AMERICAN HONDA +27%
Honda remained just out in front of Chrysler, thanks to a big surge in its volume products.
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%).
With the TL (-30%) and TSX (-17%) down, the ILX stagnant (-2%), and the new RLX counting for only 459 units (incredibly, that's a 10-fold increase over the old one), it was entirely up to Acura's SUVs to move the ball forward. Both the MDX (+17%) and RDX (+50%) delivered. The lame-duck ZDX, naturally, did not (selling just 29 units).
CHRYSLER GROUP +12%
Chrysler extended its streak of higher sales to 41 months, even if its increase lagged the industry overall.
On the Chrysler-brand rollercoaster, this time the 300 and the Town & Country were up, while the 200 was down.
The Dart (+127%) is climbing the sales charts at Dodge, this month passing the declining Avenger (-20%) and the Durango -- even though the latter model more than doubled. The Grand Caravan (-24%) remains out in front, with the Journey (+12%) and the Charger (+37%) next in line.
Healthy gains for all the Jeep models were tempered by the loss of the Liberty, as its replacement, the new Cherokee, is still not in showrooms.
Sales of the big Ram pickup roared ahead by nearly one third.
The 500L accounted for nearly 29% of Fiat's August total.
HYUNDAI - KIA +6%
The Koreans did well -- both brands claimed their best August ever -- but lost market share, primarily to the surging Japanese.
The new Genesis (+30%) and the revised Equus (+47%) were up due to better supply, while the opposite hindered the Sonata (-14%). The new Santa Fe (+79%) posted the brand's biggest increase, and the Elantra (+37%) was the biggest seller overall.
The new Cadenza added 1677 units to Kia's total, which was the biggest factor in the brand's modest increase.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA +22%
Nissan was most definitely part of the Japanese surge in August, with the Nissan division claiming its best-ever month of retail sales, which reached six figures for the first time.
Both the Leaf and the new Pathfinder more than tripled their previous August total. The Leaf is one of several Nissan models that have benefitted from recent price cuts. Other models that drove volume were the Altima (+20%), the Sentra (+19%), the Juke (+30%), the Frontier (+21%), and the Rogue (37%). Among decliners we find the Titan (-34%), which defied the bull market in pickups, the Cube (-34%), and the aged Maxima (-27%) and Xterra (-17%).
The Q50 finally arrived in showrooms. Other good news came in the form of the JX/QX60 (+27%), which had its best month ever.