Counting Cars

August sales track 18% below Clunker-Year Fueled Year Ago

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Government program beneficiaries generally down - Scrappage losers make gains over year-ago

See U.S. Sales Summary table.

With all seven top selling auto companies reporting, U.S. LV came more or less in line with expectations - down on a daily basis about 18% from last August’s Cash-for-Clunkers bolstered daily sales rate.

In most cases, the better a company did last year, the worse it did in comparison this year. Ford’s LV DSR is off 7.8% from year ago, while GM’s is down 21.5%. (See GM sales story).

Toyota, one of the primary beneficiaries of the government incentive program, is down 31.4%.

Chrysler, meanwhile, which had a devastatingly low level of Clunker-sales, posted an 11.2% increase in daily sales this month.

Like Toyota, other reporting Asia automakers that reaped Clunker benefits have seen unfavorable comparisons with year-ago. Nissan daily sales are off 24.1%, Subaru posted its first year-to-year decline (-19.4%) in 12 months and Honda saw its DSR fall 30%.

European automakers, whose luxury-heavy mix prevented them from taking full advantage of the fuel-economy driven Clunkers program, were up collectively 4.6% over year-ago. However, they also jumped 10.2% over July’s DSR - reinforcing the idea that retail demand seems to be taking a decidedly top-down path toward recovery.

Indeed, the luxury segment is and has been outpacing the industry for several months - and may be gaining steam.

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Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.

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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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