Light vehicle sales in the U.S. in August improved 19.9% to 1.29
million vehicles, which is the highest monthly figure for any
August since 2007. According to Autodata Corp., seasonally adjusted
annual rate (SAAR) during the month was 14.52 million vehicles, up
16% from the year-ago level.
The key factors that drove auto sales during the month include
easier credit terms and strong pent-up demand. Most of the major
automakers posted double-digit rise in sales. Let us take a look at
each of them one by one.
General Motors Company
) sales rose 10.1% to 240,520 vehicles driven by strong demand for
cars and trucks. Higher gasoline prices boosted sales of compact
cars including the Cruze.
Ford Motor Co.
) sales grew 12.6% to 197,249 vehicles, mainly driven by strong
demand for its Escape sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and F-Series
pickup truck. Sales of Escape surged 36.8% to 28,188 units while
that of F-series jumped 19.3% to 58,201 units.
Chrysler Group LLC - controlled by Italy's
) - saw its best August in five years with sales of 148,472
vehicles, up 14% from the year ago level. The company's truck sales
grew 12% while car sales went up 21% during the month.
Toyota Motor Corp.
) posted an impressive 45.6% jump in sales to 188,520 vehicles,
driven by strong demand for its cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. Sales
of vehicles such as Rav4 SUV and Prius hybrid more than doubled
during the month.
Honda Motor Co.
) sales shot up 59.5% to 131,321 vehicles during the month. The
company's strong sales growth can be attributable to impressive
sales of Acura (up 73%) and Accord (up 89%).
Nissan Motors Co.
) saw a modest 7.6% rise in sales to 98,515 vehicles. Sales in the
company's Nissan Division sales increased 5.9% to 87,360 units
while that in the Infiniti division grew 23.6% to 11,155 units.
) Mercedes-Benz sales scaled up 11.3% to 20,557 units. This
compared with the global sales growth of 4.5% to 97,337 units due
to higher demand for B-Class models.
) sales jumped 62.5% to 41,011 vehicles, making the best August
sales since 1973. The improvement in sales was largely driven by
strong sales of Passat sedans, which increased to 10,090 units from
314 a year earlier.
Hyundai Motor Co.
) sales grew a tad 4% to 61,099 vehicles due to supply constraints.
Meanwhile, sales of its sister company Kia Motors Corp went up
21.5% to 50,028 vehicles.
Strong pent-up demand and improving macroeconomic conditions in the
U.S. will continue to revive the industry from recessionary lows,
partially offset by the backlash from the economic crisis in
Average age of vehicles on the U.S. road is 10.8 years. The
replacement rate is expected to remain solid till 2013. GM
anticipates sales in the range of 14 million to 14.5 million
vehicles for full year 2012.
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