LeftLaneNews

June sales: U.S. auto industry showing signs of momentum

by Byron Hurd
June sales: U.S. auto industry showing signs of momentum

Six months in, 2018 is starting to look like a stabilizing year for new car sales.

U.S. June auto sales numbers are beginning to trickle in Tuesday as the first six months of 2018 appear to be a trend toward equilibrium in an industry which has seen erratic swings over the past two years. Let's dig in.

Our first two reporting manufacturers are Toyota and FCA. The former managed a slight bump in sales over June of last year, with a strong performance from its core brand and a lukewarm month from Lexus. FCA, by comparison, is on a tear.

After some fits and starts early in the year, the company's Jeep and Ram brands seem to have hit their strides, which pushed the automaker to its best June retail numbers since 2004. Yes, retail. Jeep Wrangler remains the second-best-selling vehicle in FCA's entire portfolio with more than 23,000 units sold in June and more than 133,000 for the year. Only the Ram pickup line does better.

It has been a couple of years since we've speculated regarding Jeep's ability to clear a million units sold in a single year. Six months in, the brand is at 495,000 and change. Keep an eye on that.

Honda checks in with good months from both its core brand and luxury subsidiary Acura, the latter appearing to finally benefit from the new RDX hitting the retail pipeline. RDX set a record not just for June, for the model, or for 2018, but for Acura-badged SUV sales period with 7,292 units sold. The MDX held the previous top slot, and that record had stood since 2014.

Nissan's shift away from volume has cost it year-to-date, but June was good to Yokohama, with a 2.5-percent bump over last June. Infiniti, however, continues to slump.

Mazda reported another fantastic month, up more than 20 percent compared to last June on strong sales from--you guessed it--its entire CX lineup. It's also worth noting that Mazda6 had a bit of a boom month, though its YTD sales haven't budged in either direction. Some may call that a win in a sales climate this hostile to sedans.

Speaking of hostility and climate, Volkswagen also reported an uptick in June, with a 5.7-percent monthly increase and total sales just under 29,000. All of Volkswagen's gains are attributable to Atlas and Tiguan, as has been the trend for the year. Every other vehicle family is down significantly. Audi, as has become the expectation, manage to wring just enough volume out of its network to keep its streak alive.

While the Mazda-VW bout may interest some of you, it's worth noting that Subaru outsold them both in June. Yes, combined. With Ascent on the lots, expect Subaru to put up more silly numbers as 2018 goes on. Subaru is now within 5,000 units of Hyundai year-to-date, and well ahead of Kia.

That said, Hyundai came out of nowhere with a big June. Kona is no doubt contributing to that and Tucson had a decent month, but it was a relatively gangbuster performance by Elantra that pushed up our eyebrows.

Since June marked the end of the second quarter, we get to include GM sales in this month's story. Unfortunately, given the lack of granularity in its results, it's difficult to talk about trends. A few noteworthy things do stick out. For starters, Buick Regal sales are up, which is good news given the expansion of its lineup for 2018. The bad news? They've still only sold just over 8,000 of them so far this year. That makes it a slightly stronger seller than the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

In the luxury segment, Mercedes-Benz lead Lexus in June with more than 26,000 sales. BMW lead the pack with 29,407. Elsewhere in the luxury space, it's safe to say that Jaguar and Land Rover have again become rooted in reality, with the former under-performing and the latter selling at a rate that reflects a market that is heavily infatuated with trucks and utilities.

June, 2018

  • Acura up 3.5%, 14,532

  • Alfa up 121%, 2,249

  • Audi up 0.3%, 19,471

  • Bentley down 24.3%, 165

  • BMW up 1.5%, 29,407

  • **Buick

  • ** Cadillac

  • ** Chevrolet

  • Chrysler down 32%, 13,484

  • Dodge up 9%, 46,387

  • Fiat down 36%, 1,426

  • Ford up 1.1%, 221,101

  • Genesis down 50.7%, 796

  • ** GMC

  • Honda up 5%, 132,031

  • Hyundai up 19.6%, 64,052

  • Infiniti down 12.8%, 10,698

  • Jaguar down 20.1%, 2,353

  • Jeep up 19%, 86,989

  • Kia up 0.8%, 56,571

  • * Lamborghini up 2.3%, 90

  • Land Rover up 21.2%, 6,982

  • Lexus down 6.2%, 23,750

  • Lincoln up 2.8%, 9,534

  • * Maserati up 5.6%, 950

  • Mazda up 20.4%, 26,893

  • ***Mercedes-Benz down 9.7%, 26,191

  • MINI down 6%, 4,146

  • Mitsubishi up 46.2%, 11,149

  • Nissan up 2.5%, 134,398

  • Porsche up 8.3%, 4,892

  • Ram up 6%, 51,729

  • smart down 44.2%, 126

  • Subaru up 15%, 59,841

  • * Tesla up 36.4%, 6,000

  • Toyota up 4.4%, 185,852

  • Volkswagen up 5.7%, 28,941

  • Volvo up 35.1%, 9,868


2018 YTD


  • Acura down 1.6%, 72,653

  • Alfa up 230%, 12,265

  • Audi up 4.8%, 107,942

  • Bentley down 14.5%, 982

  • BMW up 2.9%, 153,386

  • Buick down 0.6%, 109,645

  • Cadillac up 5.4%, 75,949

  • Chevrolet up 5.2%, 1,019,019

  • Chrysler down 13%, 88,630

  • Dodge down 4%, 250,933

  • Fiat down 44%, 8,285

  • Ford down 1.4%, 1,227,422

  • Genesis down 26.7%, 7,262

  • GMC up 2.4%, 269,507

  • Honda down 0.4%, 715,171

  • Hyundai down 2.6%, 327,785

  • Infiniti down 8.8%, 72,170

  • Jaguar down 28.4%, 14,787

  • Jeep up 22%, 495,022

  • Kia down 0.7%, 293,563

  • *Lamborghini up 2.3%, 540

  • Land Rover up 24.9%, 44,779

  • Lexus up 0.9%, 135,000

  • Lincoln down 10.8%, 50,269

  • *Maserati down 17.2%, 5,563

  • Mazda up 15.7%, 163,924

  • ***Mercedes-Benz down 1.9%, 176,408

  • MINI up 1.9%, 22,636

  • Mitsubishi up 23.4%, 67,327

  • Nissan down 4.3%, 708,525

  • Porsche up 6.7%, 29,421

  • Ram down 7%, 260,341

  • smart down 67.2%, 650

  • Subaru up 5.9%, 322,860

  • *Tesla up 36.4%, 36,000

  • Toyota up 3.2%, 1,054,312

  • Volkswagen up 7.23%, 172,898

  • Volvo up 39.6%, 47,622



*Automotive News estimate

**GM no longer reports monthly sales figures

***Excludes Mercedes-Benz Vans