When the Detroit Three reported August new car sales Thursday morning, not much was expected and that’s exactly what was delivered. Analysts were looking for a year-over-year decline in light vehicle sales of around 3.5% for the month, but the decline for the three carmakers averaged over 6%.
From a recent high of 70,937 units sold in June, the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) saw sales of its F-Series pickups fall to 65,657 in July before pushing back up to 66,946 in August. And while sales of the F-Series are up 6.7% in the first eight months of 2016, August sales were down 6.1% year over year for the country’s best-selling vehicle.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) said sales of its Silverado pickups dropped 4.7% year over year in August to 52,408 units. Sales of the company’s GMC Sierra trucks plunged 17.7% to 17,478 for a combined total of 69,886, down more than 8% compared with August 2015 and down 8.7% from total unit sales of 76,544 in July. Year to date GM’s pickup sales are down about 0.5%.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sold 40,202 Ram pickups in August, essentially flat year over year. Year to date, sales are up 5% at 308,970 units.
For the Detroit Three, full-size pickup sales in August totaled 177,034 compared with 182,028 in July, a drop of about 2.7%. Compared with total August 2015 sales of 187,891 that’s a decline of about 5.8%.
The other full-size pickups on offer in the United States are the Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and the Nissan Titan. Tundra’s sales totaled 9,875 in August (down 1.8% year over year). The Titan sold 1,248 units in August, down 1.6% compared with August 2015.
Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 15,373 units in August, holding its place as the leader in this space. Sales of GM’s midsize Colorado pickup rose 29.9% to 9,242 units, and sales of the GMC Canyon rose 38.8% to 3,363 in August. Nissan’s midsize Frontier pickup sold 9,537 units in July, up 161.6% year over year. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) sold 3,437 units of its Ridgeline midsize pickup, up from just four in August of 2015.
In the full-size pickup segment, August sales of 177,034 vehicles from the Detroit Three pencils out to a Ford market share of 37.8%, up 1.8 points from July. GM’s share came in at 29.6% for the Chevy Silverado (down 0.1 point) and 9.9% (down about 2.4 points) for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 22.7% (up 0.8 point).
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sale is expected to come in at 17.2 million in August, down from a SAAR of 17.79 million in August 2015 and down from 17.86 million in July.
TrueCar reported that the average incentive from all carmakers in August rose 7.7% year over year to $3,331. GM led with an average incentive of $4,355 (up 7.9%), with Fiat Chrysler at $4,146 (up 16%) and Ford at $4,084 (up 18%).