July was another good month for Detroit, and not so good for Tokyo.
The July figures for auto sales show that in this sector at least, the recovery continues. The industry overall is up 15% over last year.
Of course, considering last year was a sales Chernobyl, that’s a relative term.
But good is good, and for the Big 3, it was another very good month. Ford sales rose 3% over July of 2009, and Chrysler enjoyed a 5% jump.
General Motors sales were up 6% for July, while both Toyota and Honda saw sales down.
“We’re looking forward to it. We are absolutely seeing the brightest future we’ve seen in years,” says David Erwin of Tyler Ford.
One caveat is that this time last year, Cash for Clunkers was underway, and many folks used their cash for Hondas and Toyotas, artificially pumping up the numbers, and therefore making this month look worse than it would.
“Year over year comparisons, I kind of take with a grain of salt,” Erwin says. “I look at it as, what’s a good market, what’s a rebounding market. And I feel like this is a rebounding market.”
“The climb that we’ll have to make to get back to the levels of 2006-2007…we’re just kind of in the beginning stages of that,” said Monty Hall of Hall Buick-GMC.
“East Texas has been…it’s not an oasis from the rest of the country, but it’s been a…it’s a good market,” Erwin agreed.
But Toyota’s problems continue and there is no denying that the domestics have several hits on their hands.
Buick sold more Lacrosses last month than the entire division sold in this month last year. And the new Regal is on the way.
The new Ram pickup is an unqualified hit for the new Chrysler…and they are expecting big things from the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Along with the Fusion and Taurus, Ford is introducing the Fiesta to compete in the ultra high fuel economy segment.
And all this success is coming as the economy overall is enjoying only a modest recovery.
“I’m happy to see the car industry overall coming back,” Erwin concluded. “General Motors and Chrysler…we all needed them to come back.”
Considering we are essentially investors in two of the Big 3, many folks are taking a greater interest in these sales figures. And it is making it more and more likely that GM will indeed be able to go private again, and pay back Uncle Sam, sometime later this year.