Edmunds.com Reports Mid-Month August Auto Sales: Imports Thrive as Domestic Inventory and Momentum Diminish

Edmunds.com Reports Mid-Month August Auto Sales: Imports Thrive as Domestic Inventory and Momentum Diminish


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Edmunds.com Reports Mid-Month August Auto Sales: Imports Thrive as Domestic Inventory and Momentum Diminish

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — August 18, 2005 —Most import automakers have had remarkably good sales in August so far, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

Edmunds.com reports that Honda's U.S. market share was over 9.5% in the first two weeks of the month, compared with 8% in July. Honda's highest monthly market share was 9.1%, achieved in August 2003. (These figures include both the Acura and Honda brands.)

According to Edmunds.com, Toyota's U.S. market share exceeded 15% in the first two weeks of August. In July, Toyota captured 12% of the market. Toyota's highest monthly market share was 14.0%, achieved in April of this year. (These figures include the Lexus, Scion and Toyota brands.)

Nissan is also having a successful August so far, increasing its U.S. market share from 6% in July to 6.5% in the first two weeks of the month. Nissan's highest market share was 7.2%, achieved in January of this year. (These figures include both the Infiniti and Nissan brands.)

Collectively, European brands reached nearly 7% U.S. market share in the first half of August. This is a high point for the group so far in 2005. In July, European market share was 5.8%.

The domestic automakers, on the other hand, did not have particularly strong sales in the first half of the month. Chrysler achieved 13% U.S. market share in the first two weeks of August, just as it did in the entire month of July. Ford suffered a slight market share decline, slipping from nearly 20% in July to around 19% in the first half of August.

"We can expect relative increases in the market share for both Ford and Chrysler in the later part of the month, especially if they announce that they will not extend the employee plan promotions beyond the Labor Day deadline," advised Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jesse Toprak.

Edmunds.com noted that in the first half of August, General Motor's market share fell below 25% -- a sharp contrast to July, when GM captured 29% of the marketplace.

"GM's success earlier this summer has really taken its toll on inventory levels for several models, limiting their ability to have another terrific month," stated Toprak. "And there appears to be relatively little momentum left in GM's employee discount incentive program now that it is in its third month."

Edmunds.com analysts expect average prices are likely to rise in August. The average sticker price in July 2005 reached a record high of more than $31,000 (up $1,500 compared to a year ago), thanks mainly to the employee purchase price promotions, which have enabled consumers to purchase more expensive vehicles and additional optional equipment. Average transaction price, on the other hand, was $26,500 in July, up $850 compared to July 2004.

About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market ValueŽ pricing, is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies content for the auto sections of NYTimes.com, AOL, About.com and IGN.com, provides weekly data to Automotive News and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com also publishes a high-speed, on-screen car magazine called Inside Line available free at www.insideline.com. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com StudySM and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. and maintains a satellite office outside Detroit.

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