May was another good month for the ‚ÄėMovers and Shakers‚Äô of the auto industry. Overall, the industry sold a million-plus units, something that hasn‚Äôt been achieved since March, 2010.
May sales came in at 1,102,899, up 120,768 vehicles from April, and up 19.1% from May, 2009. According to Edmunds, the¬†seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) for the industry now stands at 11.6 million vehicles. That‚Äôs up from the 11.2 million SAAR in April, but still not at equal to the11.8 million estimate we got in March.
According to J.D. Power and Associates, 80.9% of vehicles sold in April were retail sales compared to 19.1% fleet sales. Fleet mix decreased slightly for May, by a little over 1% of total sales.¬†Industry mix favored car sales again, though a surge in pickups skewed light-truck‚Äôs showing. In May, fleet mix stood at 51.4% car vs. 48.6% light-truck. The biggest vehicle segments for the month were midsized cars (286,190), crossovers (216,826), compact cars (191,764) and pickup trucks (150,867).
May‚Äôs sales performance has to do with the continuation of aggressive incentive spending by Chrysler, Honda and Ford. According to TrueCar, industry average incentive spending was estimated at about $2,915 per vehicle in May, which is an increase of $115 from April and March. Incentive spending is up 1.7% from last year, with a total of $3 billion spent to move the metal, according to Truecar.
May sales would have came in below industry expectations if it were not for Memorial weekend, which spiked sales despite the fact that incentives on the hood didn‚Äôt change that much. The Detroit 3 also pushed a larger portion of fleet than expected.
All important indicators point to further improvements in the auto industry as the economy continues to stabilize. According the Federal Reserve, there was ‚Äėmodest‚Äô growth in many districts in May. ¬†While unemployment remains at a very high 9.7%, the economy did add 431,000 jobs in May, the most since March 200. Still, it‚Äôs important to note that most of those jobs (411,000 of them) were temporary Census jobs. Those folks are hardly going to go out and buy a new car.
‚ÄúReal‚ÄĚ discretionary retail spending also increased for the first time since March, 2010. According to Ford’s senior U.S. economist, “consumer credit still remains constrained.” If lending can open up a bit more we could still exceed predicted SAAR rates of 11.5-12 million units for the year.
GM: Market share 20.3%/ sales up + 16.6%
- GM sold 223,822 vehicles in May, up 16.6% from last year, and up 17.9% from April, 2010.
- GM‚Äôs profitable truck nameplates were up 24.3% for the month, but car sales remain the weak link: up by only 8.2%.
- Fleet mix stood at 61% truck vs. 39% car for May, which is nearly identical of April‚Äôs and March‚Äôs fleet mix.
- Chevy made up about 74.7% of GM‚Äôs total sales for the month.
- Nameplate heroes include: the Cadillac SRX (+654.3%), Chevy Equinox (+256.0%), Buick Lacrosse (+211.9%) and Chevy Suburban (100.6%).
- GM sold 37% of its vehicles to fleet companies, which is a huge increase from April.
- GM spent $$3,433 per vehicle on incentives, up 0.9% from May of last year.
- GM was the largest aggregate incentive spender, at $658,025,905.
Ford: Market share up 17.4%/ sales up 23.4%
- Ford‚Äôs sold 192,253 in May; that‚Äôs up 23.4% from last year.
- Ford‚Äôs lead over Toyota for the year now stands at +100,000 units.
- May marks the sixth month in a row that Ford has seen +20% growth.
- Fleet mix stood at 63.9% truck vs. 36% car. Ford remains one of the most truck dependent automakers on the ‚ÄėMovers and Shakers‚Äô list.
- Nameplate heroes include: Ford Taurus (98.2%), Ford F-Series (49.4%), and Ford Edge (42.6%).
- Ford Mustang retook the muscle car crown, 10,225 sales vs. Chevy Camaro’s 8,931.
- Ford Fusion is now the automaker‚Äôs second bestselling nameplate (usurping the Escape) w/ 22,381 units sold in the month. Ford sold more Fusions than Mercury‚Äôs, Lincoln‚Äôs and Volvo‚Äôs combined in May.
- Ford spent $3,307per vehicle on incentives, up 15.0% from last year. Ford spends the least on incentives, per vehicle out of the domestic 3, but more than any of the Asian automakers on Mover‚Äôs and Shaker‚Äôs list.
- Without including Volvo, Lincoln or Mercury, the Ford brand still outsold Toyota Motor Company, which includes Scion and Lexus.
Toyota: Market share 14.8%/ sales up +6.7%
- Toyota sold 162,813 vehicles, up 6.7% from May, 2009, and up 3.3% from April, 2010.
- Toyota‚Äôs fleet mix stood at 60.1% car vs. 39.9% trucks, Toyota‚Äôs 97,935 car sales are more than either Ford‚Äôs or GM‚Äôs totals.
- Toyota incentives are coming off their highs. On a per vehicle basis the automaker spent $1,950 on incentives, which is down $466 per vehicle.
- Nameplate heroes include: Toyota 4Runner (245.3%), Toyota Sienna (49.7%), Toyota Prius (41.2%), Lexus ES (24.0%)
Honda: Market share 10.6%/ sales up 19.1%
- Honda sold 117,173 vehicles, up 19.1% compared from May, 2009.¬† Honda sales were also up 2.7% from April, 2010.
- Honda‚Äôs fleet mix totaled 58.4% car vs. 41.6% truck, as with many Japanese automakers, Honda is slanted towards a car fleet mix.
- Nameplate heroes include: Acura MDX (65.5%), Honda Accord (33.1%) and Honda Pilot (32.7).
- Honda spent $2,345 on incentive spending, that‚Äôs 26.2% less than last year.
Chrysler: Market share 9.5%/ sales up 32.7%
- Chrysler sold 104,819 vehicles, that‚Äôs up 32.7% from May, 2009.
- This is the first time that monthly sales at Chrysler have topped the 100,000 threshold since March 2009.
- Nameplate heroes include: Jeep Compass (154%), Dodge Avenger (152%), Dodge Caliber (150%), and Chrysler Town & Country (68%)
- Chrysler spent $4,086 per vehicle, that‚Äôs up 6.9% from April 2009.
- Despite the decrease in incentive spending Chrysler was still the largest incentive spender per vehicle.
Nissan: Market share 7.6%/ sales up 24.1%
- Nissan sold 83,764 units in May, 2010, that‚Äôs up 24.1% from May, 2009. Nissan‚Äôs.
- Nissan fleet mix stood at 67.5% car vs. 32.4% trucks.
- Nameplate heroes include: Nissan Cube (59.6%), Nissan Xterra (61%), Nissan Armada (89%), and Nissan Versa (95.6%).
- Nissan spent $2,930 incentives, that‚Äôs down -2.7% from last year .
Hyundai/Kia: Market share 7.2%/ sales up 21.7%
- Hyundai Group sold 80,476 vehicles in May, that‚Äôs up 21.7% from May, 2009.
- Hyundai Group fell from the sixth slot back to seventh, as Nissan experienced a recent surge in sales.
- Fleet vehicle mixed equaled 69.7% cars vs. 30.3% trucks. Hyundai Group is the most car dependent automaker on the ‚ÄėMovers and Shakers.‚Äô
- Hyundai Group spent $2,076 per vehicle, that‚Äôs a -33.5% drop from May, 2009.
- Hyundai Group spends the least on total incentives out of any major automaker.
- Nameplate heroes include: Kia Sorento (481%), Hyundai Tuscon (326%), and Hyundai Sonata (91%).
Data Source: www.motorintelligence.com via The Wall Street Journal.¬†Incentive¬†spending data¬†courtesy¬†of TrueCar.