July was another tough month for automakers with Subaru and Toyota perhaps taking the biggest hits, reporting sales drops of better than 20% in July while Lexus saw its sales decline 9.9% last month.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom as Hyundai reported a 1% increase and Mazda also reported a 3% increase for the month.
Domestic and European brands as well as some Asian brands no longer report monthly sales totals but the reports by Subaru, Toyota and Hyundai – three strong mid-market brands – appear indicative of the wider trends in the market.
Subaru of America Inc. reported 51,458 vehicle sales for July 2020, a 20% decrease compared with a record July last year. These results reflect the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding economic recovery.
“Given our low supply of key models such as Forester, Outback, Crosstrek and Ascent, overall, we were extremely pleased with our sales results which were delivered by our retailers, who are also persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomas Doll, president and CEO, Subaru of America Inc.
The Toyota brands said its sale dropped by more than 23% in July. However, the company also said sales of its expanded hybrid line are steadily increasing. Lexus, despite a sales drop, also is doing better than expected, Toyota Motor North America reported. Meanwhile, Hyundai officials touted their results.
“Achieving an overall sales increase despite the ongoing pandemic is a tremendous accomplishment and speaks to the depth and quality of our product lineup and resiliency of our dealers,” said Randy Parker, vice president, National Sales, Hyundai Motor America.
“Our inventory levels are stable, and customers are able to find the Hyundai vehicle that best suits their needs. Hyundai dealers have been outstanding partners in responding to the pandemic and helping put customers at ease.”
Analysts at Kelley Blue Book the estimated average transaction price for a light vehicle in the United States was $38,378 in July 2020. New vehicle prices increased $749 or 2% from July 2019, while decreasing $473 or 1.2% from last month.
“While up from last year, new-car transaction prices are finally starting to dip from last month,” said Steve Lind, vice president of operations for Kelley Blue Book. “This could be a result of supply shortages of highly contented, more desirable vehicles, which may cause some consumers to select second-choice trims. Shoppers’ aversion to luxury vehicles continues with prices down 1% from last month,” he said.