USA July 2017: Toyota #1 brand, RAV4 breaks records, market down 7%

The Toyota RAV4 breaks its volume and ranking record in July. Picture caranddriver.com

* See the Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models by clicking on the title *

Seventh consecutive month of year-on-year decline for U.S. sales, and it’s the steepest so far this year at -7% to 1.415.139 units, a deficit of almost 107.000 sales compared to July 2016. Year-to-date, U.S. sales are down 2.9% or almost 300.000 units over the same period last year at 9.867.276. 2017 is now well on track to be the first negative year since the dreadful 2009 which was the culmination of the economic crisis. The Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Rate is down more than 1 million over July 2016 at 16.78 million.

This month both passenger cars, down 13.8% to 525.020, and light trucks, down 2.5% to 890.119 are in negative territory, with large vans (-26.6%), minivans (-22.5%), midsize cars (-16.2%), large SUVs (-14.9%), small cars (-12%) and luxury cars (-11.8%) the hardest hit. In contrast, crossovers (+1.8%) and small SUVs (+2.7%) are the only segments in positive territory in July. Overall, SUV/crossover sales are stable at 591.998, once again outselling passenger cars. The truck/car ratio is 63/37 in July vs. 62/38 year-to-date.

The Honda Civic becomes the #1 passenger car in the U.S. YTD. Picture caranddriver.com 

It’s a difficult month for the Detroit three, all losing significant volume. General Motors is down 15.4% to 226.107, holding onto the #1 Group title by the skin of its teeth with Toyota Motor up 3.7% to 222.057. Ford Motor is down 7.4% and FCA down 10%. American Honda (-1.2%), Nissan Motor (-5.3%) and Hyundai-Kia (-18.4%) also lose volume year-on-year. The Volkswagen Group (-2%), Daimler AG (-10.7%), the BMW Group (-13.9%) and Jaguar Land Rover (-1.3%) also decline. Year-to-date, the Volkswagen Group (+5.9%) and Jaguar Land Rover (+15.4%) manage a positive result.

We witness a rare feat atop the brands ranking: thanks to deliveries up 7.4%, Toyota overtakes Ford to become the #1 marque in the U.S. with 193.155 sales vs. 190.443 for Ford, down 7.6%. Chevrolet is hit even harder at -15.3% in third place. Honda (-1.7%) passes Nissan (-4.1%) to rank 4th overall, while Jeep (-12%) and Hyundai (-30.1%) both fall faster than the market in the Top 10. In contrast, Subaru continues to be totally unaffected, the Japanese carmaker is up another 6.9% to jump to 8th place overall. Further down, Lexus (+3.6%), Audi (+2.5%), Acura (+3.7%), Infiniti (+9%), Mitsubishi (+1.7%) and Porsche (+0.6%) progress in a month favourable to premium brands.

GMC Acadia sales are up 30% year-on-year. 

The Ford F-Series widens the gap with its followers thanks to sales up 6% to 69.467 vs. just 45.966 (-15%) for the Chevrolet Silverado. Surging 31% year-on-year, the Toyota RAV4 beats a few records this month. It delivers its largest ever monthly volume and first above 40.000 units at 41.804, beating its previous record of 38.356 hit last May, leaps onto the U.S. podium for the very first time in third place, beating its previous best of #4 hit last May and June. As a bonus, the RAV4 overtakes the Honda CR-V (-12% this month) to become #5 year-to-date. It still trails the Nissan Rogue in the YTD race to the title of #1 crossover in the U.S. The RAV4 knocks the Ram Pickup down to #4.

Another game-changing event happens in 5th place: the Honda Civic is up 11% to bypass bot the Toyota Camry and Corolla YTD and become the best-selling passenger car in the country at 212.446 units. If the Civic maintains this advantage until the end of the year, it would be the first time it ever ranks #1 passenger car in an annual U.S. ranking. This event remains doubtful though as the Camry should see a sales bump due to the arrival of the new generation. Other great performers in the Top 50 this month include the Toyota Highlander (+25%), Subaru Outback (+20%), Hyundai Tucson (+46%), Chevrolet Colorado (+22%), Subaru Impreza a(+26%), Honda HR-V (+32%) and GMC Acadia (+30%).

The Honda Clarity makes its first appearance in the U.S. sales charts. 

Among recent launches (<12 months), the Toyota C-HR leads the way but is still far along the sales charts, breaking into the Top 100 for the first time at #99 with a record 3.444 sales. The Kia Niro is up 23 spots on June to #117, the Chevrolet Bolt up 15 to a best-ever 1.971 units, the Genesis G80 up 5 to #166, the VW Atlas down 38 to #170, the Hyundai Ioniq down 4 to #173 and Alfa Romeo Giulia up 11 to #176. Launched last month, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is up 29 ranks to #257 and we welcome the Honda Clarity in 256th place this ,month.

Previous post: USA First Half 2017: Rogue, CR-V and RAV4 outsell Altima, Civic and Camry in crossover push

Previous month: USA June 2017: Market down 3% for 6th consecutive month of decline

One year ago: USA July 2016: GM, Ford, Toyota down in market up just 0.5%

Full July 2017 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 290 models below.

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