WardsAuto sales analyst John Sousanis

WardsAuto sales analyst, John Sousanis

July 2014 Sales Thread (FINAL): July Sales Outpace Year-Ago, SAAR Falls to 3-Month Low

July 2014 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:   1.47 million units
Actual July LV Sales:                 1.43 million units

July 2014 Light Vehicle SAAR:
Forecast LV SAAR (revised factors):      16.9 million
Current projected  LV SAAR (revised factors): 16.4 million

WardsAuto tracks light-vehicle (LV) deliveries throughout sales reporting day. Monthly year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). July had 26 selling days this year and 25 in 2013. The extra day means DSR % change will be lower than reported % change in sales volumes this month.  

Using seasonal factors supplied by the BEA, WardsAuto's forecast 1.43 million LV sales equated to a 17 million-unit SAAR. Using the revised factors released today, the WardsAuto forecast would have equated to a16.9 million-unit SAAR.

See revised historical SAAR table.


Light-vehicle sales continued to exceed year-ago levels but fell short of the annualized levels reached in recent months.

U.S. automakers delivered 1.43 million LVs in July (26 selling days), lifting the daily sales rate 4.9% over same-month 2013 (25 days). However, deliveries missed many analysts' expectations, as the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) fell to a three-month low of 16.4 million.

Most automaker sales results landed in the middle ground above year-ago and below levels that would have lifted the SAAR to last month's revised 16.8 million. (The U.S. Bureau of Economic Affairs revised the seasonal factors used to calculate the LV SAAR today, affecting history back to January 2011.)

Detroit Three automakers delivered a combined 630,151 LVs, raising their collective DSR 7.8% over year-ago, while grabbing a 44.1% market share, up from prior-year's 43%.

General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler reported their best July sales volumes in seven, eight, and nine years, respectively. GM led the industry with 256,160 LV deliveries, increasing its DSR 5.2% while taking a 17.9% market share, equal to year-ago. GM's 1.7 million year-to-date sales are up 3.5% like-2013.

Ford daily sales rose 5.3% from year-ago, supported by strong CUV sales and steady demand for its outgoing current-model F-Series pickup. But the automaker undersold rival Toyota for the first time since August 2013, falling to the No.-3 sales position for the month.

Fiat-Chrysler delivered 166,995 light vehicles, a 15.5% year-over-year DSR increase behind only Subaru (+22.1%) and Mitsubishi (+16.7%).

Asian automakers accounted for 47.2% of July sales, with a combined 3.7% DSR improvement.

Toyota continued to show improvement, with 216,000 deliveries reflecting a 7.3% DSR year-over-year gain that put the automaker squarely in the No.-2 sales spot behind GM with a15.1% share.

Honda remained the No. 2 automaker in the group, despite posting a 7.6% DSR decline, while seeing its share of sales fall from 10.8% to 9.5%.

Hyundai brand heralded its best July in terms of volume sales, but nonetheless registered a 2.4% DSR drop from year-ago. Hyundai’s sister brand, Kia, fared better with its best-ever July sales equating to a 2.6% gain in DSR.

Nissan reported 121,452 July deliveries, a 7.1% daily improvement that was enough to push the Japanese automaker ahead of Hyundai-Kia for the month.

European companies accounted for 8.6% of the LV market in July, compared with 9.2% year-ago, as the group’s daily sales dipped a combined 1.9%.

BMW led the group with 32,220 BMW and Mini brand deliveries. Volkswagen brand recorded a 17.9% DSR drop - the worst decline among volume automakers.

U.S. light-vehicle sales through the first seven months of 2014 rose 4.9% over same-period year-ago, to 9.55 million.

Related Articles/Data


12:30 PM: Honda joined Hyundai and Volkswagen brand in reporting year-over-year declines in DSR. The automaker's daily sales dropped 7.6% from year-ago, with sales volume falling from 141,438 last year to 135,908 this July. Honda is the only automaker among the top 7 sellers in the U.S. whose YTD sales trail like-2013.

NOON: Hyundai heralded its best July in terms of volume sales, but with an extra selling day this year, the automaker's daily sales came in 2.4% below last year's July DSR. YTD, Hyundai sales lead year-ago by 1%. Sister Korean auto company Kia fared better, with best-ever July sales equating to a 2.6% gain in DSR. Kia deliveries are up 7.2% through seven months.

Nissan reported 121,452 July deliveries, a daily improvement of 7.1% that fell short of the automaker's 12.6% YTD lead over year-ago sales.

11:20 AM: Volkswagen brand's 30,553 deliveries were some 3% above expectations, but the automaker's July daily sales still trailed year-ago by 17.9% , leaving the German brand's YTD sales 13.6% below same-period year-ago.

11:00 AM: Toyota daily sales rose 7.3% over year-ago in July, lifting the automaker's YTD sales 6.1% over year-ago.

10:45 AM: Audi reported 14,616 July deliveries for a relatively modest 7.6% DSR gain, well below the automaker's seven-month 13.3% lead over year-ago YTD. 

10:20 AM: Ford sold 207,408 cars and light trucks last month - the automaker's best July sales result in eight years. Ford's 5.3% DSR gain for the month brings the company's year-to-date volume to within 0.5% of its delivery total for the same-period year-ago.

10:00 AM: General Motors delivered 256,160 LVs in July - a 5.2% DSR improvement v. year-ago. The monthly tally brings GM's year-to-date sales to 1.7 million units, a 3.5% increase over like-2013.

9:00 AM: FIAT-Chrysler was the first automaker to report today, announcing its best July in nine years. The company delivered 166,995 light vehicles, a 15.7% year-over-year increase in daily sales, that came in just below WardsAuto expectations.

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