The chip shortage dogged automotive sales in July despite increasing sales of battery electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, carmakers said during their monthly sales reports.
Toyota Motor North America, the largest automaker reporting monthly sales totals, reported July 2022 U.S. sales of 177,341 vehicles, down 21.2% on a volume basis. Toyota Division sales for the month totaled 153,288 vehicles, a declined of 20.9%, while Lexus Division sales for the month totaled 24,053 vehicles, sliding 22.8 percent.
TMNA’s July 2022 electrified sales fell 32.4%, totaling 38,395 vehicles. For the year thus far, its 2022 total electrified vehicle sales represent 24.9% of total TMNA sales versus 23.5% at this time last year. Additionally, the Tacoma midsize pickup was one of the company’s bright spots as sales totaled 23,917 for the month — its best-ever July.
American Honda sales plunged 40.4% during July. Honda brand sales were down 40.1% and Acura sales dropped 42.9 percent.
Subaru of America Inc. reported 41,536 vehicle sales for July 2022, a 17.1% decrease compared with July 2021. The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 305,331, which is a 17.8% drop compared with the same period in 2021. Subaru continues to face inventory challenges as the result of microchip and supply chain issues affecting automakers across the globe, officials noted.
Sales of green cars increasing
Hyundai Motor America reported total July sales of 60,631 units, a decrease of 11% compared with July 2021. SUVs represented 66% of the mix, including the Tucson SUV line-up, which was up 24 percent, led by Tucson and Tucson hybrid compared with July 2021, Hyundai reported.
Green car sales increased 12% year over year. Both the Elantra hybrid and the Tucson PHEV set new sales records for the month. Hyundai had no fleet sales in July 2022.
“We’re very pleased with the demand for our Tucson line-up and its array of powertrain variants,” said Bob Kim, vice president, national sales, Hyundai Motor America. “Our eco-friendly line-up continues to perform very well, led by the Elantra HEVs and Tucson PHEV, which had record months.”
Kia America also reported an 11% drop in sales. But the Sportage, available in gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid drivetrains, posted record July sales of 11,985 units, breaking the previous July mark set last year. Sales of the Sorento SUV, which is also available in gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid configurations, increased 16% month-over-month. Overall, sales of Kia’s electric and hybrid models increased 86% year-over-year.
“As Kia continues to outpace the industry, we are well on our way to establishing the brand as a sales leader with our popular Sorento and Sportage SUVs and our electrified models including the EV6 and Niro models,” said Eric Watson, vice president, sales operations, Kia America.
“With the introduction of the Sportage PHEV and the ongoing popularity of the all-electric Kia EV6, the brand’s push toward electrification is ongoing and we expect to continue gaining share in this important category.”
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive estimate total new vehicle sales will decrease 5.7% from July 2021 while the seasonally adjusted annualized rate or SAAR for total new vehicle sales is expected to be 13.7 million units, down 0.9 million from last year.
“July is yet another month where supply constraints keep vehicle sales artificially low but deliver record transaction prices and dealer profitability. July 2022 is on track to be the ninth consecutive month that retail inventory closes below 900,000 units as anticipated improvements in vehicle production volumes fail to materialize,” noted Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power.