Car sales volume fell 19 percent in August, accounting for 28.8 percent of the U.S. market’s overall sales volume – a record low for any month on a historical basis. Meanwhile, light-truck sales increased 10 percent.
Each of the three top-selling sedan in the United States – the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, and Honda Accord – saw double-digit sales decreases. Sedan sales at Ford Motor Company fell 21 percent. The automaker is discontinuing all of its traditional sedan models to focus on pickups and utilities.
Industry watchers initially predicted that the lowest point car sales would fall would fall to about 30 percent of the market. However, some analysts now believe that the 30 percent mark is not the absolute minimum.
“It’s tough to forecast where share will finally level out, as consumers have decidedly killed the car,” Zo Rahim, a Cox Automotive research manager, said in a statement. “Our initial idea of the floor being somewhere in the low-30 percent neighborhood appears to be too high in a market that loves its trucks and SUVs.”
Despite healthy growth in U.S. employment and stable confuser confidence, uncertainty is still in the air over trade-related concerns as well as rising interest rates.
According to IHS Markit principal automotive analyst Stephanie Brinley, shoppers don’t seem to be concerned though the uncertainty-based factors “are expected to push new-vehicle prices upward over time, affecting vehicle affordability.”
The GM Authority Take
Consumers have not killed the
sedan car just yet, but they have certainly wounded it.
What this means is that automakers will need to make adjustments for their sedan offerings. While a few will make certifiably insane decisions by discontinuing all of their sedans – like Ford – others will likely take the more sensible approach by trimming sedan production and shuffling in crossovers into plants that make sedans.
Sales Numbers - GM Car Sales - Q2 2018 - United States
|MODEL||Q2 18 / Q2 17||Q2 18||Q2 17||YTD 18 / YTD 17||YTD 18||YTD 17|
GM car sales fell 14.3 percent in the second quarter of 2018 and were off another 14 percent in the first half of the year.
Just where GM will land on this spectrum is currently unclear, but the automaker has previously stated that it views sedans as an opportunity, rather than a liability.