Car Sales Falter in August | Edmunds

Car Sales Falter in August

Hurricane Harvey took a toll on new-car sales in August: Automakers sold 1,478,572 new vehicles, representing a 1.9 percent sales drop compared to August 2016. Through the first eight months of the year, auto sales are 329,000 units below the record set in 2016.

Edmunds analysts estimate that the Hurricane Harvey was to blame for a 2 percent drop in new-vehicle sales last month. The sales declines in Texas are expected to continue through early September. Analysts then expect to see a localized car-buying bump as Texas recovers and people replace their flood-damaged vehicles.

Among the major manufacturers, only GM and Toyota realized year-over-year sales gains in August. Both were up 7 percent over August 2016 sales. GM sold 275,552 vehicles in August while Toyota sold 227,625.

Three carmakers saw sizable drops in new-vehicle sales compared to August 2016l: Hyundai/Kia sales were down 15 percent, with 107,663 vehicles sold. Nissan was down 13 percent, with 108,326 vehicles sold.  Fiat Chrysler was down 11 percent, with 176,033 vehicles sold.

Ford and Honda also had fewer sales but fared a little better than their competitors: Both carmakers experienced 2 percent sales drops compared to August 2016. Ford sold 209,029 new vehicles last month, while Honda sold 146,016.

There were no surprises among the top-selling vehicles in August. The Toyota Camry was the winner among cars, with 37,051 vehicles sold. The seemingly unstoppable Ford F-Series was tops in trucks with sales of 71,134 in August.

In fact, light trucks have powered vehicle sales through the first eight months of the year, accounting for 63 percent of vehicle sales, according to Edmunds.

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