2015 Lincoln MKC, Nissan Rogue Post Big Sales Gains in July's Truck, SUV Buying Frenzy | Edmunds

2015 Lincoln MKC, Nissan Rogue Post Big Sales Gains in July's Truck, SUV Buying Frenzy


DETROIT — The 2015 GMC Acadia, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue and Toyota 4Runner posted double-digit sales gains in July as shoppers went on a truck-and-SUV buying spree.

The roll call of hot crossovers, trucks and SUVs in July also includes the Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Edge, Ford F-150, Honda CR-V, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Lincoln MKC, Lincoln Navigator, Nissan Murano and Toyota Highlander.

Extreme bragging rights went to the Lincoln MKC SUV and Nissan Rogue SUV. Both turned in 60 percent sales increases in July.

The mood was relentlessly upbeat as manufacturer after manufacturer posted rosy July results and predicted more to come as 2015 draws to a close.

Despite the truck-and-SUV feeding frenzy, car sales were also strong.

Sales of the Chrysler 200 were up 85 percent in July, the midsize sedan's best July sales ever, while Honda said Civic and Accord also posted "stronger performances of over 30,000 units."

Buick Regal sedan deliveries were up 24 percent and the Chevrolet Malibu had its best July retail sales since 2010.

"July auto sales showed no signs of slow down for the industry," said Bill Fay, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, in a statement Monday.

Consumers appear to be brimming with confidence and that attitude clearly carried over into showrooms.

"The first half of 2015 was the best six months in a decade for new car sales, and the pattern of strength continued into July," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com director of industry analysis. "We anticipate that sales will be robust throughout the summer, commensurate with the confidence of the American car shopper."

Caldwell said the fastest-selling segments in July were compact truck and compact crossover. She noted: "most SUV segments are selling faster than cars." The slowest-selling segments in July were subcompact cars and large car.

Fiat-Chrysler said a 6 percent increase in July sales was powered by strong Jeep sales. The Wrangler, Cherokee, Patriot and Compass each posted their best July sales ever.

"With Jeep sales up 23 percent, we were also able to achieve our 64th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases," said Reid Bigland, head of Fiat-Chrysler U.S. sales, in a statement.

General Motors sold 272,512 vehicles in the United States in July for a 6 percent increase. Chevrolet and GMC sold more than 86,000 pickups - the best July since 2006.

Sales of the GMC Acadia were up 32 percent for the SUV's best month ever. Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado increased 34 percent in July, while the Chevrolet Traverse SUV was up 32 percent.

"The second half of 2015 is off to a great start, with industry sales above expectations," said Kurt McNeil, GM's U.S. vice president of sales operations, in a statement. "We feel very good about our truck strategy heading into the late summer and fall, when those segments usually heat up."

Ford posted its best July U.S. sales performance since 2006, with a 5 percent increase versus last year. Ford brand SUV sales jumped 11 percent compared to a year ago, with the Ford Explorer notching a 27 percent increase.

"We continue seeing even stronger demand for our newest products, especially F-150, Explorer, Edge, Mustang and Transit," said Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a statement. "With continued improvement in inventory, F-Series retail momentum continued building in July."

The Ford Edge and Explorer are turning "fast on dealer lots," the automaker said, at just 18 days and 13 days, respectively.

Lincoln sales increased 21 percent versus a year ago on the strength of strong crossover and SUV sales. The heavily revised Lincoln Navigator posted a 24 percent gain compared to a year ago.

Nissan Group sold 130,872 vehicles in July, an increase of 7.8 percent over the prior year and a July record.

"Overall sales of Nissan crossovers, trucks and SUVs were up 22 percent," the automaker said in a statement.

Honda reported an increase of 7.7 percent in July on sales of 146,324 Honda and Acura vehicles, with trucks leading the sales gain.

"CR-V led the way with sales of over 31,000 units while the new HR-V grabbed 5,909 sales and, despite the continued production ramp-up, the brand-new 2016 Pilot earned nearly 10,000 new customers in July -- its first full month on the market," Honda said in a statement.

Volkswagen shoppers took a shine to the brand's TDI clean-diesel models, which accounted for 26 percent of sales in July. The German automaker said 55 percent of Volkswagen Touareg SUV sales in the United States in July were TDI models.

Hyundai Motor America said in a Twitter post that it recorded "US Sales best July ever at 71,013 up 6%." More details were expected later in the day.

Edmunds says: It's still a good time to visit your local dealer, as inventory gets cleared out to make way for the 2016 models.

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