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USA August 2015: Volume down but SAAR highest in a decade

Jeep Wrangler USA August 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comJeep hit an all-time record monthly volume in August.

* See the Top 279 models, Top 20 groups and Top 40 brands by clicking on the title *

Even though U.S. sales fell into negative territory for the first time in 19 months in August at -0.6% to 1.577.179 units, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) climbed to 17.81 million, up from 17.3 million in August 2014 and the highest in a decade – since July 2005 when employee-style discounts boosted the market. This is the strongest monthly SAAR since the U.S. market started its recovery from the 2009 slump. Year-to-date U.S. sales are up 4% to 11.6 million deliveries, and with SAAR above 17 million for 5 of the 8 months of the year so far, the market is still on track to break the 17 million annual mark for only the third time ever.

Nissan Rogue USA August 2015. Picture courtesy carswall.netThe Nissan Rogue is once again the biggest gainer in the Top 20.

Apart from General Motors (-1%), American manufacturers improved year-on-year in August whereas their main Japanese counterparts posted declines. GM’s Chevrolet dropped 1.5, Cadillac is down 5.5% while GMC is up 3.5% and Buick up 1%. However GM said they recorded the largest retail sales increase in the market this month. Ford Motor is up 6%, helped by better stock availability of the new F-150 aluminium pickup which boosted F-Series sales up 5% to 71.332 units, its highest monthly volume so far this year. FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posts its 65th consecutive month of year-on-year gains at +2%, thanks to Jeep up 18% to an all-time record 80.804 units – the brand’s 23rd consecutive month in positive, Ram up 6% and Fiat up 1%, compensating for weak performances of Chrysler (-14%) and Dodge (-15%).

Subaru Forester USA August 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comSubaru posts a 2nd consecutive all-time record month in the U.S.

Toyota Motor is down 9%, with the Toyota brand down 10% and Scion freefalling 37% but Lexus up 2% to its best-ever August score at 33.487 units. For the 2nd consecutive month, Lexus is the best-selling luxury brand in the US above Mercedes (31.250), BMW (27.755) and Audi (18.794). Year-to-date, Lexus is getting dangerously close to the #1 luxury spot at 222.151 deliveries so far vs. 223.348 for BMW, 220.870 for Mercedes, 130.063 for Audi and 117.065 for Acura. Note all Mercedes data excludes Sprinter. Honda Motor decline 7% and Nissan Motor is down 1% despite a 16% surge from Infiniti. Subaru on the other hand is going from strength to strength, posting its 45th consecutive monthly gain at +5% to 52.679 deliveries, the best-ever sales month in the company’s history and beating its previous best (50.517) established just last month. Notice also Mitsubishi up 22%, Volvo up 18% and Land Rover up 16%.

Mercedes GLE USA August 2015. Picture courtesy motortrend.comFirst month of U.S. sales for the Mercedes GLE.

Over in the models ranking, despite sales up 12% the Chevrolet Silverado lags 16.000 units below the Ford F-Series while the Ram Pickup reclaims the third spot year-to-date thanks to volume up 4% to 45.310 vs. 37.592 (-15%) for the Toyota Camry. The Honda Accord is the best-selling passenger car in the country this month even though it is down 20% on August 2014 to 40.931 deliveries, and is also back to being Honda’s best-seller in the U.S. above the CR-V (+2% this month) and the Civic (-6%). The Nissan Rogue lodges the largest sales gain in the Top 20 at +29%, with the Chevrolet Equinox (+18%) and Ford Explorer (+22%) also performing solidly. Further down, notice the Chrysler 200 (+30%), Ford Edge (+36%), Subaru Impreza (+41%) and Ford Mustang (+70%) taking off.

Mazda CX-3 USA August 2015. Picture courtesy caranddriver.comThe Mazda CX-3 lands at #202.

Among recent launches, the Jeep Renegade once again performs the best, improving its best-ever U.S. monthly ranking by 11 spots vs. last month to a splendid 60th place with 8.156 sales, the Chevrolet Colorado has stabilised around the #60-70 mark at #67 (Toyota Tacoma: #26, Nissan Frontier: #109), the Chevrolet Trax is down 5 ranks on July to #77, the Honda HR-V down 16 to #90, the Lexus NX posts its 2nd consecutive month (and ever) inside the U.S. Top 100 and the Fiat 500X sells a very timid 1.029 units. We welcome two all-new nameplates in the U.S. sales charts in August: the Mercedes GLE – replacement for the M-Class – lands directly at #152 with 1.802 sales while the Mazda CX-3 arrives at #202 with 698 deliveries (CX-5: #49 and 10.033 units).

Previous month: USA July 2015: Chevrolet Silverado and Nissan Rogue shoot up

One year ago: USA August 2014: Honda Accord and Toyota RAV4 at all-time high

Full August 2015 Top 20 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 279 models below.

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