GM's slide would have been worse if it had not been for GM's big six day
sale (and profit eating) incentives offered during the last several days
of June. Even Toyota is not omniscient as they too were bitten with
their big trucks and SUVs-but Toyota had the product mix to sustain
them, as did Honda (a slight sales *gain*
), etc. Next big question for
the Detroit 3 is their cash reserves and their rate of cash burn.
General Motors holds off Toyota as June sales fall
GM retains lead over Toyota, but both automakers and Ford post big US
June sales drops
DETROIT (AP) -- General Motors Corp. soundly beat Toyota Motor Corp. in
June to retain its traditional U.S. sales lead, but GM sales still
dropped 18.2 percent during a dismal month for most large automakers.
Toyota's U.S. sales fell 21.4 percent, while Ford Motor Co. said it
sales tumbled nearly 28 percent.
GM's shares bounced nearly 6 percent higher in afternoon trading Tuesday
after sinking to their lowest level in more than a half century during
The nation's biggest automaker on Tuesday reported selling 262,329
vehicles for the month, compared with Toyota's 193,234. Some industry
analysts had expected Toyota to beat GM in the U.S. for the first time,
but both companies were hurt by a sluggish economy and poor sales of
trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Toyota car sales fell 9.4 percent in June while its truck sales were off
GM's car sales sank 21 percent in June, while its incentive-boosted
truck sales were off 16 percent.
For the first half of the year, GM sales fell 16.3 percent compared with
the year-ago period. Toyota sales were down 6.8 percent for the first
six months of the year.
Toyota took the global sales lead from General Motors in the first
quarter, capitalizing on growth in China and Europe as GM saw its North
American sales drag down gains in other markets. GM barely won the
global sales race with Toyota last year, but Toyota overtook it as the
world's top automaker as measured by global vehicle production in 2007.
Honda Motor Co., with its car-heavy lineup, reported a 1.1 percent sales
increase for June, with a 19.3 percent rise in car sales offsetting an
24 percent drop in trucks.
But Ford, still reliant on trucks and sport utility vehicles, saw its
sales drop 27.9 percent.
Industry analysts had predicted June auto sales could drop by
double-digits to their lowest monthly rate in 16 years.
Dearborn-based Ford blamed the latest sales decline on high gas prices
and low consumer confidence, which sent buyers to the sidelines. It
reported steep drops in June sales of pickup trucks and sport utility
vehicles, including a 41 percent year-over-year decline for the F-Series
pickup, a perennial best-seller, and a 52 percent drop for the Ford
George Pipas, Ford's top sales analyst, said SUV sales are probably down
"Our view is that gas prices aren't likely to go down, and more
importantly, many consumers have moved on," he said. "We believe that
the segment has merit for certain consumers but is not likely to rebound
at any point."
For the first half of the year, Ford's sales were down 14 percent
compared with the year-ago period.
U.S. auto sales had already fallen for seven straight months as of May,
the longest period of consecutive monthly drops in eight years,
according to the auto information Web site Edmunds.com.
When customers do buy, they're picking smaller cars, crossovers and hybrids.
Ford said sales of its smallest car, the Ford Focus, rose 28 percent in
the first six months of the year, although Focus sales fell in June.
Pipas blamed the decline on supply problems and a cut in sales to fleet
The automaker said last month it plans to increase production of the
Focus as well as the Mercury Mariner and Ford Escape small SUVs.
Ford shares sank to a 52-week low of $4.41 early Tuesday but recovered
to $4.72, down only 9 cents, in afternoon trading. They have traded as
high as $9.64 over the past year.
The market responded well to GM's news. Its shares rose 67 cents, or 5.8
percent, to $12.17 in afternoon trading after briefly falling as low as
$10.57 during Monday's session, the lowest level since Sept. 22, 1954,
according to the Center for Research in Security Prices at the
University of Chicago.
The Associated Press reports unadjusted auto sales figures, calculating
the percentage change in the total number of vehicles sold in one month
compared with the same month a year earlier. Some automakers report
percentages adjusted for sales days. There were 24 sales days last month
and 27 in June 2007.
GM, Ford, Toyota Plunge as Buyers Reject Big Trucks (Update3)
GM Reports 18.5% Sales Drop for June
Ford’s Déjà vu Moment, Part 1