Home / Auto / July 2017 Auto Sales: A Slow Slide, As Expected

July 2017 Auto Sales: A Slow Slide, As Expected


Hand-wringing and hype mark the two sides of the July auto sales coin, as they have pretty much since it became clear the U.S. market would start to retrench a bit after the back-to-back 17.5-million-unit years of 2015 and 2016.

By midday, while compiling these numbers for your perusal, analysts were estimating July 2017’s seasonally adjusted annual rate was 16.8-million, with incentives down slightly for the month.

Of the top four automakers in the U.S., General Motors, Ford Motor Company and FiatChrysler all were down heavily, while Toyota Motor Sales’ numbers rose slightly. Toyota sold 7,787 more vehicles in July ’17 than in July ’16 to pass Ford as the second-largest automaker in the U.S. The Toyota RAV4’s sales were up by 9,122.

The Detroit automakers are facing growing inventories of unsold models, especially GM, which is stocking up on full-size pickup trucks in anticipation of having to shut down and retool for all-new 2019 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras.

Pickup truck profit margins are so high that the Detroit Three can make lots of money off them, even with aggressive incentives. And they help drive up average transaction prices (ATPs), especially as suburban cowboys continue to buy nicely equipped models.

According to Kelly Blue Book/kbb.com’s Monthly Auto Sales Profile, released Tuesday morning, GM’s ATP for its four U.S. brands was $39,274 — though down 2.3 percent from July ’16, up 0.4 percent over June ’17. Ford’s $38,445 was +2.4 percent/-0.7 percent, and FiatChrysler’s $36,834 was $36,834, +3.5 percent/-0.8 percent.

Toyota’s ATP (Toyota and Lexus) was just $31,217, -0.1 percent/-0.7 percent, American Honda’s (Honda and Acura) was $27,650, +1.6 percent/0.1 percent, KBB says, and Nissan North America’s (Nissan, Infiniti) ATP was $28,421, +3.3 percent/+1 percent.

Having shed many brands and such labor costs as the United Auto Worker’s job bank, and pension and health care costs, the Detroit Three, especially GM, are in better shape operating as stripped-down companies. Before it released falling sales data Tuesday morning, GM announced it had closed the sale of Opel and Vauxhall to PSA Group/Peugeot/Citroen. Its goal now is not to reclaim global sales leadership from Toyota and Volkswagen AG, but to remain profitable as it gets even smaller in anticipation of a transformation in the number of and manner in which we buy cars and trucks in the future.

And so, to the numbers …

1. General Motors: 226,107, off 15.4 percent.

  • Chevrolet slid 15.3 percent to 151,502; GMC was off 7.3 percent to 47,412; Buick plummeted 30.5 percent to 15,966 and Cadillac lost 21.7 percent, to 11,227.
  • Chevy Silverado was down 15.1 percent, to 45,966 and GMC Sierra was off 11 percent, to 19,963, though Chevy Colorado sales jumped 21.9 percent, to 11,206. GMC Canyon was down 21.8 percent to 2,761. Big truck sales totaled 65,929, and the midsize pickups added up to 13,967.
  • Chevy Equinox was up 2.5 percent, to 23,524 and Malibu was off 10.8 percent, to 10,549. Cruze also slid, 10.5 percent, to 12,278.
  • Corvette was off 10.6 percent, to 1,930, as Chevy sold 1,971 Bolts, and 1,518 Volts, the latter off 36.9 percent.
  • GMC Yukon sales fell 6.6 percent, to 4,370, Yukon XL was off 5.3 percent, to 2,780 and Acadia was up 30.3 percent, to 9,722.
  • Buick’s new Chinese-built Envision compact SUV was the brand’s only gainer, up 97.9 percent, to 2,812. Encore was off 6.3 percent, to 6,488.
  • Although it’s a new model, the Buick LaCrosse plummeted 56.4 percent, to 1,028.
  • At Cadillac, gainers were XT5, up 11.2 percent to 5,504, Escalade, up 2.6 percent to 1,748 and CT6, up 7.6 percent to 890.
  • Cadillac ATS was down 63.3 percent, to 777 and CTS was down 40.1 percent, to 786, amid news the two cars would be combined into one CT5 sedan in the future. Escalade ESV was off 17.1 percent, to 978.

2. Toyota Motor Sales: 222,057, up 3.6 percent.

  • Both the Toyota and Lexus divisions were up 3.6 percent, with Toyota at 193,155 and Lexus at 28,902.
  • RAV4 was up 36.6 percent, to 41,804, to sail past Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, and Toyota’s own Camry, off 0.9 percent to 33,827, and Corolla, off 15 percent, to 28,333.
  • Prius sales fell 26.1 percent, to 9,384.
  • Toyota 86 sales were off 4 percent, to 655.
  • Highlander sales rose 25 percent, to 19,017 for its best July, and 4Runner was up 2.9 percent, to 9,874.
  • Tacoma was up 4.8 percent, to 17,372 while Tundra ticked up 0.7 percent, to 10,546.
  • Lexus NX also had its best July, up 15.3 percent, to 5,406. RX was up 13 percent, to 9,632.
  • Lexus ES sales rose 20.8 percent, to 6,641 as IS dropped by 29.4 percent, to 2,443.

3. Ford Motor Company: 200,212, off 7.5 percent.

  • F-Series totaled 69,467, up 5.8 percent. Ford has sold 499,327 F-Series so far this year, up 8.3 percent over ’16 year-to-date.
  • In Pony Car Wars, Mustang dropped by 35.1 percent, to 6,206, while Dodge Challenger was off 5 percent, to 5,333, though it still leads Chevy Camaro, off 14.6 percent, to 4,713.
  • Escape was up 5.5 percent, to 27,716 and Fusion plummeted 42.2 percent, to 13,886.
  • Explorer was up 12.9 percent, to 18,763, with the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility up 7.3 percent, to 2,766.
  • Focus was up 18.1 percent, to 16,505, and Fiesta, likely on the chopping block for the U.S. market, was off 12.5 percent, to 3,582.
  • Ford accounted for 191,337 units, off 7.7 percent, while Lincoln sold 8,875, off 2.5 percent.
  • MKX was Lincoln’s bestseller, off 8.8 percent, to 2,422.
  • MKC was off 0.4 percent, to 2,129.
  • MKZ dropped by 19.2 percent, to 2,399.
  • Lincoln sold 958 Continentals, topping Cadillac CT6 by 68 units

4. FiatChrysler: 161,447, off 10 percent.

  • Jeep was off 12 percent, to 69,351, but last month the outgoing steel-bodied model of the Wrangler was not the culprit. Wrangler sales ticked up by 36 units (0 percent) to 18,698. Grand Cherokee had its best July since 2005, at 19,024, up 14 percent, and the new Compass was up 8 percent, to 7,528.
  • Compass may have cannibalized Jeep Cherokee sales, however, which fell 23 percent, to 11,818. Renegade was off 12 percent, to 8,858, and the discontinued Patriot dropped 70 percent, to 3,425.
  • Ram brand was up by 33 units (0 percent), to 44,090, with the pickup off 101 units (0 percent), to 39,708. ProMaster City had its best July, at 1,347, up 13 percent.
  • Dodge Charger was up 9 percent, to 5,426, and Viper, which discontinues production this month, was up 14 percent, to 56.
  • Dodge Charger was up 9 percent, to 5,426, and Journey was up 7 percent, to 6,800.
  • Chrysler Pacifica had its best July, at 8,288, up 5 percent, though Dodge Caravan sales dropped 25 percent, to 7,503. Chrysler 300 was up 31 percent, to 3,090.
  • Fiat lost 18 percent, to 2,244, with 500 off 6 percent, to 1,026, 500L down 24 percent, to 171 and 500X sliding 37 percent, to 597.
  • The Fiat 124 Spider was off 30 units, to 450.
  • Alfa Romeo was up, predictably, by 2,749 percent, to 1,225. The brand sold 1,104 Giulias and 99 Stelvios. The 4c was off 49 percent, to 22.

5. American Honda, 150,980, off 1.2 percent.

  • Honda division was off 1.7 percent, to 136,803 and Acura was up 3.7 percent, to 14,177.
  • Civic led, up 11.3 percent to 36,683, with CR-V off 11.8 percent, to 31,761 and Accord off 3.3 percent, to 30,903.
  • HR-V sales rose 32.3 percent, to 9,779, while Pilot dropped by 3.5 percent, to 9,985.
  • Odyssey was off 9.7 percent, to 10,134, and Ridgeline was down 26.5 percent, to 2,586.
  • Acura RDX had a banner month, up 28.2 percent, to 5,539, to carry the division and stanch overall Honda sales. MDX slid 3.6 percent, to 4,727. TLX dropped by 20.1 percent, to 2,495. NSX rose 42.9 percent, to 30.

6. Nissan Group: 128,295, off 3.2 percent.

  • Nissan division was off 4.1 percent, to 117,455, while Infiniti jumped 9 percent, to 10,840.
  • Rogue remains the brand’s bestseller, but it dropped by 2.6 percent last month, to 32,425.
  • Altima sales fell 10.6 percent, to 22,314 and Sentra was up 1 percent, to 18,724.
  • With a new model on the way, Nissan’s Leaf EV jumped 20.7 percent, to 1,283.
  • Pathfinder was off 8.4 percent, to 5,066, though Murano ticked up by 0.7 percent, to 6,314. NV200 had its best July, up 9.8 percent, to 1,625.
  • QX60 was Infiniti’s bestseller, off 5.3 percent, to 3,505. Q50 was next, off 7.5 percent, to 2,596. The premium brand sold 729 QX30s.

7. Kia: 56,403, off 5.9 percent.

  • Soul, off 1.5 percent to 12,961, was bestseller. Forte was closely behind, up 16.7 percent, to 12,022.
  • Sorento was off 1.2 percent, to 9,734.
  • Optima dropped 18.9 percent, to 7,933. Sportage sales fell 12 percent, to 7,135.
  • Kia sold 2,753 Niros, more than twice the number of its electrified vehicle platform sibling, the Hyundai Ioniq.

8. Subaru: 55,703, up 6.9 percent.

  • Though Hyundai leads Subaru by 40,110 for the first seven months of ’17, Subaru is ahead of Kia by 8,374 units for the same time period. Subaru says last month was its best July ever, marking 68 consecutive months of growth.
  • If you think you’ve seen a lot of Outbacks in your neighborhood lately, yes, you have. Sales were up 19.6 percent, to 17,581. Legacy dropped by 27.4 percent, to 3,785.
  • Forester ticked up by 2.9 percent, to 15,283. Crosstrek, just short of its replacement model, was off 6 percent, to 7,972.
  • Impreza was up 49.6 percent, to 7,777, but WRX/STI dropped by 10.8 percent, to 2,933.
  • BRZ was up 5.4 percent, to 372. Combined sales with Toyota 86 totaled 1,027, off 0.8 percent.

9. Hyundai: 54,063, off 28 percent.

  • Last year’s sales of 75,003 was Hyundai’s best ever July, the automaker says.
  • Elantra was off 35.6 percent, to 13,287, and Santa Fe sales fell 11.1 percent, to 12,749.
  • Tucson dropped by 45.7 percent, to 11,257 and Sonata plummeted 48.4 percent, to 10,648.
  • The only bright spots were the new Hyundai Ioniq, of which 1,252 were sold, and the Genesis G90, which was up 156 percent to 305, compared with last year’s Hyundai Equus. Genesis also sold 1,339 G80s, versus 47 Hyundai Genesises (Genesii?) this July and 2,117 Genesii last July. Genesis brand sold 1,644 last month.

10. Mercedes-Benz USA: 28,849, off 10.7 percent.

  • The Mercedes brand was off 9.2 percent, to 25,909, while vans fell 15.7 percent, to 2,758 and Smart plummeted 63.1 percent, to 182.
  • Benz’s car models took big hits, but the C-Class was still its bestseller, at 4,899, off 22.3 percent. GLC was up 17.3 percent, to 4,002.
  • E-Class/CLS was off 25.8 percent, to 3,876 and GLE was off 12.1 percent, to 3,879.
  • S-Class fell 17.6 percent, to 1,470. CLA-Class slipped 4.5 percent, to 2,181.

11. Volkswagen: 27,091, off 5.8 percent.

  • Even 1,306 Atlas and 593 new Tiguan SUVs trickling through dealerships early in their production runs wasn’t enough to put VW in positive territory.
  • Jetta sales fell 3.5 percent, to 11,053. Golf sales rose, though, by 4.3 percent, to 5,583. Beetle was down 11.1 percent, to 1,359.
  • Passat plummeted 21.5 percent, to 5,143 and the old Tiguan fell 56.1 percent to 1,484.

12. Mazda: 27,089, off 3 percent.

  • Three more Miatas, for an even 1,000, would have pushed Mazda ahead of VW for the month. Where were you, people?
  • Mazda sold 11,402 CX-5s, up 5.3 percent.
  • CX-9 was up 3.3 percent, to 2,318, and CX-3 was off 1.2 percent, to 1,481.
  • Mazda3 was off 8.6 percent, to 7,407, and Mazda6 was off 19.8 percent, to 3,462.
  • MX-5 Miata had a good month anyway, thanks in part to sales of the new RF, at 997, up 13.2 percent. Combined sales with the Fiat 124 Spider totaled 1,447, up 6.3 percent.

13. BMW Group: 26,363, off 13.7 percent.

  • BMW dropped 14.8 percent, to 21,695 and Mini was off 7.9 percent, to 4,398.
  • The 3 Series continues to slide, off 39.9 percent, to 4,084 as its two- and four-door coupe companion model, the 4 Series, rose 31.3 percent, to 2,866.
  • The new 5 Series rose 12.4 percent, to 3,713. The 2 Series dropped by 22.1 percent, to 1,331. X1 was down 14.4 percent, to 1,824.
  • On the SUV side, X5 was up 8.8 percent, to 2,986, and X3 was off 0.8 percent, to 2,657.
  • Mini’s 2 Door was off 1 percent, to 808 and the 4 Door fell 40.4 percent, to 551.
  • Countryman sales rose 2.8 percent, to 1,462, while Clubman slipped 0.5 percent, to 1,071.

14. Audi: 18,824, up 2.5 percent.

  • Audi says the new Sportback, Cabriolet and coupe versions of the A5 pushed sales up 203 percent, to 2,255.
  • Sales of the $50,000-plus Q7 continue to impress, up 44 percent, to 3,334.
  • Q5 remains Audi’s bestseller, though off 15 percent, to 4,116. A4 was up 1.5 percent, to 2,652.
  • Audi sold 2,300 A3s, off 24 percent, and 218 A3 e-trons, off 38 percent.
  • TT sales slipped 14 percent, to 181 and R8 was off 17 percent, to 73.

15. Jaguar/Land Rover: 9,081, off 4 percent.

  • Land Rover dropped by 2.6 percent, to 5,915 compared with its best July, last year.
  • Jaguar was off 7 percent, to 3,166.
  • Range Rover was up 21 percent, to 1,414, and Discovery Sport was up 9 percent, to 1,272.
  • F-Pace remains the bestselling Jaguar, at 1,748 units.

16. Mitsubishi: 8,025, up 1.7 percent.

  • Outlander carried the month with its best July ever, at 2,530, up 29.6 percent.
  • Mirage also was up, by 21.9 percent, to 1,560.
  • Outlander Sport remained the brand’s bestseller, but was off 17.9 percent, to 2,910.
  • Lancer slid 6.2 percent, to 1,025.

17. Volvo: 6,967, off 18.8 percent.

  • First month for the new XC60. Volvo sold 855 in the U.S., plus 1,329 of the old XC60s, off 36.6 percent.
  • Though short on supply this year, the XC90 remained Volvo’s bestseller, off 12.7 percent to 2,521.
  • S90 sales rose 230.1 percent, to 855. Volvo sold 47 V90s and 176 V90 CCs.

18. Porsche: 3,901, up 0.6 percent.

  • The new Panamera was up by 49.1 percent, to 510. Bestseller was Macan, up 71.9 percent, to 1,600.
  • Porsche sold 873 Cayennes, but that was off 18.2 percent.
  • The 911 was down 27.2 percent, to 587. Boxster/Cayman sales fell 54.8 percent, to 331.

Luxury/Premium Brands, YTD:

  1. Mercedes-Benz 187,869
  2. BMW 171,051
  3. Lexus 162,662
  4. Audi 121,795
  5. Infiniti 89,983

Sports Cars and EVs, YTD:

  1. Chevrolet Corvette 15,637
  2. Chevrolet Volt 12,450
  3. Chevrolet Bolt 9,563
  4. Nissan Leaf 8,531
  5. Mazda Miata 7,970
  6. Toyota 86/Scion FR-S 4,391

Midsize cars, YTD:

  1. Toyota Camry 210,724
  2. Honda Accord 190,994
  3. Nissan Altima 168,598
  4. Ford Fusion 121,111
  5. Chevrolet Malibu 94,448

Compact CUVs, YTD:

  1. Nissan Rogue 228,114
  2. Toyota RAV4 226,570
  3. Honda CR-V 219,017
  4. Ford Escape 184,672
  5. Chevrolet Equinox 156,978



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