VOLKSWAGEN GROUP +11%
The new Jetta increased by 36%, and so did the Golf. The Touareg more than doubled again this month, which would be more impressive if its total volume weren't so tiny (581 units). The CC drifted lower (-9%) and the new Passat still has yet to become a factor.
August looks like a repeat of July for Audi, with the A8 way up from its miniscule, year ago levels; the A6, still the old model, doing better (+36%); and the A7 adding incremental sales. Audi's three biggest-volume products, however, all declined: A4 (-8%), Q5 (-14%), and A5 (-7%). Bentley +53%
BMW GROUP +0%
The new X3 continues to far outpace its predecessor, this month by a factor of three. And the 5-series (+41%) is still doing well. But the Z4 swung from way up (+92%) in July to way down (-75%) in August, and the 1-series (-54%) is struggling.
Unlike last month, the addition of the Countryman could not make up for the decline in the other Minis (-44%).
Rolls-Royce had been steady-as-she-goes, rarely varying by more than a handful of sales from month to month. August, however, saw a comparatively severe decline of 13 units, to 30 from 43 last August.
Mazda enjoyed a boost this month, enough to pass Daimler-Benz and Subaru. Nearly every model participated, but the CX-7 (+59%) looked particularly good, and the Mazda2 added a hefty chunk of volume (1387 units).
SUBARU OF AMERICA -6%
It's four down months in a row now for Subaru, the brand that skated through the financial crisis and resulting recession, when nearly every other carmaker was laid low. Lack of inventory continues to be a problem. Again, the Legacy (+10%) managed to make some headway, this time accompanied by -- yes -- the Tribeca, but its 205 units sold was hardly significant. The Forester, Impreza, and Outback were all down.
The big stories for Mercedes Benz were the same as last month: The new CLS far exceeding (by a factor of 9) the all-but-nonexistent sales of the old one; the new SLK more than doubling its predecessor; and the Sprinter sprinting ahead (+118%). Against that are lackluster performances by volume models like the C-class (-23%) and the E-class (-4%). Oh, and R-class sales are on the floor, again (30 units sold).
Small comfort: the decline in Smart sales seems to be slowing.
4 Maybachs were sold in August. 5 Maybachs were sold in August 2010. Draw from that what you will.
Mitsubishi pushed out way more cars than a year ago, thanks to the addition of the Outlander Sport, and a sudden, 9-fold surge in demand for the Endeavor (!?).
The S60 all but singlehandedly is keeping Volvo ahead of last year.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER -9%
Jaguar sales have dropped to less than one-third of Land Rover's, as all three Jaguar models are skidding.
Land Rover +10%
The Range Rover Sport (+39%) was again the biggest gainer of the SUVs, solidifying is position as the top dog.
The encouraging new from Porsche -- besides its overall sales increase -- is that all three sports cars outperformed last year. The Cayenne did as well, but the Panamera declined.
Suzuki did even better in August than in July, with increases from all five models (including the XL-7, whose sales rose from 5 to 6!).
Despite all the worrisome financial news swirling around Saab, the arrival of the 9-4X (finally!) and the new 9-5 enabled Saab USA to beat last August's anemic total.
TOP 5 BESTSELLING NAMEPLATES in August (and rank last month)
1. Ford F-series 48,795 (#1)
2. Chevrolet Silverado 36,832 (#2)
3. Toyota Camry 30,185 (#3)
4. Nissan Altima 23,016 (#6)
5. Chevrolet Cruze 21,807 (#4)