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Market Update : 
Larger Vehicle Demand Lifts Auto Sales to Record in August
Author: Mukesh Buch
Last Update: 3:28 PM ET September 03 2015

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3:30 PM New York Calendar adjusted auto sales in August rose and consumers shopped for larger vehicles despite the recent market gyration. Seven largest automakers reported higher-than-expected sales and helping the industry to achieve record monthly sales since July 2005.

U.S. auto sales in August fell 0.5% to 1.58 million dented by one less selling day from a year ago month and on a calendar quirk that pushed Labor Day sales in the next month count.

Annual pace exceeded 17.8 million in the month and monthly sales were record high since July2005.

Luxury auto and large vehicle sales led the monthly sales mainly due to relatively low gas prices at about $2.70 per gallon nationwide.

Kelley Blue Book estimated average transaction price for a new light vehicle sold in August jumped 3.4% to $33,543, an increase of $1,107 from August 2014 but fell 0.2% or $79 from July.

GM said its average transaction price rose to $34,000, up about $660 from a year earlier.

Total light vehicle sales in August fell 0.5% to 1,577,407 from 1,586,015 in the month a year ago.

In August, sale of passenger cars declined 10.3% to 687,998 from 767,190 but light truck sales climbed 8.6% to 889,409 from 818,825 in the month a year ago.

Seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in August jumped to 17.81 million from 17.55 million in July and from 17.32 million in a year ago month, according to the data released by the industry researcher Autodata Corp based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Two of the five largest automakers reported positive August sales and three reported negative sales.

Ford sales surged 5.6%, Fiat Chrysler sales increased 1.7%. Sales at General Motors slid 0.7% and Nissan sales fell 0.8% while sales at Toyota plunged 8.8%.

For the year so far, Fiat Chrysler sales surged 5.5%, Nissan sales soared 4.2%, sales at General Motors jumped 3.2%, sales at Toyota increased 2% while sales at Ford rose 2.7%.

Kia sales climbed 7.7%, sales surged 22.1% at Mitsubishi but Mazda sales declined 4.4%. Subaru sales in August jumped 4.9%. research team left its 2015 annual sales estimate unrevised at 17 million.

GM Sales Fall 0.7%, Ford Sales Rise 5.6%

General Motors (GM) sales slid 0.7% to 270,480 units from 272,423. Sales of light vehicles soared 13% to 195,715 from 173,196 while automobile sales plunged 24.7% to 74,765 from 99,227.

For the year so far, sales increased 3.2% to 2,048,537 from 1,984,451.

Ford Motor Company (F) said sales in August jumped 5.6% to 233,880 units from 221,373 vehicles a year ago. Truck sales in the month advanced 12.2% to 164,003 from 146,229.

Sales of passenger cars dropped 7% to 69,877 units from 75,144 a year ago month.

In August, sales of Fusion fell 4% to 28,270 units compared to 29,452 units a year ago.

Fiesta sales rose 5.4% to 5,892 units and Mustang sales soared 70.1% to 9,997 units from 5,878 units a year ago and while Police Interceptor Sedan and Taurus tumbled by 23.3% and 22.2% respectively. Sales in utilities climbed 12.3% to 74,590 units.

Escape sales in the month slid 0.4% to 28,870 vehicles but Edge sales surged 35.6% to 11,832 vehicles. Ford brand sales soared 5.4% to 225,601 vehicles and Lincoln sales jumped 6% to 8,636 vehicles.

Explorer sales soared 22% to 21,658 vehicles while Focus sales tumbled 26.1% to 16,321 vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler LLC sales in the month rose 1.7% to 201,672 vehicles from 198,379 vehicles and rose for the 65th month in a row.

Total car sales in the month declined 10% to 38,504 units while truck sales jumped 5% to 163,168 units from a year ago period. Jeep Brand sales soared 18% to 80,804 units and Ram Truck brand sales increased 6% to 49,439 units.

Chrysler brand declined 14% to 25,580 units and Dodge brand sales also tumbled 15% to 42,386 units.

For the year so far, sales jumped 5.5% to 1,461,842 units from 1,386,169 units.

Honda, Nissan, Toyota Sales Fall

Toyota Motor sales in August declined 8.8% to 224,381 units from 246,100 units in the same period a year earlier.

Passenger car sales dropped 13.9% to 114,311 from 132,810 units and light trucks fell 2.8% to 110,070 units from 113,290 units in the same period a year ago.

For the year, sales rose 2.8% to 1.67 million.

Honda sales in August slumped 6.9% to 155,491 units from 167,038 units a year ago period.

Passenger car sales plunged 14.8% to 82,483 units from 96,793 units and sales of the light trucks gained 3.9% to 73,008 units compared to 70,245 units a year ago month.

Acura sales slid 1.1% to 15,313 units while sales of Accord tumbled 19.9% to 40,931 units.

For the year, sales added 1.2% to 1,054,816 units from 1,042,382 units.

Nissan Motor Company vehicles sales in August fell 0.8% to 133,351 from 134,388 vehicles in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales jumped 4.2% to 1,000,706 from 960,317 vehicles.

Passenger car sales in the month dropped 6.3% while sales of light trucks increased 7.9% from a year ago month.

Mitsubishi Motors vehicles sales soared 22.1% to 8,289 units compared to 6,786 units in the month of last year.

Sales for Mazda slipped 4.4% to 29,938 units compared to 31,305 units in August 2014.

Subaru of America Inc sales in the month rose 4.9% to 52,697 vehicles from 50,246 vehicles a year ago period. Year-to-date sales jumped 12.5% to 375,632 vehicles from 333,968 vehicles.

In the month, sales of automobiles gained 3.1% to 26,333 vehicles compared to 25,547 and sales of the light trucks advanced 6.7% to 26,364 vehicles from 24,699 vehicles a year ago period.

Hyundai Motor America sales increased 2.9% to 72,012 units from 70,003 units. Sales of light vehicles surged 22.6% to 17,864 units from 14,568 units and automobiles sales slid 2.3% to 54,148 units.

Kia Motors America sales in the month jumped 7.7% to 58,897 vehicles from a year ago month.

Auto sales in August edged up 0.5% while sales of light trucks surged 27.7% from in the same month a year ago.

Mercedes Sales Rise 3%, Jaguar Land Rover Sales Soar 12%

Volkswagen Group of America Inc sales in August fell 2.1% to 51,445 units from 52,554 units a year ago period.

Audi sales jumped 9.9% to 18,794; Volkswagen brand sales slid 8.1% to 32,332 units while Bentley sales fell 5.4% to 228 units. Lamborghini sales surged 193.5% to 91 units.

Mercedes-Benz USA unit sales in August added 3.2% to 31,247 vehicles from a year ago month.

Maybach did not sell a single vehicle in the month and sales of the Smart branded vehicles tumbled 53.7% to 617 vehicles from 1,334 vehicles a year ago period.

BMW of North America Inc sales in March rose 2% to 32,928 units compared to 32,289 units in the same month a year ago.

Rolls Royce sales slipped 7.2% to 64 units from a year ago and Mini sales gained 2.1% to 5,109 units.

Jaguar Land Rover N.A. LLC unit sales in August soared 12.3% to 6,368 units from 5,673 units a year ago. Land Rover sales surged 16.4% to 5,225 units from 4,489 units.

Porsche Cars N.A. Inc sales in the month climbed 10.3% to 5,008 vehicles from 4,540 vehicles a year ago period. For the year-so-far sales jumped 9.8% to 34,876 vehicles from 31,759 vehicles.

Sales of passenger cars in the month rose 5.4% to 2,198 vehicles from 2,086 vehicles and sales of the light trucks surged 14.5% to 2,810 vehicles compared to 2,454 vehicles a year ago month.

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Sources: Data collected by and from company press releases, filings and corporate websites.
Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc.

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