Shrinking inventories created by shortages of key components undercut sales during August, according to carmakers reporting sales figures for August with manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia reporting year-over-year declines in sales.
Toyota Motor North America said sales slid 2% in August with the Toyota division sales falling 2.4 percent. But Lexus reporting 0.5 percent increase from August 2020 when the industry was climbing out of the hole created by the pandemic-related lockdowns, which brought the industry to a standstill during the previous spring.
American Honda said its sales fell 15.6% last month with sales by the Honda division dropping 17.9% while the Acura division posted a 4.7% increase as sales of Acura branded passenger car climbed 11.5 percent.
The Honda HR-V and Passport set monthly sales records for the seventh straight month in August. The CR-V Hybrid powers Honda electrified vehicles to best August sales mark; Honda has set a new electrified vehicle sales record in every month of 2021, while demand for the new Civic sedan was “off the charts” with dealers quickly selling every unit they received, Honda reported.
Demand for the all-new Acura TLX Type S resulted in a strong month and driving the Acura sedan’s sales to its best August since 2017.
South Korean brands also took a hit
Hyundai Motor America reported total August sales of 56,200 units, a 4% decrease compared with August 2020. Hyundai total car sales increased 8%, but sales of utility vehicles dropped last month.
Genesis Motor America Inc. sold 4,975 vehicles, a 266% jump from a year ago. SUVs led sales for the luxury automaker with the with the new GV80 paving the way.
Kia also reported a drop of 5.3% from a year earlier and blamed parts shortages trimming inventories.
“Kia continues to see record demand in 2021 with sales up 35% year-over-year, and an average of more than 62,000 sales per month, despite challenges facing the industry regarding parts availability and overall inventory,” said Eric Watson, vice president, sales operations, Kia America.
“Further proof of Kia’s appeal came when the brand earned the highest number of J.D. Power Initial Quality Awards for the third straight year. Looking forward, we are confident that Kia will continue to outperform the industry in the third quarter and beyond,” he said.
Not all makers suffering
Mazda North American Operations reported sales of 27,262 units up 4.6% from the year-ago period with the CX-5 accounting for more than half the company’s sales during August. So far this year, Mazda’s sales are up 39.2% from a year ago, the company said.
Subaru of America Inc. reported sales of 49,373 vehicles for August, a 15% decrease compared with year-ago results. The brand pointed to inventory constraints caused by the global microchip shortage as the primary reason for the falloff.
However, the automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 420,748, a 12% gain compared with the same period in 2020.
“Sales remain steady despite battling the ongoing microchip shortage, and our retailers continue to deliver strong results,” said Thomas Doll, president and CEO, Subaru of America Inc.
Last week, analysts predicted U.S. auto retail sales were expected to decline in August, as the global semiconductor shortage coupled squeezed inventory at dealerships.