In August, new car sales are expect to slip 2.1% from the same month last year to 1,540,000. Those of Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) are expected to nosedive by comparison, down 6.8% to 218,000. The drop is expected to be more than even Volkswagen’s, according to KKB.com.
Ford’s crater will only be slightly worse that U.S. auto giant General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), which is expected to have a fall off of 5.4% to 256,000. The third member of the former Big Three, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) is expected to continue a successful run of two years. Its sales are anticipated to rise 0.2% to 202,000.
Among the large Japanese manufacturers, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is expected to pass Ford in August, but still to be down 1.1% to 222,000. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) sales are predicted to rise 0.5% to 157,000. Surprise success story Nissan is expected to rise 0.5% to 134,000. Another surprise winner for the year is Subaru, which is expected to have sales increase to 54,000.
Volkswagen’s death spiral will continue, with August sales off 5.6% from August of last year to 53,000.
Anxiety that the U.S. market has cooled may be true. Kelley Blue Book’s Tim Fleming said:
Overall, sales are expected to remain steady in the mid-17 million SAAR range, despite a small drop in volume for August 2016.The mix of sales is divided, with demand for utility vehicles continuing to grow at the same time that car sales are falling. As we reach the peak of the market, Kelley Blue Book will keep an eye on a few key factors, including increased fleet penetration in 2016 combined with flat retail demand, rising incentive spend from automakers, and used car prices, which have yet to respond to the growing supply of off-lease vehicles. Any changes to the trajectory of these factors could speed up the eventual decline in new-car sales for the industry.
As for GM, there is a silver lining, according to Fleming:
General Motors has lost nearly a full point of market share this year, although this is fully attributable to reduced rental sales, which are less profitable. In fact, GM has gone from the top automaker of rental vehicles to No. 4 this year, which is part of their push to focus on strengthening residual values and profitability rather than boosting sales totals.
|Manufacturer||Aug-16||Aug-15||YOY %||Aug-16||Aug-15||YOY %|
|General Motors (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC)||256,000||270,480||-5.4%||16.6%||17.2%||-0.6%|
|Ford Motor Company (Ford, Lincoln)||218,000||233,880||-6.8%||14.2%||14.9%||-0.7%|
|Toyota Motor Company (Lexus, Scion, Toyota)||222,000||224,381||-1.1%||14.4%||14.3%||0.2%|
|Fiat Chrysler (Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT, Jeep, RAM)||202,000||201,672||0.2%||13.1%||12.8%||0.3%|
|American Honda (Acura, Honda)||157,000||155,491||1.0%||10.2%||9.9%||0.3%|
|Nissan North America (Infiniti, Nissan)||134,000||133,351||0.5%||8.7%||8.5%||0.2%|
|Subaru of America||54,000||52,697||2.5%||3.5%||3.3%||0.2%|
|Volkswagen Group (Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche)||53,000||56,134||-5.6%||3.4%||3.6%||-0.1%|
|1 Historical data from OEM sales announcements|
|2 Kelley Blue Book Automotive Insights|