The second half of 2016 started with a bang, as July’s seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of US auto sales finished at 17.77M units, the strongest July in over a decade. Total volume for July was up 0.3% year-over-year, and YTD volume for the first seven months of 2016 is running 1.1% ahead of 2015. Prior to July’s strong result, the market’s DSR* (daily sales rate) — a better indicator of the retail automotive pace — had been down year-over-year in three of the past four months.
July’s tally coincided with a wave of increased incentives (incentives were up 5.2% YOY), as average transaction prices dropped. Light trucks accounted for a staggering 61.1% of volume (+7.6% vs 2015), while passenger car sales were down -9%.
Big gainers for the month included Kia, Hyundai, and Honda, while VW, GM, and Ford all gave up ground versus their July 2015 share.
One final note regarding the first seven months of activity: While total volume was up 1% (from 10.0M units to 10.1M), this masked larger swings within individual automakers. GM, Toyota, VW and BMW together have sold 158,355 fewer vehicles YTD in 2016 vs 2015. Fiat-Chrysler, Honda, and Nissan more than accounted for this loss, showing a 7-month gain of 163,756 units year-over-year.
Your ESA Car Keys recap follows.
JULY 2016 HIGHLIGHTS
Wards Auto and NADA MarketBeat
- July SAAR: 17.77 units
- July Units: 1.514M vehicles sold
- Change: DSR* +0.3% | Volume +0.3% vs July 2015
- Gainers (by Volume): Daimler +7.1%, Kia +6.5%, Hyundai +5.6%, Honda +4.4%, Audi +4.0%, Subaru +3.1%
- Laggards (by Volume): VW -8.1%, BMW -5.0%, Ford -3.1%, GM -1.9%, Toyota -1.4%
*DSR: Daily Sales Rate. A more reliable indicator of the pace of auto sales which accounts for actual car-selling days per month.
*SAAR: Seasonally-Adjusted Annual Sales Rate.
SOURCES: Wards Automotive InfoBank, NADA MarketBeat, Automotive News.
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.