Summer got off to a rough start. Car dealers were ready to sing the summertime blues. Then in August, miraculously, the season ended up on a high note.
In spite of price hikes, inflation, dealer markups, no rebates, inventory shortages, and continuing supply-chain problems, car sales increased in August for the first time in over a year.
U.S. retail deliveries of new cars and trucks in August 2022 were 1.01 million units, up 6% from a year ago and an increase of 3% from July 2022, according to TrueCar.
Compared to August 2021, GM sales were up by 39.4%. Ford sales increased by 27% and Stellantis (Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram) sales were down 7.8%. Tesla sales increased 50.3% to 42,837 units, giving it a market share of 3.7% in the United States.
Surprisingly, Korean auto manufacturers did very well in August. MarkLines.com reported that Hyundai sales were up 13.5% and Kia sales were up 22.4%.
German car manufacturer sales were also respectable. VW sales were up 26.2%, Mercedes-Benz sales were up 19.7% and BMW was up 4.8%.
Some automakers were stuck at the gate. New car sales dropped at Toyota and Honda in August as Japanese manufacturers continued to get pummeled by supply chain disruptions. Toyota’s sales fell 9.8%, and Honda was down 38%. Honda sales have dropped for 13 months straight.
The five best-selling models in August 2022 were Ford F-Series, Ram truck, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota RAV4, and Toyota Camry.
Charlie Chesbrough, the senior economist at Cox Automotive, was cautiously optimistic: “There are small signs that new-vehicle inventory levels are stabilizing, but they are also not getting significantly better. Some automakers have far more inventory than others, and some are managing their operations more efficiently.”
What do the remaining months of 2022 look like? The road will still be rocky, but sales will improve. Annualized sales in the U.S. were 13.39 million units at the end of August. Even though Cox revised their prediction to 14.4 million vehicles for the year, down from an earlier forecast of 15.3 million vehicles, experts at DealerBuyBackEvents.com believe new vehicle sales will surpass 15 million units for 2022.