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USA July 2019: Hyundai, Ram, Mercedes lift market to first uptick of the year (+1.9%) – Detroit 3 stop monthly reports

The Palisade sells over 4.000 units in July, helping Hyundai up 12.1%.

July 2019 marks the entrance into very troubled waters for the U.S. new car market with the Detroit 3 (General Motors, Ford Motor and FCA) accounting for 45% of the market now abandoning monthly sales reporting and sharing quarterly data only. GM launched the trend last year, Ford followed suit in January and FCA kicks off this month. Once the most transparent market in the world with 10-day sales updates in the 1990s, the U.S. has closed itself up in the past year to become less transparent than over 40 markets worldwide that share complete monthly automotive sales or production data such as China, India, Iran, Ukraine, theMiddle East and most major European markets. Respected local outlets such as Automotive News or the Wall Street Journal have stopped publishing monthly market reports as a result, but we will continue to do so, using their Detroit 3 estimates as a guide and sharing with you our exclusive brands and models estimates. As such, all GM, Ford and FCA as well as Tesla brands and models data in this article are estimates. Note the data becomes official every Quarter when we correct all our figures.

The new A-Class helps push Mercedes up 19.8%.

In this complicated context, the U.S. new light vehicle market is estimated to post its very first gain of 2019 in July at +1.9% to 1.402.364 units. This means the year-to-date tally is now estimated to be down -1.3% to 9.849.288 units. However given there was one more selling day this month than in July 2018, the Seasonally Adjusted Annualised Sales Rate (SAAR) is down from a revised 17.06 million in July 2018 to 16.82 this month, the 4th tune this year  the SAAR drops below the 17 million mark. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis updated and released last week new seasonal factors used to the calculate the SAAR. Light trucks (+6.8%) continue to fuel sales at 1.000.384 for the month and 6.845.066 (+2.2%) YTD with passenger cars in total freefall at -11% both in July (390.813) and YTD (2.984.649). The light truck strength means average retail prices up sharply from $31.767 in July 2018 to $33.065 this month according to J.D. Power. Average incentives are contradictory depending on the source: J.D. Power has them up 5.8% year-on-year to $4.074 whereas ALG sees them down -2.6% to $3,671 (see detail by carmaker below).

Group-wise, General Motors is estimated to gain a sturdy 7.2% year-on-year in July, with Toyota Motor (+0.2%) overtaking Ford Motor (-0.4%) for 2nd place overall. FCA (+1.7%) remains at #4 ahead of American Honda (+1.9%) and Hyundai-Kia (+7.1%) both passing Nissan Motor/Mitsubishi struggling at -9.5%. Daimler AG (+19.5%) is the most dynamic group in market at #10. In the brands ranking, Ford (-0.3%) holds onto the top spot by the skin of its teeth with Toyota (+0.4%) only 67 units below and Chevrolet (+3.1%) rounding up the podium. Honda (+2.5%) distances Nissan (-8.9%) and Jeep (-11.3%) in great difficulty whereas Subaru (+7.9%) extends its streak on consecutive year-on-year gains to an incredible 92 months and Hyundai (+12.1%) extends its own to 12 and Ram (+26.7%) to 15 including 10 straight double-digit gains. Outside the Top 10, Genesis (+157.9%), Porsche (+23.3%), Mercedes (+19.8%), GMC (+19.6%), Buick (+14.1%), Cadillac (+10.3%) and Dodge (+10%) stand out whereas Tesla (-6.7%) ends a streak of 22 consecutive double-digit gains related to the launch of the Model 3, posting its first year-on-year decline since August 2017.

First year-on-year drop since August 2017 for Tesla.

The models podium Top 5 is estimated to remain unchanged on both June and YTD, with the Ford F-Series (-3.4%) the perennial best-seller followed by the Ram Pickup (+29.7%), Chevrolet Silverado (-1.5%), Toyota RAV4 (-3.5%) and Honda CR-V (+2.5%). The Toyota Corolla (+14.5%) is lifted by the new model, leaping up to #6 and best-selling passenger car ahead of its archenemy the Honda Civic (+10.9%), the Toyota Camry (+3.1%) and Honda Accord (-3.1%). The Chevrolet Equinox (+25.4%) and Nissan Rogue (-2.2%) close up the Top 10. Notice also strong official Top 50 performances by the Kia Sportage (+22.3%), Forte (+21.5%), Toyota Tundra (+17%), Hyundai Santa Fe (+16.5%), VW Jetta (+16.5%), Subaru Outback (+14.4%) and Hyundai Tucson (+11.2%). The Ford Ranger (#64) is estimated to be the most popular new launch above the Jeep Gladiator up 19 spots to #81, the Kia Telluride down 7 to #82, the Chevrolet Blazer up 11 to #90 and the Hyundai Palisade up 125 to #91 for its first full month in market.

Previous post: USA First Half 2019: Ram Pickup, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Ranger headline weakest market in five years (-2.1%)

Previous month: USA June 2019: Ram (+45.4%), Volkswagen (+9.6%) gallop ahead in 6th straight market decline (-1.9%)

One year ago: USA July 2018: Jeep, Volkswagen, Subaru unable to prevent 3.7% dip

Full July 2019 Top 15 groups, Top 40 brands and Top 280 models below.

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