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Market Update : 
Larger Vehicles Drive Auto Sales in July
Author: Mukesh Buch
Last Update: 2:15 AM ET August 13 2015

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2:50 PM New York Auto sales in July jumped 5% and larger vehicles and SUV sales exceeded passenger car sales confirming the year-long trend. Cheaper gasoline prices dented sale of hybrid vehicle sales. Six largest automakers reported rising sales in the month.

U.S. auto sales in July jumped 5.3% to 1.51 million from a year ago month and exceeded 17 million for the year for the first time since year 2000.

Nationwide relatively low gas prices of $2.65 per gallon, a drop of more than 24% or about $1 a gallon from a year ago.

Demand for fuel-efficient vehicles in July plummeted as the sales in C-Max hybrid of Ford plunged 36% while Leaf electric car of Nissan tumbled 61% and sales of compact Versa declined 36%. GMs plug-in hybrid Volt dropped by 35%.

Kelley Blue Book said in July, the average price paid for a new vehicle in the U.S. increased 2.6% to $33,453 from a year ago period.

Total light vehicle sales in July jumped 5.3% to 1,511,261 from 1,435,342 in the month a year ago.

In July, sale of passenger cars fell 2.9% to 669,195 from 689,345 but light truck sales climbed 12.9% to 842,066 from 745,997 in the month a year ago.

Seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in July rose to 17.55 million from 17 million in June and from 16.53 million in a year ago month, according to the data released by the industry researcher Autodata Corp based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Four of the five largest automakers reported higher July sales and fifth reported average sales.

Nissan sales surged 7.8%, General Motors sales soared 6.4%. Sales at Fiat Chrysler climbed 6.2% and Ford sales jumped 5% while sales at Toyota edged up 0.6%.

For the year so far, Fiat Chrysler sales surged 6.1%, Nissan sales soared 5%, sales at Toyota climbed 4.9%, sales at General Motors jumped 3.9% while sales at Ford increased 2.3%.

Kia sales climbed 7.7%, sales surged 23.9% at Mitsubishi but Mazda sales declined 7.1%. Subaru sales in July soared 10.5%. research team left its 2015 annual sales estimate unrevised at 17 million.

GM Sales Rise 6%, Ford Sales Rise 5%

General Motors (GM) sales climbed 6.4% to 272,512 units from 256,160. Sales of light vehicles soared 13.8% to 194,727 from 171,173 while automobile sales declined 8.5% to 77,785 from 84,987.

For the year so far, sales increased 3.9% to 1,778,057 from 1,712,028.

Ford Motor Company (F) said sales in July jumped 5% to 222,014 units from 211,467 vehicles a year ago. Truck sales in the month advanced 9.3% to 156,010 from 142,765.

Sales of passenger cars decreased 3.9% to 66,004 units from 68,702 a year ago month.

In July, sales of Fusion climbed 4.9% to 25,105 units compared to 23,942 units a year ago.

Fiesta sales tumbled 27.2% to 5,491 units and Mustang sales soared 29.2% to 8,482 units from 6,564 units a year ago and while Police Interceptor Sedan and Taurus tumbled by 23.8% and 28.4% respectively. Sales in utilities climbed 13.4% to 73,632 units.

Escape sales in the month jumped 10.1% to 29,253 vehicles but Expedition sales declined 37.5% to 2,730 vehicles. Ford brand SUV sales soared 11% to 67,282 units, the best July sales results since 2005.

Explorer sales surged 27.2% to 21,361 vehicles and Lincoln sales climbed 21.3% to 9,536 vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler LLC sales in the month jumped 6.2% to 178,027 vehicles from 167,667 vehicles and rose for the 64th month in a row.

Chrysler also reported its best July sales since 2005. Chrysler brand sales climbed 10% to 25,722 units and Jeep brand sales surged 23% to 73,216 units.

Total truck sales jumped 6% to 139,759 units from 131,531 units a year ago month and total passenger cars sales increased 6% to 38,268 units compared to 36,136 units.

RAM pickup sales rose 1% to 38,157 units and sales of the Chrysler 200 surged 85% to 15,108 units.

For the year so far, sales gained 6.1% to 1,260,170 units from 1,187,790 units.

Honda, Nissan, Toyota Sales Rise

Toyota Motor sales in July rose 0.6% to 217,181 units from 215,802 units in the same period a year earlier.

Passenger car sales dropped 5.9% to 111,816 from 118,773 units and light trucks climbed 8.6% to 105,365 units from 97,029 units in the same period a year ago.

For the year, sales jumped 4.9% to 1.45 million.

Honda sales in July climbed 7.7% to 146,324 units from 135,908 units a year ago period.

Passenger car sales gained 3% to 75,711 units from 73,531 units and sales of the light trucks soared 13.2% to 70,613 units compared to 62,377 units a year ago month.

Acura sales surged 19.5% to 14,915 units while sales of Accord slid 1.6% to 34,496 units.

For the year, sales increased 2.7% to 899,325 units from 875,344 units.

Nissan Motor Company vehicles sales in June rose 7.8% to 130,872 from 121,452 vehicles in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales jumped 5% to 867,355 from 825,929 vehicles.

Passenger car sales in the month fell 1.2% while sales of light trucks surged 23.1% from a year ago month.

Mitsubishi Motors vehicles sales soared 23.9% to 7,868 units compared to 6,349 units in the month of last year.

Sales for Mazda declined 7.1% to 27,157 units compared to 29,238 units in June 2014.

Subaru of America Inc sales in the month climbed 10.5% to 50,517 vehicles from 45,714 vehicles a year ago period. Year-to-date sales jumped 13.8% to 322,935 vehicles from 283,722 vehicles.

In the month, sales of automobiles gained 6.5% to 26,131 vehicles compared to 24,544 and sales of the light trucks advanced 15.2% to 24,386 vehicles from 21,170 vehicles a year ago period.

Hyundai Motor America sales increased 6% to 71,013 units from 67,011 units. Sales of light vehicles soared 25.3% to 15,563 units from 12,422 units and automobiles sales rose 1.6% to 55,450 units.

Kia Motors America sales in the month climbed 7.7% to 56,311 vehicles from a year ago month.

Auto sales in July fell 2% while sales of light trucks soared 34.3% from in the same month a year ago.

Mercedes Sales Fall 2%, Jaguar Land Rover Sales Rise 7%

Volkswagen Group of America Inc sales in June jumped 8.5% to 49,252 units from 45,398 units a year ago period.

Audi sales climbed 20.8% to 17,654; Volkswagen brand sales rose 2.4% to 31,300 units while Bentley sales added 3.5% to 208 units. Lamborghini sales surged 221.4% to 90 units.

Mercedes-Benz USA unit sales in July slid 2% to 30,131 vehicles from a year ago month.

Maybach did not sell a single vehicle in the month and sales of the Smart branded vehicles tumbled 67.4% to 441 vehicles from 1,351 vehicles a year ago period.

BMW of North America Inc sales in March fell 0.2% to 32,234 units compared to 32,300 units in the same month a year ago.

Rolls Royce sales declined 8.7% to 73 units from a year ago and Mini sales plunged 10.7% to 5,191 units.

Jaguar Land Rover N.A. LLC unit sales in July soared 7.3% to 6,253 units from 5,830 units a year ago. Land Rover sales jumped 7.9% to 5,011 units from 4,643 units.

Porsche Cars N.A. Inc sales in the month climbed 10% to 4,730 vehicles from 4,300 vehicles a year ago period. For the year-so-far sales soared 9.7% to 29,868 vehicles from 27,219 vehicles.

Sales of passenger cars in the month dropped 4.2% to 1,726 vehicles from 1,802 vehicles and sales of the light trucks surged 20.3% to 3,004 vehicles compared to 2,498 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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