Chevrolet Cruze Rockets To Top Of Compact Segment In August 2012

The fight for dominance of the compact car segment was just as hot as ever last month, and there was one major surprise in the order of the class's sales volumes. The Chevrolet Cruze rocketed up to take first place in the segment, selling 11,021 units more than last month.

August marked the best-ever sales month for the Chevrolet Cruze since it launched in fall 2009, with total sales of 25,975 units. That's not only a jump of 11,021 compared to July 2012 sales, but also is significantly above the Chevrolet's average sales pace so far this year. From January through the end of July, the Cruze racked up 128,838 sales, or an average of 18,405 per month.

Chevrolet Cruze spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm attributes the jump to several factors. First, the Chevy Confidence no-haggle price program and the company's Love It Or Return It buy-back scheme may have enticed customers from other brands to check out a Chevrolet showroom. Second, Bluhm says that compact-car sales typically see an uptick at the end of the summer because customers believe they'll get a better deal then. She also notes that Chevrolet hasn't put placed incentives on the Cruze just to temporarily spur sales.

At the other end of the spreadsheet, the 2013 Dodge Dart only accumulated 3045 sales in August -- up from 974 in the sedan's first month of sale in July. The automaker says this is because production of the Dart at its factory in Belvidere, Illinois, is still ramping up. In the meantime, the Dart's erstwhile and much-maligned predecessor, the Dodge Caliber, tallied just 332 sales last month as dwindling supplies are excised from new-car lots.

Though overshadowed by the Chevrolet Cruze, the compact segment's three major players remained strong. The Honda Civic took second place with 24,897 sales, the Toyota Corolla followed with 24,311 sales, the Ford Focus followed at 19,073 sales, and the Hyundai Elantra took fifth place with 17,989 units sold last month. The sixth-place Volkswagen Jetta scored 14,500 new owners.

The rest of the compact segment rang up less than 10,000 sales each in August. The Mazda 3 racked up 9424 sales, the Nissan Sentra shifted 8061 units, and the Kia Forte sold just 6677 copies. Check out the full ranking and sales figures for the compact segment in the table below.

Car August 2012 Sales
Chevrolet Cruze 25,975
Honda Civic 24,897
Toyota Corolla 24,311
Ford Focus 19,073
Hyundai Elantra 17,989
Volkswagen Jetta 14,500
Mazda 3 9,424
Nissan Sentra 8,061
Kia Forte 6,677
Dodge Dart 3,045
Dodge Caliber 332
Sources: Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen

Car August 2012 Sales
Chevrolet Cruze 25,975
Honda Civic 24,897
Toyota Corolla 24,311
Ford Focus 19,073
Hyundai Elantra 17,989
Volkswagen Jetta 14,500
Mazda 3 9,424
Nissan Sentra 8,061
Kia Forte 6,677
Dodge Dart 3,045
Dodge Caliber 332

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