AMERICAN HONDA +21%
Acura switched from negative to positive, but it was the solid performance of Honda’s big-volume cars that gave Honda its industry-beating increase and pushed it past Chrysler to become the fourth-place manufacturer.
The Civic (+30%) passed the Accord (+10%) to become America’s number-two passenger car behind the Toyota Camry. The CR-V is also on a tear, up by a third over its impressive year-ago total; it stole the bestselling SUV crown from the Ford Escape. We wouldn’t have expected the hot pickup market to reach the Ridgeline, but it did, as that model was up 68%. The only Honda sitting out the good times was the Crosstour (-23%).
The new ILX scratched out only a 5% gain, and the new RLX just climbed over the 600-unit mark, while the TL and TSX were both down. But never mind passenger cars—the MDX and RDX are hot, up 30% and 48%, respectively.
CHRYSLER GROUP +11%
Chrysler fell behind Honda, but the automaker is still on a positive track. For the past three-and-a-half years, Chrysler has beaten its previous-year sales total every single month.
Chrysler’s three models continue to teeter-totter. The 200 and Town & Country were up in June, then down in July. The 300 was down in June, and up in July.
The addition of the Dart is doing good things for Dodge—aided this month by a surprising jump for the Durango (+88%), and tempered by a decline for the Charger (-19%).
The brand’s overall total is unimpressive but the individual models were all up by double digits. So what gives? Blame the loss of the Liberty, with its replacement, the new Cherokee, still a couple months off.
With a big jump in July, the big Ram pickup topped 30,000 units.
The 500L enjoyed its first full month in showrooms, but hasn’t done much for Fiat’s total as yet.
HYUNDAI - KIA +5%
The Koreans lagged the industry overall, but they’re coming off a strong performance last year, and they’re also claiming tight supplies of popular models.
The new Santa Fe (+48%) was up by nearly half; the Elantra (+29%) was the brand’s other star performer. The Sonata (-10%) was down, in the face of newer competition.
The new Cadenza was up 60% over last month. It and the Forte (+17%) helped overcome declines for the Sportage (-30%), the Rio (-17%), and the Sedona (-10%).
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +11%
Nissan would have outpaced the industry in July had it not been for weakness at Infiniti.
The Leaf’s price cut continues to electrify sales, which leapt more than fourfold over last year. The new Pathfinder, meanwhile, merely tripled its previous total. Other good news for Nissan came in the form of the NV van (+44%), the Rogue (+29%), the Juke and the Versa (both +21%), and the Altima (+11%). In the debit column, we note the Armada (-19%), the Maxima (-21%), the Quest (-23%), the Cube (-31%), the Xterra (-34%), and the Titan (-42%).
Sales of the G fell by more than half, as dealers await its replacement, the Q50. Unfortunately, all other Infiniti models also were down, with the lone exception of the JX/QX60 (+37%).