Counting Cars

August 2014 Sales Thread (FINAL): Summer Sales Catch Fire, SAAR Tops 17 Million

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U.S. light-vehicle sales top 1.5 million units, up 5% for the year.

August 2014 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:                        1.51 million units
ACTUAL August LV Sales:                              1.58 million units

August 2014 Light Vehicle SAAR:
Forecast LV SAAR:                                      16.64 million
ACTUAL August LV SAAR:                          17.45 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). August had 27 selling days this year and 28 in 2013. The extra day means DSR % change will be higher than year-over-year comparisons of total monthly sales volumes this month.

SUMMARY: A month after a projected 17 million-unit SAAR failed to materialize, U.S. automakers exceeded that milestone for the first time since 2006. August's 17.45 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales is the industry's highest monthly SAAR since January 2006.

The 103-month high was set as rising automaker incentives intersected with a strengthening economy and growing consumer confidence to boost deliveries well past 1.5 million units, for an industry wide 9.3% rise in daily sales.

The results were particularly good for Asian automakers, who collectively improved 10.9% over year-ago, compared to the Detroit Three's (Fiat-Chrysler driven) 8.3% bump, and European automakers' 5.7%.

Year-to-date LV sales through August exceeded 11.3 million units, a 5% gain on like-2013. Detroit Three deliveries are up 4.4% YTD, with Asian automakers up 6.2% and Europeans companies tracking 1.1% over year-ago.

See August company results in the thread below.

Related Articles/Data

1:50 PM: SEE CORRECTION TO HONDA IN NOON UPDATE BELOW
With Honda besting its year-ago DSR by 4.1%, and crushing expectations by 12%, the projected SAAR leapt to 17.45 million units. Asian automakers combined for a 10.9% improvement on year-ago daily sales.

1:15 PM UPDATE: Hyundai and Kia brands combined for a 9.4% rise in daily sales over year-ago on total deliveries of 124,670 sales. With the South Koreans reporting, all seven top automakers have reported August sales.

NOON UPDATE: CORRECTION: Honda sold 167,038 units, including Acura division, for a 4.1% increase in daily sales. The Japanese automaker's results come on top of better-than-expected results from Fiat-Chrysler and Japanese rivals Toyota and Nissan, lifting the current projected SAAR to an 8-year-plus high. 

11:30 AM: UPDATE: Toyota achieved its highest daily sales rate since June 2008, delivering 246,100 LVs in August. The automaker's DSR rose 10.2% from same-month year-ago and kept the Japanese automaker perched in the No.2 sales spot for the second consecutive month, ahead of Ford.

Ford sales, despite a strong month for the company's Fusion sedan and Escape CUV, fell below expectations, with total LV deliveries of 217,040. Weak car sales across much of the automaker's lineup, paired with flat light-truck results, resulted in a modest 3.9% bump in daily sales compared with year-ago. 

10:15 AM UPDATE: General Motors poured a little cold water on August sales reports, recording a 2.4% DSR gain on year-ago, with LV deliveries of 272,243 units - 3% below WardsAuto's expectations for the company, and substantially less impressive than F-C and Nissan's booming August reports. 

9:50 AM UPDATE: Nissan is reporting August sales of almost 135,000 LVs, a 15.7% rise in DSR compared with same-month 2013. Volkswagen brand daily sales fell 9.6%, but the result was better than expected, with VW moving 35,181 units during the month.

9:15 AM: Fiat-Chrysler reports over 197,000 LV deliveries in August, a massive 24.2% leap over year-ago sales, marking the company's 53rd consecutive month of year-over-year improvement. Total Ram Pickup sales (including heavy-duty) were up 33%, with the model enjoying its highest August sales in 11 years. Jeep brand sales were up 54% on a daily basis, with Ram truck DSR rising more than 40%. While F-C's truck-only brands soared, its other marques experienced more modest results, with Chrysler-brand DSR up 7.6% and Dodge daily deliveries falling 2.2% 

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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