Looks like GM's Emloyee Pricing worked for them so far.........
July a record-breaking sales month
DETROIT -- General Motors, Ford and Chrysler posted double-digit U.S. sales gains for July on Tuesday as hefty discounts delivered blowout results for the Big 3.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. and Nissan North America Inc., meanwhile, said they posted their best sales month in the United States. Ford Motor Co. reported the best sales month ever for its F-series pickup.
The seasonal adjusted annualized rate for July was 20,974,269, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
DaimlerChrysler, including Mercedes-Benz, sold 260,945 units in July, a boost of 25.1 percent for the month. Year-to-date, the automaker has sold 1,547,536 vehicles, up 6.9 percent from the same period in 2004.
GM said its July sales rose 15.2 percent, boosted by the GM Employee Discount for Everyone incentive program. The automaker said its U.S. sales totaled 524,218 vehicles in July compared with 454,963 in July last year. For the year, GM has sold 2,844,839 vehicles, a 4.3 percent increase from the same time last year. Those numbers include Saab.
Paul Ballew, GM's chief sales analyst, said 71 percent of retail sales in July came from trucks, and he predicted that the automaker would achieve a market share of 27 percent for the year. He said Tuesday that GM has 695,642 units or a 40-day supply of 2005 total dealer inventory in the field. That's 465,133 fewer vehicles than GM had last July. A 60-day supply is considered healthy.
Employee pricing gave Ford Motor sales a much-needed 28.5 percent increase for the month and triggered record monthly sales for the Ford F-series pickup. Ford sold 126,905 F-series last month, well above its previous record of 102,424 in October 2001, set in the post-Sept. 11 sales frenzy of 0 percent financing. Ford numbers include Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, but not Mazda.
Ford executives pushed F-series sales hard in July after losing the monthly pickup sales crown to Chevrolet in June. Dealers and customers responded as F-series sales increased 58 percent from last July's 80,253.
"Without a doubt, the overwhelming success of our Ford Family Plan and our innovative promotion with the Home Depot helped drive F-series sales through the roof in July," said Ford Division President Darryl Hazel in a prepared statement.
Ford offered special Home Depot merchandise packages with the purchase of its pickups in July.
July sales for Ford Motor lifted the automaker's year-to-date sales total to 1,974,377, or 0.2 percent better than the first seven months of 2004.
Ford's F-series record brought a couple of boasts from Ford officials. They said the July mark is the most sales of any single nameplate in any month since the days of the Ford Model T. But since manufacturers reported production numbers back then, a comparable sales number is not available, the company said.
Ford also said that July's F-series sales generated enough revenue to rank the nameplate in the annual Fortune 500 rankings. Ford wouldn't provide a revenue number, but it is estimated to be around $3.5 billion.
Sales for Mazda, of which Ford is a partial owner, also benefited in July, climbing 5.7 percent from last July.
Toyota sales, including Lexus and Scion, jumped 8.1 percent with a total of 216,417 vehicles, bringing its year-to-date sales to 1,330,487, a 10.4 percent increase from the same period in 2004.
American Honda Motor Co., including Acura, posted an increase of 10.3 percent for the month and 2.4 percent for the year. Hyundai Motor America sales, including Kia, climbed 10.5 percent in July. For the year, it is up 8.2 percent.
Nissan said combined Nissan and Infiniti sales in July were 15.0 percent better than last July, bringing its annual total fo the year so far to 650,021, which is 14.8 percent better than its year-to-date sales in 2004.
BMW, including Mini and Rolls-Royce, had a strong month, reporting an 11.4 percent sales increase. Sales are up 2.4 percent so far this year.
Porsche reported a 3.7 percent sales increase for July. Suzuki sales for the month climbed 10.2 percent, while Subaru increased 2.1 percent.Not every manufacturer found reason to celebrate in July.
Volkswagen's U.S. car sales declined 12.0 percent to 28,857 units in July. That brought U.S. sales for the first seven months to 164,972 units, down 16.5 percent. Numbers include Audi and Bentley.
Isuzu and Mitsubishi continued their downward trajectories, although Mitsubishi managed to keep its fall within single digits. Mitsubishi sold 10,376 vehicles, a fall of 7.3 percent, while Isuzu sold only 845 vehicles in July, a whopping 69.3 percent drop from the same month last year.
July's torrid pace is unlikely to be sustainable, analysts say.
"The inevitable hangover is on the way," analyst David Healy of Burnham Securities said in a recent research note.
In the same note, Healy commented on one of the fundamental problems facing U.S. automakers, which seem unable to sell any but a handful of models without rebates and discounts galore.
"Although Detroit has for all practical purposes closed the U.S./Asian quality gap, the perception that American companies still produce garbage, as they actually did during much of the 1970s and 1980s, is proving most difficult to eradicate," Healy said.
"The poor quality of many of these old models has bred a new generation of car buyers who would never consider entering a domestic brand showroom," he added.
GM and Ford both said on Monday that they are trimming sticker prices for many vehicles in the 2006 model year. By contrast, Toyota has said its 2006 prices will be slightly higher.
Amy Wilson, Jamie LaReau, the Automotive News Data Center and Reuters contributed to this report
July July Pct. 7 mos. 7 mos. Pct.
2005 2004 chng. 2005 2004 chng.
BMW* 26,875 24,121 11.4% 171,928 167,971 2.4%
DaimlerChrysler** 260,945 208,594 25.1% 1,547,536 1,447,718 6.9%
Ford Motor Co.*** 365,355 284,317 28.5% 1,974,377 1,971,134 0.2%
General Motors**** 524,218 454,963 15.2% 2,844,839 2,726,889 4.3%
American Honda† 143,217 129,872 10.3% 835,581 815,896 2.4%
Hyundai Group†† 70,483 63,762 10.5% 438,006 404,674 8.2%
Isuzu 845 2,749 -69.3% 8,444 17,324 -51.3%
Mazda 24,820 23,487 5.7% 159,808 164,023 -2.6%
Mitsubishi 10,376 11,192 -7.3% 76,129 112,994 -32.6%
Nissan††† 107,298 93,297 15.0% 650,021 566,081 14.8%
Porsche 2,804 2,705 3.7% 1
8,930 18,414 2.8%
Subaru 17,959 17,596 2.1% 111,262 105,823 5.1%
Suzuki 7,125 6,464 10.2% 49,139 46,271 6.2%
Toyota‡ 216,417 200,206 8.1% 1,330,487 1,204,843 10.4%
VW‡‡ 28,857 32,804 -12.0% 164,972 197,594 -16.5%
388 237 63.7% 2,305 1,548 48.9%
TOTAL 1,807,982 1,556,366 16.2% 10,383,764 9,969,197 4.2%
Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: Other includes estimates for Ferrari, Lamborghini and Lotus
*Includes Mini and Rolls-Royce
***Includes Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo
†Includes Honda Division and Acura
††Includes Hyundai and Kia
†††Includes Nissan Division and Infiniti
‡Includes Toyota Division and Lexus
‡‡Includes VW, Audi and Bentley
What's the use of happiness? It can't buy you money.