With sales happy and healthy across the US auto industry, there were very few brands that could say they had a bad month in July and none of the top Asian players fell in the latter category.
The US auto sales in July reached 1.51 million units according to Autodata Corp., with the seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales at 17.6 million – both figures above average analyst predictions and both figures the best in a decade or more. Toyota, the largest company in Japan and (after the first six months of the year) the second largest automaker in the world, posted an increase of almost one percent last month. “July auto sales showed no signs of slow down for the industry,” commented Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager. “Led by Tacoma sales, the Toyota division light trucks posted a best-ever July.” Nissan, the second largest Japanese automaker meanwhile reported an all-time July record as the group sales jumped 7.8 percent. The carmaker also managed to beat estimates that called for rise of 5.3 percent. Honda, the third largest Japanese competitor, jumped past estimates for a 4.7 percent increase and gained higher sales by 7.7 percent compared with the same period last year.
The two Seoul-based South Korean affiliates Hyundai and Kia also registered a positive result, with their combined deliveries growing 6.7 percent for a total of 127,324 units. “Transaction prices continue to climb and notable gains had small and medium volume brands like Fiat, Kia, Mazda and Subaru,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst at KBB. “However, Nissan reports the largest average transaction price increase among the large manufacturers with prices up nearly 6%, driven primarily by its Maxima, Murano, Rogue and Sentra models.” The Japanese brand said its sales of crossovers, trucks and sport utility vehicles jumped 22 percent.