June 2012 Auto Sales

#GM, #Malibu

CHRYSLER GROUP +20%

One year ago, when Chrysler recorded a 30% sales increase, we wondered: "how much of it is due to diminished competition [from hobbled Japanese brands] and how much is due to its own new and/or improved products." A slew of double-digit sales increase later, it would seem that we have our answer -- with the only caveat now being a supportive undercurrent of fleet sales.

Chrysler +63%
The 300 continues to pour it on (+179%), with smaller but still significant increases coming from the 200 (+51%) and the Town & Country (+33%).

Dodge +2%
Dodge didn't do nearly as well as Chrysler this month, mostly because of churn in its lineup. The Caliber (-75%) is leaving but the Dart, with 202 sold, has barely poked its bumper into showrooms. The Nitro has also departed, but the Durango (-44%) just plain declined. So what was up? The Avenger (+68%), the Journey (+49%), the Challenger (+19%), and the Charger (+18%).

Jeep +23%
The Liberty (+50%) had Jeep's biggest sales increase this month, but the Wrangler (+28%) and the Grand Cherokee (+39%) remain the brand's biggest-volume models. The smallest Jeeps both slipped in June, the Compass (-15%) was down slightly more than its twin, the Patriot (-4%).

Ram +5%
The big Ram pickup did well, but not as well as last month.

Fiat +122%
After cresting the 4000-unit mark in May for the first time ever, with 4003 cars sold, Fiat did one better in June -- literally, one better, selling 4004 cars.


AMERICAN HONDA +49%

Again in June, Honda was able to increase its tsunami-depressed year-ago total by nearly half.

Honda +46%
The Civic (+57%) couldn't match last month's big total, but it was nonetheless America's bestselling small car. The Accord, meanwhile, nearly doubled its year-ago figure (+84%) but still managed only third place in the passenger-car derby. The smaller, fuel-sippers (Insight, Fit, and CR-Z) are all down, but Honda claims to have low inventories of those models, which are all imported and are not profitable at current exchange rates.

Acura +77%
The new RDX tripled its prior-year figure. The new ILX chipped in another thousand or so units. Add big jumps for the TL (+47%), the TSX (+44%), and the MDX (+52%), and you hardly notice the fading ZDX (-39%).


HYUNDAI-KIA +10%

As was the case in May, the Koreans were hard pressed to grind out a big percentage increase over their strong performance in 2011. But that doesn't mean things were bad; both Hyundai and Kia claimed their best June sales ever.

Hyundai +8%
The new Azera is easily trouncing its predecessor, and the Accent (+57%) continues to do well. The Elantra (-12%) is off, although Hyundai says that's due to low inventory levels; that's sedan only -- the coupe and GT have yet to arrive. The only laggards are the SUVs, with the Santa Fe, Veracruz, and Tuscon all down.

Kia +14%
The Optima (+89%) and the Rio (+88%) were Kia's wonder twins this month. Small cars -- the Forte (-9%) and the Soul (-10%) -- were less wonderful.


NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +28%

Nissan wasn't much affected by the disaster a year ago, although Infiniti was, and that's reflected in the year-over-year percentage increases.

Nissan +25%
The redesigned sedan helped double sales of the Versa; and the new Quest doubled as well. There was lots of positive news among Nissan trucks and SUVs, from the diminutive Juke (+53%) and compact Rogue (+47%) to the big-boy Titan (+42%), the Armada (+28%), and the NV van (+70%). The Altima, which is undergoing a model changeover, was up slightly (+12%), but fell in behind not only the Camry and Accord but also the Malibu and the Fusion.

Infiniti +66%
Infiniti's June looked a lot like its May: sales edging into the five figures, up by two-thirds compared to the depressed, year-ago levels. The new JX has settled in as the brand's second-bestselling model, behind the G (+39%). All other Infinitis were up, save the EX (-39%).


DAIMLER-BENZ +11%

Mercedes-Benz +8%
Mercedes' gain wasn't great but it was enough to easily outsell a stagnant BMW. The strangest component had to be the jump for the R-class (651 units, up from 75), but it's not enough to save this model. The upswing for the new SL (+217%) was more expected, although that of the SLS (86 units, up from 18) was less so. Sales of the G-class have slowed to a trickle, but that model isn't going anywhere. Falling demand for the GL (-25%) is also not so worrisome, with a new version set to arrive shortly.

Smart +208%
Smart sales tripled, as the brand delivered more than 1000 cars for the first time in a long time.

Maybach +33%
Collectors continue to snap up the last remaining Maybachs, at a rate of 4 per month.

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