Car sales shifting into overdrive


Auto / Buying a CarAccording to, August 2012 light vehicle sales have improved greatly compared to July, and the numbers are even better year over year.

Automobile dealers are expected to move 1,255,392 units, an increase of 8.9% over July 2012 and 17.2% over August 2011. TrueCar says that the month’s estimate works out to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 14.2M cars.

Retail sales are said to be up 14.3% YOY and 9.7% MOM; and fleet/rental sales are expected to account for 18.1% of the August action.

Used car sales are expected to total 3.99M, up 4.7% compared to August 2011, but downj 13.3% from July.

The results are marked by the continuing recovery of Japanese brands, now over a year removed from the earthquake/tsunami which devastated the nation during 2011.

“While the overall economy remains at a stand-still, auto sales continue to be strong as August marks the third straight month of SAAR over 14 million,” said Jesse Toprak, Vice President of Market Intelligence for “Domestics continue to lose market share as the strength of the Japanese recovery continues. Volkswagen is quietly becoming a serious player whose growth can’t be ignored.”

Another plus for the automotive industry is that the sales increases are occurring while incentives are decreasing, meaning a stronger impact on the bottom line. Incentives are down 2% over July and down 6% over August 2011.

“Incentive spending in August is around the lowest level we have seen this year and has decreased for the fourth consecutive month,” said Kristen Andersson, Senior Analyst at “Automakers continue to optimize incentives and spend less dollars-wise despite the big push this month to sell down inventory on older models.”

Here is a brand-by-brand look at August projections, with comparisons to July 2012 and August 2011 in parens.

Chrysler: 142,593 (7/12: 13.1%) (8/11: 9.6%)
Ford: 191,456 (7/12: 10.4%) (8/11: 9.5%)
GM: 227,087 (7/12: 12.8%) (8/11: 3.9%)
Honda: 133,458 (7/12: 14.1%) (8/11: 62.1%)
Hyundai/Kia: 117,212 (7/12: 6.5%) (8/11: 17.6%)
Nissan: 97,022 (7/12: -1.3%) (8/11: 6.0%)
Toyota: 182,896 (7/12: 10.9%) (8/11: 41.3%)
Volkswagen: 47,069 (7/12: -3.4%) (8/11: 32.8%)
Industry: 1,255,392 (7/12: 8.9%) (8/11: 17.2%)

RBR-TVBR observation: OK broadcast sales force, we know the car people have money – we KNOW it. Your job: go out and get some of it for your station!