Detroit 3 sales up in July 2011, Toyota and Honda down

Auto sales in the United States rose 1 percent in July as demand for crossovers and small, fuel-efficient vehicles.

General Motors dealers in the United States reported 214,915 total sales in July, an 8-percent gain compared to July 2010. Retail sales for GM’s brands rose 6 percent for the month compared to a year ago, and were 1 percent higher than June.

“Sales of our fuel-efficient cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and our crossovers remain strong, and we’re now also seeing the seasonal lift in full-size pickups that we expected,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.

Ford’s July sales totaled 180,865, up 9 percent versus a year ago – driven by 13 percent higher Ford brand sales and 40 percent higher sales for Lincoln.

“We are encouraged to see the stronger pace of auto sales, along with continued customer demand for our fuel-efficient cars, utilities and trucks,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

Chrysler Group LLC today reported U.S. sales of 112,026, a 20 percent increase compared with sales in July 2010 (93,313 units), and the best July sales since 2007.

Toyota and Honda had a bit of a struggle in July. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. reported July sales of 130,802 units, a decrease of 19.7 percent from the same period last year. American Honda Motor Co., posted July sales of 80,502 vehicles, a decrease of 25.6 percent.

Volkswagen of America reported 29,066 units sold in July 2011, a 21.7 percent increase over prior year sales.

“July was a strong month and signaled a good start for the second half of the year,“ said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “For the seventh month in a row, we significantly outpaced the industry performance, showing strong baseline demand for our products.”

Nissan vehicles posted July sales of 77,191 units, an increase of 6.4 percent over the 72,573 units sold in July 2010.

Hyundai, the fastest growing brand in the United States, reported sales of 59,561 vehicles in July, a 10 percent increase compared with the same period a year ago.

“With the recent launch of our all-new Accent, Hyundai now has the freshest and most fuel-efficient sedan lineup in the industry with Sonata Hybrid and Elantra sedan rounding out our current trio of 40 MPG vehicles, with the 40 MPG Veloster right around the corner,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales. “We are confident going into the third quarter that the company is on track for its best year ever.”

– By: Omar Rana