TOYOTA MOTOR SALES -18%
Toyota's sales decline worsened in September, despite increased incentive spending (which was still less than the domestics). Toyota's Bob Carter has said that next month, Toyota will turn the corner and move into positive territory. We shall see.
Camry sales fell quite a bit from last month's total, but were still enough to (just barely) hold onto the number 3 spot for all nameplates. The new version just began arriving at the end of the month. What hurt was the drop in sales of the RAV4 (-48%), the Corolla/Matrix (-23%), and the Prius (-18%).
The CT200h didn't add as much volume as last month, so it was less able to offset drops like those for the RX (-33%), the GX (-18%), and the ES (-2%).
The new tC zoomed ahead this month (+79%), but the four-door models dropped again. The new iQ has yet to hit dealerships.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +25%
Nissan roared ahead in September, and passed Hyundai-Kia in the process.
Nissan division was largely a continuation of August. The Altima had another huge month (+22%), ending up just shy of the Camry in the midsize sedan race, and in the number 5 spot for all nameplates. The Maxima (+26%) and the Versa (+68%) both bettered their previous gains. The Cube and the Z both fell off even worse. Most of the trucks were better than last year, lead by the Rogue (+29%).
The G (+14%) and the QX56 (+47%) were the only gainers for Infiniti.
AMERICAN HONDA -8%
Honda continued to suffer in September, although its drop versus a year ago was not as severe as in August.
The Pilot (+16%) and the CR-Z (+7%) were the only two Honda models that sold more than last year. Every other model dropped, some precipitously: Civic (-47%), Insight (-53%), and Ridgeline (-86%). The Accord fell by 21%, and continued to trail competitors such as the Camry, the Altima, and the Fusion.
The TSX (+38%) again had the strongest showing of any Acura and it was the only model in positive territory. Once again, the RL and the ZDX had the biggest drops, and both were under 100 units.
HYUNDAI - KIA +14%
The Koreans again outpaced the industry. Both brands touted a September sales record. Hyundai also claimed that only 10% of its sales were to fleets.
The Sonata (-12%) slipped again this month, putting it behind not only Camry and Altima but also Accord and Fusion. The new Elantra (+43%) not surprisingly is showing growth, but the new Accent (-7%) is not. The Veloster just started arriving at dealerships midway through the month.
Optima volumes continue to run at three times their year-ago level. The Sedona minivan (+40%) once again is the surprising next-biggest gainer. Kia's sales increase came without much help from the Rio, which is in the midst of a model changeover.