U.S. Car Makers Post Double-Digit Sales Increases

Need some decent news to brighten up your dreary day? This may not do it, but it’s worth a shot: Chrysler, GM and Ford have released their August sales numbers and each of the automakers saw substantial year-over-year sales increases during the last month of summer vacation.

Chrysler topped the list, with 14% growth, followed by Ford at 13% and GM with a respectable 10% increase.

Toyota and Honda each saw huge gains (46% and 60%, respectively) from last August, but last summer’s sales numbers for Japanese automakers were severely depressed because of factory and shipping shutdowns following the March 2011 earthquake.

Ford F-Series pickups and Chrysler Ram trucks each saw 19% increases in August. Overall, pickups grabbed a full percentage of the new vehicle market share. It’s believed that this uptick directly tied to improvements in the housing market.

“We believe that the recovery in the housing sector is continuing to support our full-size pickup truck sales,” an economist at Ford tells the Wall Street Journal.

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  1. crispyduck13 says:

    What would really paint a picture of whether this is indeed a day brightener is latest statistics on percentage of people buying cars with cash vs. loans.

    I mean, that’s great that the new car market is picking up, but it’s not really that great if all the people buying those cars are taking out $25k loans to do so. Given what a mess we are in with our underwater homes and unemployment, etc.

    • Costner says:

      Actually I would bet the vast majority of these “sales” are in fact leases since most new cars are now leased rather than purchased.

      When fully loaded cars are now topping the $40k mark which is higher than the average salary… most people can’t afford to buy anymore.

      • hammond egger says:

        You’d lose that bet. I work at a Ford dealership that does about 200 cars a month. I can count the number of vehicles we’ve leased this year on two hands.

        • BorkBorkBork says:

          I remember seeing stats on new car purchases vs. leases recently. I think leasing was around 4%.

          Sorry, I wish I had a source…this is just from memory and I’m too tired to go searching. Take it for what it’s worth.

    • chiieddy says:

      We signed a loan for a new FIAT (Chrysler) yesterday. 5 years at 0% APR. I’m not sure where the downside on it is. Instead of driving a car with currently 112,000 miles on it, we got a new car for less money than used, with no interest and a $247/mo payment. It would have taken us another 2.5 years to save enough to pay in full.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I get what you’re saying, and I’m by no means in a position to buy a new car with cash. I just don’t like the notion that more people borrowing more money is some kind of sign that things are looking up.

        • PunditGuy says:

          All debt isn’t created equal. A reliable form of transportation can help keep you keep your job. That’s worth some temporary debt. Putting an Xbox on your credit card is a completely different thing.

      • tlvx says:

        “I’m not sure where the downside on it is.”?

        The downside… is potentially getting into an accident in your fiat, up against one of those mammoths of a truck that- according to this article- are reportedly flying off the lot.

        • chiieddy says:

          That could happen in a Chevy Nova… actually that did happen in my 1986 Chevy Nova. No airbags in that car. This car is actually safer. That said, this is also why my auto insurance has gap coverage.

  2. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    Ford F-Series pickups and Chrysler Ram trucks each saw 19% increases in August. Overall, pickups grabbed a full percentage of the new vehicle market share.

    That’s terrible! Is no one listening? Don’t people understand we HAVE to buy Smart cars and electric cars? For cripes sake, people…at LEAST buy a hybrid!

    When oh when will people learn?

    • Costner says:

      I know you are being sarcastic, but you have to find the humor in the fact that people will buy these huge trucks (many of which are for personal use… not for commercial or business purposes) and then they will stand at the gas pump bitching about gas being $4 a gallon.

      For every F150 sold to a contractor, I’m betting there are three or four sold to the average guy who just wants a truck. More power to them – that is their choice, but we as a nation we never learn and we keep repeating the same patterns of knee-jerk reactions to a “crisis” and then going right back to what we were doing as soon as the flames are put out.

      That is how it works. We as a society are short term thinkers which is why fuel economy is only a major concern during major political events such as wars or massive price increases.

      • Sarek says:

        Murica! Truck!

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        and then they will stand at the gas pump bitching about gas being $4 a gallon.

        Well yeah, because they bought the truck 4 years ago when gas was $1.80 and we were all told gas prices would be going down. Because it was hurting American families to have it so high. Or something.

        Someone was supposed to fix that, but for the life of me I can’t remember his name.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          Gas was not $1.80 4 years ago, stop talking out of your ass.

          • jojo319 says:

            He’s sort of correct. Prices were actually about $1.70 in November of 2008. So it was a little less than 4 years ago.

          • PunditGuy says:

            It was, right after the economy nosedived because nobody was buying anything — including gas. Maybe TheMansfieldMauler will remember that gas was also $4.11 four years ago, before the bottom dropped out. Never mind adjusting for inflation — that’s the highest actual price it’s ever been. During the reign of the oil guy.

            • jojo319 says:

              regardless of why or for how long, it’s correct (and will be beaten to death) to say that it has more than doubled since Obama took office. Reason and intent have no place in political speach on either side. I don’t think any of them have better intentions than the next guy. They all want to stay in power. period.

              • MuleHeadJoe says:

                Dude …. seriously, take off the rose-tinted glasses and cease relying upon your hazy fond memories of a better yesteryear.

                Tell ya what, check out that there interweb location called “gasbuddy.com” … dunno if URLs are allowed in these comments so I’ll spell it out for those who may be interested:

                tripdub gasbuddy dot com slash gb_retail_price_chart.aspx

                … it’s a graphic display of the average cost of gasoline in the Murica across a variable range of time. Select the 8 year chart just so you can see a little more reality than current political blinders may allow in. Peak average price of $4.12 was achieved on 16th of July, 2008. That would be *before* Obama took office. Before he was even elected.

                In (approximately) January of ’09 gas prices took a nosedive. That was, I’m sure most economists would cheerfully inform you, due to the massive drop in demand brought about by the financial crisis otherwise known as The Great Recession. Since then gas prices have been inching back up to a more *normal* range.

                I for one wholeheartedly cheer on higher gas prices because I have issues with people that drive gas-guzzling behemoths as their daily drivers (I probably have some kind of complex, who knows). If you *choose* to have big expensive toys, that is yer choice. You have the right to buy whatever you can afford, however you do not have the right to cheap gasoline. I will continue to laugh at the gas pumps as I fill up my motorcycle for ten bux while the suburban housewife on the other side of the aisle spends about 100 filling up her completley unnecessary Suburban.

      • wackydan says:

        I bought a new 2012 F-150 in January. Went with the Ford as they had the newest most fuel efficient engines. I don’t use it for work.

        I guess I am evil… So tell me how that chevy volt or smart car is going to tow my 22 foot trailer when it is loaded to almost 8000 pounds?

        • hammond egger says:

          EcoBoost FTW!

          • wackydan says:

            Nope. I went with the 5.0.

            Real world mpg tests showed no difference between the 5.0 and 3.5 ecoboost and suggested that towing MPG could be worse with the ecoboost.

            That said, the ecoboost would have lifted my towing capacity another 1500 pounds or so… which I really didn’t need. So my shopping really was about buying the right truck for the task and not just buying a beast of a truck because I could. In retrospect, I can see where I maybe would have been happier towing with the ecoboost for the torque alone. Ecoboost was another $850 at that time.

            I put about 6000 miles per year on my truck… sometimes more, sometimes less… So I don’t worry about gas costs too much. It isn’t a daily driver.

            That 5.0 is a great motor so far. Best I’ve gotten is 22 MPG highway which matches my old Dakota V6 – so progress is being made with the full size trucks.

      • wackydan says:

        Yes. I just wanted a truck because it was big and shiny. No doubt there are some of those purchases…

        I tow a 22 foot 8000 pound trailer with my new F-150…. And that is for recreational purposes… not work.

        My neighbor who owns an SUV is always asking if I can haul shit for him as he is afraid of getting the inside of it dirty – Those are the people who are total asshats.

    • chiieddy says:

      THIS is why we keep one car just large enough to haul the greyhound in (the Outback, although I might downsize to the size of a Toyota Matrix or Mazda 3 series) and the other car is a FIAT (30 city/38 highway EPA estimate)

  3. HomerSimpson says:

    Just think what it would’ve been if Obama hadn’t closed that plant before he even got in office!

    • johnyg30518 says:

      You mean before the speech the factory was slated to close 7 months later? Or the fact that even after the speech, it closed after the inauguration? Yeah, because the government an actual hand in the day-to-day financial discussions with business. Take a micro-economics class and then come to the election a more informed voter.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Um…I think “Homer” was employing that new “sarcasm” thing that’s all the rage with the kids nowadays…

      • MarkFL says:

        Here’s some details:

        The plant closing was announced in June 2008, well before Obama was elected (or nominated).

        GM ended its operations there a few months later — I think it was November or December, but before the inauguration. However, a skeleton crew of a few dozen workers continued to work there until a few months into 2009, as they were completing a contract for Isuzu.

        I think it would be like saying the patient was diagnosed as terminal before the election, went into a coma between the election and the inauguration, and was pronounced dead during the new administration. And we all know that some patients can’t be revived by any doctor.

  4. Press1forDialTone says:

    Good news! Glad Obama didn’t cave to the “Let ‘em go bankrupt” RepubliThugs.
    But on the other hand, I won’t buy a Japanese car, especially not one made in
    Japan and shipped here.

    Google: Rachel Maddow japanese reactors melting down and can’t be fixed

    • MarkFL says:

      What about a Toyota built in the U.S.?

      For the record, I drive a Mustang — made by a U.S. company in Michigan by American union workers. And, like my last Mustang, has been highly reliable. (The last one was totalled by an asshat driving a Chevy who sped off and was never found.)