Alexandria, VA – The American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) recently released August 2011 sales figures for the international nameplate automobile industry. AIADA represents America’s approximately 10,000 international nameplate franchises whose brands accounted for 51.5 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States in last month.
Overall sales, including domestic brands and unadjusted for business days, were up 7.5 percent from August 2010 and 10.5 percent year to date. Sales were up 1.2 percent from July 2011. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for light vehicle sales in July was estimated by AutoData Corp. at 12.12 million units, up from 11.54 million units in August 2010
Despite upbeat analyst predictions, production shortages caused by the March earthquake in Japan, plummeting consumer confidence, and a powerful east coast hurricane all conspired to keep sales flat in August. Japanese brands were particularly hard hit. Honda’s sales were down 24.6 percent from a year ago, Subaru was down 6.3 percent, and Toyota saw a drop of 13.6 percent. Nissan was the exception with a sales improvement of 22.4 percent. Even unstoppable Korean automaker Hyundai saw sales decelerate in August; inventory shortfalls slowed its growth to 9.1 percent.
Overall, international brand sales were down 0.6 percent from August 2010, but up 6.4 percent year to date. Some of the biggest gains last month were seen by Kia (up 26.9 percent) and Volvo (up 17.4 percent). Domestic automakers, lifted by Japan’s production issues, also saw gains, up 17.7 percent for the month and 15.4 percent year over year.
“A number of factors, including the timing and trajectory of Hurricane Irene, contributed to August’s flat sales,” said AIADA President Cody Lusk. “In September, a return to normal inventory levels by Japanese brands combined with Americans’ bottled-up demand for cars should create an improvement in sales.”
In August, international brands sold 551,991 vehicles, down from 555,383 in July. Asian nameplates accounted for 42.6 percent of the overall market, down from 42.8 in July. European nameplates had an 8.9 percent share, down from 9.6 percent in July. Domestic brands finished June with 48.5 percent of the market, up from 47.6 in July.
Read AIADA’s complete coverage of August’s international nameplate auto sales use the link below.