The government’s popular Car Allowance Rebate System, better known as Cash for Clunkers, is credited with boosting sales through July, resulting in the best numbers in 11 months. “Sales may still be down 12 percent from a year ago, but they’re up 16 percent from June,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “Cash for Clunkers is a stimulus plan that works. Dealers now look to Congress to keep the momentum going by allocating additional funds to the program.”
International Brands Build Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 562,988 vehicles in July, up from 469,713 in June, but down from 650,887 in July 2008. Asian brands accounted for 48.7 percent of the market, up from 45.8 percent in June 2009, and Europeans had a 7.8 percent share, down from 8.8 percent. Domestic brands finished the month with 43.6 percent of the market.
Top Selling Vehicles
Six of the top ten selling vehicles in July were international makes, up from five in June. The Ford F Series pickup retained its number one crown, where it has sat every month of 2009, with the exception of April. The Toyota Prius made the top ten for the first time, moving from the number 14 spot to number ten. International vehicles hold 12 of the top 20 vehicles slots for the month of July. Toyota has the largest share of the top 20, with five vehicles.
Trucks vs. Cars
In July, Consumers purchased more Asian cars than domestic light trucks by a difference of 58,648 units. In June, the difference was just 13,423 units. This trend, which began in March of this year, is expected to grow as international vehicle shares continue to rise. Purchases of small cars, like the Hyundai Accent and Kia Spectra, accounted for 22.2 percent of auto sales in July, up from 20.5 percent in June.
Manufacturers sold 997,824 new cars and trucks in July, the highest monthly total since August 2008. The combination of pent up demand, and the availably of $3,500 and $4,500 government vouchers, brought consumers back to dealerships in droves. As a result, the industry’s seasonally adjusted sales rate, or SAAR, spiked from a predicted 9.69 million sales last month to 11.24 million in July.
See below for a complete breakdown of July 2009 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.