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10 Things to Know About July Sales

We can look back in general terms at July 2019 and call it a solid month of new-car sales in the U.S. With roughly 1,399,000 vehicles sold, the market was on pace to sell 16.8 million for the year, aligned with the Cox Automotive full-year estimate. We know a lot of companies pulled the fleet lever last month (Fleet Gains in July, Continue Record Pace) and there were plenty of incentives in place as well (2019 is the Summer of Incentives), but in a slowing market that’s what it takes to maintain a near-17-million pace.

There were winners and losers last month and a trove of details to comb through. Here are ten takeaways from last month, all based on a market analysis by the Kelley Blue Book (KBB) data team:

  1. The U.S. market continues to be dominated by 30 vehicles. The Big 30 accounted for 51.3% of total sales in July, and most of top sellers were SUVs. Here’s a KBB estimate of that group, representing 19 SUVs, 6 cars, 5 pickups.
  • Chevrolet Equinox
  • Chevrolet Silverado
  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Edge
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford F-Series
  • Ford Fusion
  • GMC Sierra
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Ram Pickup
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Tacoma
  1. A year ago, July 2018, Ford’s once-popular Focus compact car chalked up nearly 9,000 sales. In July 2019, according to a Kelley Blue Book analysis, Ford Focus sales have dwindled to only a handful. The model has been discontinued in the U.S. altogether, and that’s a trend we are watching. The Detroit automakers are abandoning car sales. In fact, we believe cars accounted for roughly 10 percent of General Motors total U.S. sales in July.
  2. In electric-vehicles sales, there’s Tesla—the supreme leader—and then there’s everyone else. The best-selling electric in the U.S. that’s not a Tesla: the Chevy Bolt. According to the KBB analysis, the Bolt beat out the Nissan Leaf and Audi e-Tron, which were 2nd and 3rd in the without-Tesla electric-vehicle race.
  3. By measure of days in inventory, the Fiat 124 Spider was among the slowest selling vehicles in the U.S. in July. The average Spider was in inventory nearly 300 days. On the other side of that measure: The typical Lincoln Aviator was in dealer inventory only 8 days in July.
  4. As recently as a year ago, Hyundai was struggling with a car-heavy mix and beginning a journey to remake its product portfolio. Green shoots of that effort are here: 58% of Hyundai sales in July were SUVs, up from 47% a year earlier. Sales volume was up as well and, importantly, so was the average transaction price (ATP). The KBB ATP for Hyundai in July 2019 was $26,445, up a healthy $2,416 from July 2018.
  5. The average Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a new vehicle in July was $39,836. Porsche had the highest average MSRP at $87,801 while Mitsubishi, at $23,548, had the lowest.
  6. Subaru kept the streak alive in July: 92 consecutive months of year-over-year growth. A healthy dose of fleet helped the bottom-line sales number. Subaru sold 64,106 vehicles last month, a 7.9% increase over July 2018.
  7. Tallied by KBB segmentation, there were 116 different SUV nameplates with at least 1 sale in July, with names stretching from Acadia to Yukon. Of those, 13 had names starting with the letter X, from X1 to XC40 and XT6. But X-names are not the most popular in SUV-dom. The letter E is more popular, thanks largely to Ford’s embrace of the letter. There were 14 SUVs in market last month with E names. And if you think SUVs are becoming redundant, we think you are E-X-actly right. (Bonus fact: The letter X appears in 36 of the 116 model names.)
  8. Checking in on the hot new Jeep Gladiator: July was likely its best month yet, with close to 5,000 sales. The average transaction price is holding up as well, at $50,862. In the pickup truck segment, the new Gladiator is commanding the strongest transaction pricing at 97% of MSRP. In contrast, the GMC Sierra transaction price was weakest at 91% of MSRP.
  9. In its first month in market, Toyota’s new sports car with a classic name – Supra – notched 320 sales, enough to outsell the Nissan 370Z, Porsche Cayman and BMW Z4. Not a bad start for the new kid on the block. And in other supercar wars: Our team is estimating that the Ford GT turbocharged-V-6-mid-engine-monster outsold the Acura NSX turbocharged-V-6-mid-engine-monster at a rate of 2 to 1. How many in the combined total? About 30.

Source: Cox Automotive

Cox Automotive