July sales: Honda and Nissan have a good month but Ford can’t bounce back

There were 158,993 light vehicles sold in Canada in July 2013. This represents an increase of 7.3% compared to the same period last year. It would therefore appear that the automotive industry as a whole is doing well. However, while some manufacturers like Honda and Nissan should be very satisfied with their most recent sales figures, others, like Ford, are probably asking themselves how they can reverse the downward trend.

The big winner among manufacturers in July is, once again, Jaguar. The British manufacturer recorded a sales increase of 125.5% last month with 124 vehicles sold compared to 55 a year ago. Among manufacturers with more significant sales figures, Nissan lead the pack with 7,436 cars registered, a gain of 60.4%. Another major Japanese manufacturer, Honda, also did very well in July with a 40.1% increase in sales compared to the same period last year. Also noteworthy is Subaru’s performance which increased its sales by 37.6% last month.

In fact, all Japanese manufacturers had a good month of July. Toyota increased its sales by 10.7%. It is also the automaker that sold the most vehicles among Japanese manufacturers with 16,288 cars registered. The luxury division of Toyota, Lexus, meanwhile increased its sales by 30.6% last month. Mazda sold 6,939 cars in July 2013 which represents an increase of 4.0% compared to July 2012. Although the number of vehicles sold is smaller, the 1,637 Mitsubishi models registered in July 2013 still represents a 16.4% increase in sales for this manufacturer. Nissan and Honda’s respective luxury vehicle divisions, Infiniti and Acura, also saw their sales increase by 8.7% and 6.8% respectively.

In regards to Korean manufacturers, Hyundai did well with 13,613 cars sold which represents an increase of 5.9%. Among American automakers, only Chrysler/Fiat experienced an increase in sales last month compared with last year with a gain of 8.4%. In addition, it should be noted that Chrysler/Fiat is the manufacturer with the highest sales volume in July with 26,066 registered models.

Among luxury car manufacturers, Audi (6.0%), BMW (0.8%), Mercedes-Benz (20.9%), Land Rover (17.9%) and Porsche (30.0%) saw their sales increase in July when compared to the same period in 2012. Faithful to the previous month, Mercedes-Benz dominated the luxury vehicle sales with 2,894 models registered. That being said, BMW was not far behind with 2,530 cars sold.

Volkswagen completes the category of manufacturers that increased their sales in July 2013 with a gain of 6.2% compared to last year.

Decreasing sales

Among manufacturers that saw their sales decrease compared with last year, Ford is probably the most significant with a decline in sales of 10.0%. Ford sold 25,149 cars in July 2013, 907 cars less than last month’s sales volume leader, Chrysler/Fiat. General Motors in turn sold 19,164 cars last month, a small decrease of 0.2% compared to July 2012.

Compared to Hyundai that saw their sales increase, Kia lost ground when compared to the same month in 2012 with 0.9% fewer cars sold in July 2013.

British manufacturer Mini continued to see its sales decline compared to last year with 571 cars sold in July 2013, a decrease of 7.9%.

Finally, Volvo (-17.5%), Smart (-1.7%) and Suzuki (-33.1%) continued to lose ground. If the situation is more understandable in the case of Suzuki, one can wonder about the future of the other two automakers that, month after month, seem to lose ground compared to 2012.