The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) released August 2010 sales figures for the international nameplate automobile industry. AIADA represents more than 10,000 international nameplate franchises whose brands accounted for 55.7 per cent of all vehicles sold in the United States in July, down from 56.3 per cent in July.
Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were down 21 percent from August 2009 but up 8.4 per cent for the year. Sales were down five per cent from July 2010. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for light vehicle sales is now estimated at 11.47 million.
The dramatic drop in sales from August one year earlier, the worse decrease since 1983, is being blamed on 2009’s Cash for Clunkers program. The government funded effort jumpstarted the weak auto retail market at a critical juncture. One unintended result of the Clunkers program is that last month’s sales look especially anemic in comparison to August 2009 sales. International brands that benefited during Clunkers were hit hard. Honda and Toyota were both down 36 per cent from August 2009. Nissan (-31 per cent), Subaru (-22 per cent), Hyundai (-11 per cent), and Volkswagen (minus eight per cent) all saw losses. Toyota sold the most of any international nameplate corporation in August, moving 148,388 vehicles, down from 169,224 in July 2010. General Motors led all U.S. sales with 185,105 units.
“When viewed in context, August’s sales numbers are not as bad as they first appear,” said AIADA president Cody Lusk. “Cash for Clunkers was a once in a lifetime event, and we can’t expect sales to reach that level again, just one year later.”
According to numbers from Autodata Corp., international brands sold 555,425 units in August, down from 591,297 in July, but up from 525,845 in June. Asian brands accounted for 46.9 per cent of the overall market, down from 48.2 percent in July. European nameplates had an 8.8 per cent share, up from 8.1 in July. Domestic brands finished the month with 44.3 per cent of the market, up from 43.7 in July but down from 46.5 in June.