April 2011′s earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan rocked its industry, devastated the mainland, and disrupted production all over the world until late fall.
What’s interesting to see, reading between the numbers, is just how much of an impact the earthquake had. Japan’s three biggest automakers—Toyota, Honda, and Nissan—shot back into relevance versus last year’s figures, posting amazing gains in the car market. Toyota’s sales were up 60.3 percent, Honda’s were up 48 percent, and Nissan saw a 28.2-percent gain. That last point should have been expected, as Nissan has the least reliance on Japanese supplies of any of the three automakers.
Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Suzuki weren’t as fortunate for various reasons. We’ll get into that here in just a little bit.
- The Honda CR-V set its sixth monthly sales record in a row, compiling 23,282 deliveries.
- Somehow, the well-aged Honda Accord found 28,924 homes, right as an all-new model launches in the fall. We’re going to assume Honda has some darn good deals right now to clear inventory.
- The Honda Odyssey is even pulling some serious weight, up more than 50 percent from last year.
- Acura sales were their best since 2007, but they were led by the TL and softened, refined, all-new RDX crossover, which nearly tripled last June’s numbers.
- Its CR-Z and Insight models both lost ground, despite the fact that Toyota’s Prius hybrid line saw what can best be described as humongous gains.
- There’s still no love for the awkward Acura ZDX, which found just 63 new homes last month. And we’re assuming that’s only because S.H.I.E.L.D. drove them.
- Not to be outdone, the Acura RL mustered just 32 sales. The redesigned model cannot come soon enough.
- The CX-5 compact crossover led the brand’s soft-roaders with 4,551 sold.
- Summer’s winding up, and it shows. The Miata brought in 659 buyers, which trailed even the Subaru BRZ in the cheap niche sports car race.
- While being up just 3 percent isn’t too big a deal, the Mazda3 showed nearly 74 percent sold were SkyActiv models that could get up to 40 mpg.
- The Mazda6 midsize sedan keeps slipping into irrelevancy, posting sales figures of just 1,410.
- The Mazda2 subcompact is well off pace of segment leaders, too, with just 938 sold.
- We know it’s out of production, but we’re just posting Mazda selling one RX-8 last month because we’re a little sentimental. So long, rotary engines, until we meet again.
- People still buy the Mitsubishi Galant? Apparently. Sales were up 116 percent, 1,534 cars.
- The Outlander Sport crossover narrowly trailed the Galant with 1,461 sales.
- The Lancer compact sedan was off some 21 percent. Mitsubishi doesn’t separate its normal Lancer sales from the high-performance Lancer Evolution models.
- The automaker sold just 33 i-MiEVs last month. Total sales for the year are 333. It isn’t easy being green.
- Despite bemoaning the interior materials that come with the cheapest car in the U.S., it appears people have latched on to the Versa, good for a more than 100-percent gain from last June.
- The Nissan Juke also made massive strides in June, picking up more than 1,000 sales over last year, 3,101 total in June.
- The Infiniti G coupe and sedan had sales grow some 39.4 percent over last year for a combined 5,276 in June.
- The high-dollar Infiniti QX56 even had a lofty 24.6-percent growth, barely breaking into four figures for the month.
- Getting to the root of the Nissan Cube‘s problems may be kinda tough. So might trying to figure out how more than 45 percent of its sales fell off a cliff since last year.
- The all-electric Nissan Leaf‘s sales wilted, as just 535 greenies bought one last month.
- The Infiniti EX crossover’s sales were fewer than half that, though, as 262 left dealerships.
- The Outback crossover wagon led June with 9,254 sold, taking in the most new buyers of any Subaru by more than 2,000 cars.
- The new Subaru Impreza sedan and hatchback keep picking up momentum, finding 5,181 homes last month.
- As a whole, the Subaru brand was up 40 percent over June 2011. Every vehicle—even the slow-selling Tribeca crossover—picked up sales. Not bad for a company that pretty much only tailors its cars for snow duty (with the exception of the rear-wheel-drive BRZ, which took in 818 buyers).
- Suzuki sales were up in June by 1 percent. The SX4 sedan and hatchback led the increase with 1,161 sold, or more than half of all new Suzukis.
- Suzuki as a brand is a loser. The PR contact the brand listed on its press release left the automaker earlier this year, yet it couldn’t be bothered to update its press contacts. The brand is feuding with Volkswagen—what could have been an incredibly lucrative deal for both companies—because of its own stubbornness in the give-a-little-take-a-little business that is the auto industry, and no one knows what it is because it has next to no dealer network or support. It’s a good thing Suzuki makes darn good motorcycles that sell well because, even with a lineup of pretty good vehicles, no one knows what the heck the brand is in the car world.
- Going into what will undoubtedly be its last model year, the rather antiquated Toyota Corolla somehow wound up as the second-best-selling car in the compact class behind the Honda Civic with an enormous 26,647 sold. Toyota has a ton of incentives on them right now.
- The Camry can still do no wrong, breaking the 32,000 sales mark.
- The Scion FR-S shows there’s certainly a market still for a Japanese sports car, pushing through 2,684 to lead all of Scion’s sales numbers. Together with its Subaru BRZ platform mate, the two sold 3,502 units.
- The all-new Lexus GS shows us that Lexus knows how to make a fun, luxurious sedan. Finding 2,020 owners in June, other people apparently share our sentiments.
- Toyota’s winners section could go on for some time, but what’s the fun in only covering good news? In the race to the bottom, the out-of-production Lexus HS found 10 new owners last month.
- Only the still-in-production $375,000 Lexus LFA managed worse with just two finding new owners. Two. T-W-O. But, in fairness, the LFA is hardly a volume model.
- The Toyota Avalon still managed to find a reasonable 1,768 buyers, but it was down 21.6 percent from last year. An all-new 2013 model is expected within months.
Sources: Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Subaru