A year ago, car shoppers were trading in their clunkers and sending them to the scrap yard so they could buy new, fuel-efficient cars. Because the government cash for clunkers program was so popular, sales during August 2009 were high. Automakers and industry analysts expect August new car sales to be much lower when compared to a year ago.
GM’s four core brands (Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, Buick) were down 10.6 percent compared to last August.
"Last year’s Cash for Clunkers program spiked industry sales in 2009, so results this August were not surprisingly a bit mixed," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations. "Importantly, three of our four divisions showed solid gains. This is further evidence that our performance is the result of balanced contributions across our brands."
Ford, who was down 10.7 percent compared to last August, pointed out that its Focus and Escape were top sellers during last year’s cash for clunkers program.
"Ford continues to outperform the overall industry," said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. "In this market, consumers are looking for vehicles that offer industry-leading quality, fuel economy, safety and technologies, and growing numbers of them are turning to Ford."
Chrysler Group LLC was up 7 percent compared to last August, and says it is the only major auto manufacturer to post a year-over-year sales increase in August.
"Chrysler Group is proud that we have beaten or matched the average industry sales increase for the fifth consecutive month this year and for the calendar year to date," said Fred Diaz, president and CEO – Ram Truck Brand and lead executive for U.S. sales. "This is proof positive that we are accomplishing our goals – steady, sustainable growth. We will continue to build on this momentum as we begin production on a stream of new product through the end of this year."
Mitsubishi: down 37%