International Makes Regain Market Share Lead
U.S. auto sales last month hit their lowest level in a quarter century. Overall sales, unadjusted for business days, were down 32 percent from October 2007, and 14.6 percent year to date. Consumers stayed away in droves despite a variety of incentives, including zero percent financing on many Toyota models. According to the New York-based Conference Board, consumer confidence hit an all time low in October.
International Makes Regain Majority Market Share
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international makes in September made up 47.7 percent of the share with 460,182 vehicles. That number jumped to 53.5 in October. In year-to-date data for light vehicle sales, international nameplates hold 52.7 percent of the market. Of the international makes, Toyota held the greatest share percentage with 16.2 percent.
The international auto industry also had several bright spots in the list of October’s top ten selling vehicles. International brands secured six of the top spots as well as securing 11 of the top 20 slots for the month. Toyota’s Corolla/Matrix (#4) increased in sales from a year ago by 6.1 percent. The Honda Accord (#6) saw a 0.1 percent increase in YTD sales, the Honda Civic (#7) saw a 9.2 percent increase, and the Nissan Altima (#8) saw a 0.7 increase.
Trucks vs. Cars
The month of October highlights a stark difference between the type of vehicles sold by international nameplates and those sold by the Detroit Three. International’s sold more than twice as many cars (290,471) over the domestic brands (137,618) with Asian nameplates taking 27.7 percent of the total market and European nameplates taking 7.0 percent. In contrast, when it came to trucks, domestic automakers sold 252,187 trucks (30.1 percent of the total market), while international automakers moved 157,880 (18.8 percent).
As a whole total vehicle sales are down for the entire industry over October 2007. The domestic nameplates saw a 38.3 percent decrease, Asian nameplates saw a 26.6 percent decrease, and Europeans saw a 17.9 percent decrease. In response to these numbers, the seasonally adjusted annual rate was lowered to 10.9 million, the lowest since March 1983.
See below for a complete breakdown of September 2008 monthly and year-to-date sales by international nameplate.