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NADA: August SAAR Highest Since November 2007

September 10, 2013

McCLEAN, Va. — The automotive retail industry sold 1.5 million light vehicles in August, a 14.3 percent increase from July and a 17 percent increase from August 2012, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s monthly Market Beat report. August went on record for the highest monthly sales volume this year.

Adding August sales, the industry has so far sold 10.6 million vehicles, up 9.6 percent from a year ago. August’s seasonally adjusted annual rate for light vehicle sales clocked in at 16 million units. The SAAR has been on an upward trend in recent years, the report noted, with August marking the first time since November 2007 that the rate reached 16 million units.

Car sales accounted for 49.7 percent of total sales, up 6.6 percent from a year ago. Light truck sales captured a 50.3 percent share, up 12.7 percent from a year ago.

Breaking down sales by vehicle segment, cross utility vehicles held the largest share in year-to-date sales, accounting for 25.2 percent. Rounding out the Top 3 segment were middle cars (20.7 percent) and small cars (19.7 percent).

“The greatest change in August 2013 YTD light-vehicle sales since last year has been in the CUV segment (18.2 percent), followed by the pickup segment (15.8 percent),” the report stated. “Although the YTD percentage change in sales in the CUV segment has exceeded that of the pickup segment for every month of this year, the gap between these indicators has narrowed over recent months as the indicator value for pickups has been rising since March 2013.”

Delving deeper into the CUV segment, the middle CUV held the largest share of August 2013 year-to-date sales at 63.4 percent, while the large pickup segment dominated August year-to-date pickup sales with an 88.1 percent share.

Looking at year-to-date sales for the large-car segment, the report showed that large cars held a 1.6 percent share of total light vehicles sales on 169,115 units sold (up 3 percent from last August). “For 1982-2012, the annual share of large cars for light vehicle sales has been on a general decline,” the report stated. “During this period, the highest recorded annual market share for the large car segment was 9.7 percent in 1984, while the lowest value for the segment was 1.6 percent in 2012.”

In the second quarter, the leading light vehicle in the large car segment in terms of sales was the Dodge Charger with 25,883 units sold. The Dodge muscle car was followed by the Ford Taurus with 23.148 units sold, which is a reverse from the second quarter 2012. That’s when the Ford Taurus was in the lead and the Charger followed closely behind.

Looking at sales by brand, manufacturers based in the Asian/Pacific region held the largest share of light vehicle sales in August, accounting for 47.5 percent of sales. They were followed by companies based in North America, including the Detroit 3 and Tesla. They held a share of 44 percent, while companies based in Europe held an 8.5 percent share of vehicle sales in August.

Asia/Pacific OEMs also captured the largest share of sales in the U.S. market at 45.6 percent, down from 46 percent one year ago. North American-based companies held a 45.5 percent share, while Europe-based manufacturers held a share of 8.9 percent.

Of the Detroit 3, Ford experience the biggest growth in August year-to-date sales from a year ago at 12.3 percent, followed by General Motors at 9.8 percent and Chrysler at 9.6 percent. “For every month of 2013, so far, Ford has led the Detroit 3 in terms of YTD growth in light-vehicle sales relative to the previous year,” the report noted.

Among Asia/Pacific-based companies, Subaru experienced the most growth in August year-to-date sales from a year ago at 29.3 percent, followed by Isuzu at 28.6 percent.

For European-based companies, Porsche experienced the most growth from a year in August year-to-date sales at 27.7 percent, followed by Jaguar-Land Rover at 17.8 percent.

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