July U.S. Auto Sales - The Good, The Bad, & The Downright Ugly

Tyler Durden's picture

Ford (-3.0% vs. -0.5 est), GM (-1.9% vs. -1.0 est) and Fiat Chrysler (+0.3% vs. 1.9% est) all posted headline misses on July auto sales with a modest "beat" from Toyota (-1.4% vs -1.9% est) even though its sales were still down YoY.  Looking past the headlines, however, the data is even worseFord sales to retail customers (i.e. stripping out fleet sales where they make no money) were down 6% while Fiat Chrysler was down 2%.  GM managed to grow retail sales 5% YoY but only after increasing incentive spending 29% over the competition to 14.2% of total retail value....WINNING!  Ford and GM stocks were punished on the misses.

According to headline data, truck sales took a big leap higher in July...but the devil is in the details.  Most of the truck gains for Ford came from cargo vans which were up 35% YoY while its F-Series pickup truck was down 1% and SUVs were down 5.3%.  GM posted higher unit sales of trucks, albeit on higher incentive spending, but mix shifted from the higher MSRP Silverado (units down 4% YoY) to the lower priced Colorado and Canyon models which were up 27.5% and 33.1%, respectively.  Chrysler reported a 2% YoY increase in Dodge Ram sales.

Wards Data


Overall, July sales were slightly positive YoY but stripping out fleet sales would paint a very different picture.

July Auto Sales


Inventory-to-sales remained near all-time highs excluding the 08/09 recession.


Auto Inventory


Investors punished Ford and GM stocks for their efforts.

Ford and GM


Please see below for additional thoughts on company-specific performance:

Ford - Ford posted a big miss at -3.0% YoY vs. consensus of -0.5%.  Retail sales showed a terrible decline of 6% YoY which were offset by 6% growth in less profitable sales to rental companies and government agencies.  Overall Ford sales were certainly boosted by GM's 42% decline in fleet sales.  The key money makers for the OEM were down across the board YoY with SUV sales off 5.6% (Explorer down 22%; Escape down 10%; Edge up 5%) and F-Series sales off 1%.  Ford said average pricing per vehicle grew $1,600 YoY primarily on mix shift.

GM - GM also posted a big miss at -1.9% YoY vs. consensus of -1.0%.  GM estimates their market share grew 1% in July to 17.9%.  GM retail sales came in at +5% YoY and
fleet sales down a massive -42%, which they described as "plan".  Retail sales growth came at a substantial cost to the OEM with incentive spending for July way up to 14.2% vs. an average of 11.0% for the industry overall as GM sought to clear out old inventory.  Days of inventory on dealer lots declined MoM to 66 days from 72 days. 

Fiat Chrysler - Fiat Chrysler posted a miss at +0.3% YoY vs. consensus of +1.9%.  That said, the headline number was driven by fleet sales with retail sales down -2% YoY and lower-margin fleet sales up +22%.  Popular Jeep lines struggled with Wrangler down -5% and Cherokee down -12% while Ram trucks increased +2% YoY.

Toyota - "Beat" with sales of -1.4% YoY vs. consensus of -2.9%. 

Honda - Beat with sales of +4.4% YoY vs. consensus of -0.4%. 

Nissan - Missed sales of +1.2% YoY vs. consensus of +3.0%. 

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Mrs. Cog and I were just talking about how many new cars and trucks are parked in front of the various Dollar stores.

Go figure.

<The brave new world of fog-a-mirror-and-drive-home-with-a-new-car-or-truck-today financing plans.>

BandGap's picture

I do not understand this either, unless they are leases. People justify the costs of a lease because "they can dump them after 3 years". 500 a month idiots.

Looking for a two seater FWD/AWD just to haul shit. Have a 2002 Ford F150, looking for a bit more mobility. Cutting wood in 3....2....1......

Hussflier's picture

Or pay less than $200 a month on a $47k silverado lease, I would venture to guess you pay more than 200 a month keeping that 14 year old POS running

sonoftx's picture

So, are you one of those assholes who drives a brand new shiny vehicle and always talking about how nice it is, and then, when it is time to drive to the convention, that is 3 hours away, and it is 100 degrees outside, and we are going together, and splitting the hotel, two queen beds, and I just know that we are taking your " awesome truck", BUT, then, WHAT? What are you talking about can we take my 1998 Buick Regal. Ummhh, sure, I just thought we were taking your truck. "Well, I have a lease, and I can only drive so many miles". In my mind, I knew he was not that bright, but now, "Wow what a dumb fuck"

Hey SOT I was wandering if you could help me this weekend. "Sure", I say. So he needs help hauling some furniture. So, it is a lot of furniture, I say. Oh no not much. So, you need help loading it I ask. No, not really he says. He says, "I really just need to use your truck". In my head I am thinking, "He has almost a brand new, four door, p/u, 4 WD, trailer towing, and off road package, yet he wants to use my 13 yo p/u.

I do not think it is Hussflier, I think it is Pussflower. But, you are a man, you drive a p/u(please just do not use it as p/u or drive it too far).

Hussflier's picture

15k miles a year been leasing for 12 years never went over and I drive it everywhere, pull my boat, and let anyone that wants to use it use it! Never once couldn't drive cuz I was close on miles.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Hussflier Aug 2, 2016 8:46 PM

I bought a van from Nissan.

Really cheap, was 2015 model new.

100% financing zero interest for five yrs.

Normally 23K bought for 15K

MisterMousePotato's picture

I love text without kerning. Literally makes me swoon. Courier FTW. I use it for everything; make 'em wonder if I'm still using a typewriter or daisey wheel printer.

glenlloyd's picture

I had the bestest daisy wheel printer, got it back in I think 1985...those were the days.

I could tell GM pumped up the spending on commercials for July...every five minutes it was Silverado this and Sierra that...overkill. Seems like every month is now Truck month or something something month. I also don't care for their commercials where they have several people talk about cars without badges and try and guess what it is and how much it costs. That really just makes the people doing the guessing look like idiots...

Déjà view's picture

Uncontrolled immigration and taxpayers backing all auto loans...25m. sales outlook p.a. Life is good. Venezuela take notice.

TheWrench's picture

Whenever I hear "leasing" I think "financial retard". 

VladLenin's picture

If it floats, flies, or fucks... and now drives... rent it!!


Paying $30k+ for a new pickup is fucking retarded.  

Hussflier's picture

House paid off, wifes jeep paid off, no credit card debt, no bills other than insurance, taxes, and leased truck $191 per month payment. Tell me how that is financial retard?

in4mayshun's picture

Really just depends on your priorities. I just got done having this same debate with some dude that drives a 20 year old toyota pu. Says he saves 500 bucks every month cause "his ego doesnt need a new car every 3 years..." yet this fool spends, literally thousands of dollars every month on playing old-guys travel soft ball all over the US. In my mind, im thinking "this guy is crazy!" Now I have no interest in playing nor traveling to play soft ball when Im 50+, but to-each-his-own right? However, i do like driving new cars. To me, its worth the $300/mo to lease a comfortable technologically advanced nice car. I dont drink $6 lattes, i dont buy $8/pack cigarettes, I dont drop $150 every Fri & Sat nite at trendy bars trying to pick up girls. People waste money in many different ways. Who's to say that leasing a vehicle isnt a more productive way to blow money???


OldTrooper's picture

I wish my ex-wife had been as careful about her mileage on her leased truck.  Surprising how fast those add up to $4,500!

PoliceThePolice's picture

Being in the business, you must round down. $249-$299 would be on the low end during really good specials. I'm sure you will say they gave it to you for $0 money down and the hot women doing the lease sucked you off before you drove off the lot. Plus you just skip the $3,000 - $4,000 down as most people who lease neglect to mention. The last 2 years with my 1993 Toyota pickup cost $47 a month in 2014 and $53 in 2015. That's inspection and maintenance cost for the year.


This is the standard fantasy tales told by people who want to prove their point. I once caught a fish this big, right after I had sex with all the Dallas cheerleaders. Too funny bro!!!

in4mayshun's picture

But you had to drive a 93 toyota. Do you also have a VCR and a Nokia flip phone?

Iam_Silverman's picture

"But you had to drive a 93 toyota. Do you also have a VCR and a Nokia flip phone?"

Not all older vehicles are boring.  My daily driver is a 1995 Jeep Wrangler YJ.  No top and half doors all spring/summer/fall.  It is a blast driving around, and I get to "share" my SiriusXM channel of choice - 61 (until tomorrow, when it changes to 62).  It is simple to work on, parts are plentiful and inexpensive.  Registration and insurance are only a fraction of the cost of our newer vehicles.

I DO have a flip phone - a Samsung Rugby 1.  Nearly indestructible, and I'm not constantly wedded to it, staring at it and fondling it whenever something else shiny isn't catching my attention or when people ignore me.

BTW, we own 5 vehicles, paid cash for all of them.  Newest is the 2011 Wrangler, a 2010 Chrysler 300, 2003 Dodge 2500 diesel/6 speed, 2001 Dodge 2500 diesel/6 speed, and the '95 fun machine.  We tend to keep ours for a long time, so the economics of leasing hasn't tempted me yet.

JamesBond's picture

Fuck'em all.  Rip off conmen at dealerships.  The worst human maggots on the planet.  Get rid of the needless middlemen in the auto business and sell for $500 over cost per vehicle.   Then you might be having a better sales year.  

MisterMousePotato's picture

"The worst human maggots on the planet."

You need to head over to some of the political threads. There are these creatures called "politicians." And, oh ... Democrats?!? Words fail me.

knukles's picture

I simply have no idea whatsoever which one of the beauties Jeeves will be pulling out of the 73 car stable today.
I get so tingly down my leg each morning wondering in what I shall be driven.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

72 after you are carjacked at your local Dollar General.




knukles's picture

One can still buy something under a $1?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Of course. Junk for a dollar or more.

The genius of these stores is the rounding of many prices UP to the nearest dollar. Shit you can find for 68 cents at Walmart is sold for a dollar at the dollar stores. $2.35 becomes $3 and so on.

Because most people need to take their shoes off, thereby exposing their toes, in order to count to 20, being able to keep a running total in your head of dollars without the cents is valuable when you are paying cash at the register.

That's why I take Mrs Cog with me. That way I can count to 40. :-)

Big Corked Boots's picture

In my previous office we had a saying - "He couldn't count to 21 without dropping his pants."

Iam_Silverman's picture

"That's why I take Mrs Cog with me. That way I can count to 40."

I'm sure if you got creative you could count to 41.  Of course there is the risk someone might take offense.  Can't be too careful at the DG or FD any more.

BandGap's picture

Two year old candy! Enjoy the licorice twists!

MisterMousePotato's picture

Red vines are best if you take the lid off (a four-pound bucket) and let them sit until they snap.

Trogdor's picture

mmmmmm ... stale licorice ....

knukles's picture

Talk about fog the mirror, I saw a guy lifting his Schnauzer up to the mirror and squeeze it real hard so as to get a co-signature.
The dog looked kinda happy.
Bet he gets his anal gland popped a lot.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Bet I could buy a whole fleet with this crew.

The crew


Who is the manufacturer? What's the brand name?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture


They have more energy than a basket full of puppies.


I was refering to the basket full of puppies. What breed are they? I'm a cat person, and don't know dog breeds that well.

WillyGroper's picture

ultimate irony...unless it was the waltons, i saw a rolls royce pulling into whale mart last spring.


OT, CD: have you studied the right side of the new satellite trackable bennie & the injetz hunnerd bill?

spose that blue ribbon placement might denote deval under the assumed new currency being gold backed (notable gold quill & inkpot).

still wondering about that 50mt of au imported.

spidey senses tell me sumpins up.

canisdirus's picture

They're buying or leasing them because used cars are more expensive than new ones, all things considered. The price of used cars has been severely inflated since cash for clunkers way back in 2009... Since then, traditional adages about depreciation have not applied. It's more like 5% per year for the first 5 if it has above-average mileage. A low-mileage car sees about 2-3%/year.

I'm notiriously frugal and known for buying cars that I drive into the ground, but even I couldn't find a realistic deal on a used car in 2015, so I ended up buying a new one that will probably last me 15-20 years (I have historically purchased 5-6 year old cars and drove them until they were 14-15 years old. It should be easy to make 20 years with the way I care for them.).

GhostofBastiat's picture

Since I always buy lightly used, looks like 2018 will be a very good year!


canisdirus's picture

Only if prices somehow return to normal. Used prices have been insane since cash for clunkers. Last year I bought a new car that cost me less (between rebates and financing) than someone I know paid for a 2-year-used car with 20k miles and the exact same specs (but older body style). I can't fathom why anyone would buy used at these prices.

Ace Ventura's picture

Might depend on the individual state? Here in VA we have this awesome-sauce thing called 'property tax', which is a ludicrously comical and obvious taxpayer theft scam. For extra tangy flavor, they base this 'tax' on the 'assessed value' of your vehicle (you can imagine the inflated official values used by tax assessors). IOW, the newer the vehicle/higher assessed value, the bigger the tax bill. Oh, and did I forget to mention this theft is an annual/biannual recurring event....for as long as you own your vehicle? So a new vehicle may be a better buy in terms of purchase totals.....but extrapolated over the total ownership period in a tyrannical tax state, the cost of newer cars hits hard.  And we're talking a flat charge of several hundred bucks per vehicle.

P.S. They didn't stop there.....VA also taxes boats, jetskis, trailers, campers, motorcycles, etc. etc. etc. The metastasizing cancer of NoVA/DC and the methodical demographic shift into a blue state has really fucked the Old Dominion up.

Iam_Silverman's picture

Well, at least they've done away with the "city stickers", haven't they?  My source may have been wrong on that.

I always marveled at having two stickers in the middle of the windshield.  Don't really miss living there.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) Aug 2, 2016 7:08 PM

Yellen just needs to get a little more loose and the cars will glide right off the showroom

horse cents's picture

I have it! Let's ask Barry if he can do Cash for Clunkers part II.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) horse cents Aug 2, 2016 7:11 PM

Hillary's got ya.  Remember she cares about the children 

AngryNinja's picture

I believe it will headline as "Cars for Cankles" program.

FreeShitter's picture

Ford Edges are nice.

Big Corked Boots's picture

Them Edge's are too round for me.

trip kitchen's picture

Most of the truck gains for Ford came from cargo vans which were up 35% YoY

Do those come furnished?