It was another tough month for Japanese giants, Toyota and Honda. North American sales were again below year-over-year and year-to-date sales figures, with each automaker continuing to cite supply shortages as a result of the March earthquake and tsunami.
Though the news was again expected, demand remains high, and production capacity for each automaker has, in the waning days of the months, regained near pre-quake strength.
Not all were down though, as Nissan continued to capitalize on the other manufacturer’s bad luck. Though Mazda sold less than Toyota’s Camry, its sales, too, continued strong growth, as did Subaru and Suzuki.
Toyota Motor Sales: Toyota reported August sales of 111,380 vehicles, a decrease of 16.9 percent from the year-ago month, and 13.6 percent compared to August 2010. Lexus Division posted August sales of 18,103 units, a decrease of 10.6 percent from the same month last year, and down 7.0 percent from the year-ago month. Even Scion was down in August with sales of 3,649 units, down 9.0 percent from August 2010.
“Our supply outlook continues to improve as North American production will return to 100 percent of normal levels this month,” said Jeff Bracken, vice president of Toyota Division sales. ”With our Georgetown, Kentucky plant now running at maximum operating levels and Toyota dealers ready for the arrival of the all-new 2012 Camry and Camry Hybrid, we plan to pull the on-sale date forward.”
- The Camry had combined monthly sales of 30,185 units, down 5.7 percent from August 2010, and 7.4 percent from this point last year
- The Corolla recorded sales of 16,420 units, down 22.1 percent compared to August 2010, and 9.7 percent worse than this point last year
- The Prius reported sales of 9491 units, down 22.7 percent compared to August 2010, and 9.2 percent off this point last year
- The Lexus ES reported sales of 3887 units, down 10.2 percent from August 2010, and 23.3 percent from this time last year
Nissan: Nissan sales rose 19.2 percent this month with 91,541 units sold versus 76,827 units a year ago. Much of the recent success is due to the Altima’s continued assault on the mid-size leader board, previously occupied by stalwarts from Toyota, Ford, and Honda. Infiniti sales totaled 9024 units, a decrease of 4.3 percent versus 9428 a year earlier.
“Nissan expects to see continued market-share gains thanks to better vehicle availability than key competitors and strong performances by our top sellers: the Altima, Rogue and Versa,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. “The 2012 Versa Sedan is off to a great start and is positioning us to maintain our leadership in the competitive subcompact segment.”
- The Altima sold 23,016 units, an increase of 24.5 percent over August 2010
- The all-new Versa Sedan jumped 14.9 percent this month to 8,566 units sold
- Nissan’s Leaf totaled 1,362 units in August, with 6,187 units sold since its December 2010 launch.
- Infiniti G Sedan sold 4,267 units, an increase of 8.7 percent from August 2010
Honda: Honda posted August sales of 73,267, a decrease of 27.5 percent versus August 2010; American Honda year-to-date sales reached 770,265, down 6.0 percent versus last year. Acura was not much better, selling 9,054 units, a decrease of 24.5 percent versus August 2010, and year-to-date sales of 79,136, down 8.1 percent.
“The production plan for most of our models returned to 100 percent by late August at all of our North American factories,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. “A greater selection of vehicles is beginning to arrive at dealers this month as the company continues to recover from temporary supply disruptions.”
- The Accord sold 18,439 units, a decrease of 21.2 percent compared to last year
- The Pilot posted sales of 9,825, an increase of 11.4 percent versus last year
- The Civic sold 12,083 units, down a whopping 49.0 percent from August 2010
- The MDX was the top-selling Acura model with sales of 3,126, down 31.5 percent
- The TL sold 2,404 units and the TSX 2,263 units, down 19.8 and 10 percent from August 2010
“August marked a return to normal production levels for most of our models,” said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. “We remain optimistic for a resilient year as Acura dealerships rebuild their inventory to meet our customer’s needs.”
Mazda: Mazda had a great August with sales of 22,632 vehicles, up 14.7 percent versus August of 2010, and up 6.1 percent year-to-date, with 165,794 vehicles sold.
- At 4188 units sold, the CX-7 had an August increase of 58.7 percent, and is up 26.2 percent on the year
- At 2708 units sold, the CX-9 reported 0.8 percent August growth with 11.2 percent increase on the year
- The Mazda3 sold 9,424 vehicles for a 4.0 percent August increase, but is up 7.3 percent on the year
Subaru: Subaru is up 1.41 percent for the year, but continued its recent slide as it works to recover shortages from the March earthquake and tsunami. For August, the automaker reported a 6.3 percent slide from August 2010, though it notes that demand remains high.
- The Legacy was up 10.3 percent last month compared the same month a year previous, and is up 12.0 percent on the year
- The Outback dropped 5.97 percent in August, but its sales this year are still up 15 percent
“It was a fantastic achievement to break 20,000 sales for August with our current inventory situation. Demand for our products continues to be strong and our dealers have done a terrific job in matching customers with vehicles,” said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Subaru of America, Inc.
Suzuki: Suzuki posted its eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth with August sales of 2409 vehicles, an increase of 32 percent over August 2010. For the year, Suzuki is up 19 percent with 18,258 vehicles sold.
- The SX4 was up 38 percent compared to August 2010, selling 1181 units
- The Grand Vitara as up 39 percent over August 2010, with 470 units sold
Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi has not yet reported August sales figures.
Sources: Each manufacturer