An Early Look at July Sales

There has been a drumbeat series of generally downbeat economic news recently, though vehicle sales for July seem to be holding up. (Some of this strength is because the Japanese rebound is continuing. Sales for everyone else are softening a bit.) If you have been wondering if that other shoe waiting to drop might be vehicle sales, read our chief enonomist's recent piece on this.

Looking at the pacing so far in July, retail sales are tracking to end up around 999,000 units for a SAAR of 11.9m. This compares with 1.033m units and a SAAR of 11.3m last month. Fleet sales are a bit harder to call. One way manufacturers have been supporting recent sales is through an increased reliance on fleet. Normally July sees a decline in fleet, to around 15% of total sales. Right now, all we have to go on are historical patterns, so we will use the 15% figure. That gets us to a total of 1.165m units and a total SAAR of 14m. This is about the same as last month's SAAR of 14.1m, but unit sales will be down quite a bit from last month's 1.285m. (But remember, there could be some surprises in fleet sales.)

Retail share-wise, compared to the same period last month, Mercedes Benz and BMW are down substantially, while Toyota and Honda are up. See below for details.

July Sales

Those curious about how GM's new "confidence" campaign is doing will note that their share is down. I should point out that the program launched on the 10th, so there are only a few days of results in the total. A better leading indicator is consideration anyway. Here is that data for Chevrolet as of a few days ago:

July Sales

Consideration has ticked down since the program launched, but again, it is still early.


  • I am a domestic car buyer, but getting old [69]. I am a bow tie guy and would buy a VOLT but only put a few miles a week on a chevy AVEO because my sister and I share the car. She is [73] and cant handle a larger car. But I may get CHEVY CRUZE, they are not much bigger. I was hoping for diesel but even that isn't out yet. The difference in fuel mileage does't really matter much, the AVEO gets 25 mpg and at three thousand miles a year whats the difference. The cost per mile is not much of a factor. My wife drives our 2005 STS, it has been 'bullet proof' so far and the white diamond still looks great. The 325 HP Northstar is a snappy performer. I have had three Corvettes over 40 years and the convertible has been my choice. I also have a 96 DODGE 2500 w/ the 5.9 diesel. I was a CUMMINS dealer for 35 years. It is a 4X4 automatic set up to 370 HP. It is set up for towing but only has 78,000 miles on it. It is brute force and still gets 19 MPG, its like new.

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