new and redesigned crossovers and cars, extended its streak of year over year monthly gains to 92 with a 7.9 percent rise in July volume.