Car Industry Carnage: US Auto Sales Down 18.8% For June

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Everybody knew it was coming, but the extent of the disintegration of the US automotive market came clearly into view today as automakers reported their sales figures for June. During a month when the national average price of gasoline topped an average of four bucks, what does one expect? Well — how about an 18.8% decline in sales. Fercrissakes, the Hummer brand saw a year-over-year fall of almost 60%! Un-freakin'-believable. What we have here folks is an automotive bear market — actually probably the worst bear market in the history of the industry. And like all bear markets, there are some clever companies which manage to shine even during the worst of times. Follow along as we discuss today's car industry carnage. These numbers are sourced from Automotive News as well as directly from manufacturers and are unadjusted unless otherwise noted.

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American Honda

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Honda was the sparkling bright light of hope amidst today's reports, announcing year-over-year sales figures which bucked the greater trend with a gain of 13.8%. The increases at Honda were led by a record breaking month for both the Honda Fit and the Honda Civic. Sales at the Acura division weren't so great, but when you're selling the brand for fuel efficient small cars during painful fuel times, that kind of thing gets overshadowed.

Daimler AG

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There's some kind of saying about how the rich get richer and the poor get... something, but it escapes our mind at the moment. We're watching Daimler's caviar-infused Kobe veal just now arriving. We're not the least bit surprised in the Daimler announcement of sales improvements around 12.9%, the idea of driving anything less than a Mercedes in these trying times is simply unnerving.

Subaru Motors

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Maybe all those years of pitching responsible transportation and safety-inspired handling have netted benefits, as Subaru has reported a 5.3% increase in sales for June. Could also be the the new Subaru Forester crossover scores major points with the "I want an SUV but I'd love good fuel economy" crowd. Whatever the case, the Fuji Heavy industries subsidiary is making gains in a tough market.

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Volkswagen AG

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VW must be doing something right, as they've managed to eke out a 0.3% sales increase where many others have not. Perhaps the concept of small, premium, sporty, fuel efficient cars isn't so far-fetched after all. Listen to us, we sound like smug Europeans.

BMW Group

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It just goes to show that questionable styling, thirsty engines, and complex controls don't always a luxe brand make. BMW Group reported an unfortunate sales loss of 11% for June. Where the compact Mini brand saw a 24.8% bump in demand, the BMW brand dropped by 17% — we're betting those numbers pick up once the BMW X6 starts hitting — or rather bypassing showroom floors — as all of them are spoken for already.

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Toyota

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Not all is well within the super number one best awesome brand from the land of the rising sun. June saw an overall decline of 11.5%*. Breaking that down — the Lexus Division was smacked pretty good with a 21.1% decline and the Toyota Division fell 10.3% relative to last June. Supply problems with what should be the all-star Prius forced a 25% sales drop for the headlining hybrid. What about them trucks though? Toyota truck sales were down a whopping 31.1% which, in our opinion bodes very poorly for the new Toyota Tundra. Consider the Ford F-150's sales flagged by only 5% more, and yet the Toyota is much newer with a new F-Series just over a pushed-back-by-two-months horizon. *Toyota reported figures adjusted for daily sales rate

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Nissan North America

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Apparently Nissan is no slouch in losing sales either. Carlos Ghosn's golden brand saw a decline of 17.7% this June. Sure, it's not as good as either Toyota or Honda, but it sure as hell isn't as bad as the traditional big three. As expected, sales of the company's small cars came on strong last month, but Nissan's trucks and SUVs took a solid faceplant. Nissan still has that all-electric wonder-car planned, so we're sure the greenwashing campaign will begin immediately.

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General Motors

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The General isn't doing too bad compared to its cross-town rivals, but losing 18.5% compared to last years' June still stings. Sure, the Hummer brand lost an eye-watering 60%, but other vehicles made up for most of it, like the shockingly popular Chevy Malibu, and even the Cobalt is seeing renewed demand. And don't even talk to them about trucks and SUVs. But that's not to say GM is on solid ground, especially considering recent announcements from management on idling of plants.

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Porsche AG

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Perhaps it's the pending release of a freshened Porsche 911, or the overall stagnation of the brand, or that Porsche sales are heavily weighted on the high selling, and uber-thirsty Cayenne, but Porsche announced a surprising drop of 18.9% in sales. Maybe even luxury buyers are tightening their belts when it comes to weekend toys.

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Ford Motor Company

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Ford did not have a very good month. With declines pegged at 28% and sales of the popular F-150 down a staggering 36% for the month of June, the big blue oval is taking one to the jaw on the sales front. It's worth a note though that the yucky-looking but fuel-efficient new Ford Focus is positively flying off the lots. Now if only they could get that new Ford Fiesta here on the double.

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Chrysler LLC

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Chrylser LLC has posted a mind numbing 36% decline for June, and with numbers like that, and the decision to shutter the St. Louis minivan plant, Cerberus has got to be patting themselves on the back right about now. June was so bad, we heard the Chrysler dealers actually had to resort to brushing the spider webs off the doors during their lunch breaks. Despite its $2.99 gas deal, some of the SUV offerings were complete non-sellers, for instance: Jeep Commander — down 68% to 1,961 vehicles; Dodge Durango down 67% to 1,723 vehicles; Chrysler Aspen down 49% to 944 vehicles.

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Mitsubishi Cars

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And today's winner is Mitsubishi, posting a breathtaking 42.4% decline in sales compared to last June. Here is where we insert jokes about lingering Chrysler interior quality, and the smashing success of the new Mitsubishi design language, but that just seems mean. Let's be serious for a second though, has anyone seen the interior of the Mitsubishi Endeavor? Oh wait, that answer is no.

DISCUSSION

GasGuzzler
GasGuzzler

The idiocracy of most people posting on this website astounds me.

First off, percentage increases or decreases in sales is the only number that matters, it's an equalizer for comparison, the actual vehicle sales numbers won't tell you jack except to give all you import fanatics something too ooh and ahh about. If sales drop by 1,000 vehicles what does that number tell you? Nothing because it ignores the reference to how much total vehicles you sold. Percentage matters because sales dropping 1,000 vehicles from a volume of 100,000 is only a 1% decline whereas a 1,000 unit drop from a volume of 10,000 is a 10% decline; significant difference regardless of the number of units. If anyone had any business sense around here you would know that, vehicles are designed based on some economic scale of production so even a loss on a "small" vehicle program greatly erodes profit as contribution margin dollars which go towards breakeven on fixed costs are reduced.

Secondly, when the hell did bashing domestic industries become the trendy thing to do in this country? This is what's wrong with America, all the bedwetting wimps and their chicken little attitudes. In no other country on this planet are citizens so quick to turn their back on their own country like the people of the United States of America. Guess what folks? There is NOBODY to blame for GM, Ford, and Chrysler building trucks but ourselves. We bought them, we wanted them, we got them. End of story. Even superstar Toyota builds trucks. Why? Because people want them. And don't kid yourselves, when has goes back down below $2/gallon truck sales will skyrocket again. And it will happen, that I assure you. In every oil and economic crisis we have ever endured, people did not think prices would come down or things would get better and sure as the sun comes up every morning, things got better.

I truly weep for the future of this country knowing how many people are so quick to disgrace our own actions and accomplishments at the drop of a hat. Take some responsibility. Stop whining - stop being a part of the problem and be a part of the solution. Gas is $4/gallon. So what? What are you doing about it? Blogging on a website about how you think anybody in this country predicted it even 5 years ago is a crock and you know it. I drive a 15mpg truck and 400+ all wheel horsepower sports car, you won't hear me complaining about gas prices. I made my choice, that's America. Liberty and free choice, not lambasting companies that we all bought from the second things get a little rough. The energy crisis and global warming scare will go down in history as the biggest scams ever pushed on society so keep buying into and feeding the fire, nobody seems to have any problem funneling money into that cause. It's a zero sum game folks, spend it on gas or spend it trying to be green, at the end of the day, think about the big picture.