July 2014: Sales Winners and Losers

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

It’s that time of the month again, folks. For a collectively painful but short period of time, manufacturers are putting their usual press release repertoire to the side, instead focusing on what really matters: the almighty dollar.

Of course, we’re talking about automobile sales and the month of July was nothing to shake a stick at. Some brands were up; others down and quite a bit of metal went from showroom to chauffeur status.

Without further adieu, these are the five biggest winners and losers of the auto sales game from last month.

As a side note, we ignored Maserati. They’re very nice people, but honestly are you really interested in reading about a 324 percent gain when the overall volume amounts to fewer sales than what Daimler’s smart brand posted? Didn’t think so.

Believe it or not, Mitsubishi – yes the same Mitsubishi with an emaciated product line – actually enjoyed a gain last month. The company posted 21 percent better sales than last year.

The enthusiast-driven Lancer Evolution is walking the green mile and the company’s supposedly innovative plug-in hybrid Outlander is still truant.

With a sliver of a stronger gain, GMC edged the tri-diamond brand out of fourth place. General Motors more premium truck and utility vehicle brand was the only one of its family to post a double-digit climb this time around.

Believe it or not, once-tiny Subaru of America sold almost as many vehicles last month as the previous company in this list. In total, the Japanese brand reported 45,714 units, marking the single best sales month in company history.

And then there’s Jeep. Chrysler’s most rugged brand enjoyed a 41 percent gain over July 2013. That is probably due in large part to the fact that the company didn’t have a compact crossover to sell this time last year and heavy consumer incentives on older models, but the fact remains that sales went up in a big way. By comparison, the next strongest gain under Chrysler’s corporate umbrella goes to Ram with an 18 percent bump, or less than half of what Jeep enjoyed.

Beating the entire bunch, smart gets the unofficial sales crown for July, posting a 57 percent gain. Keep in mind that Daimler’s city car brand sells in low volume so even large marginal gains come with small real sales numbers. Last month smart sold 1,351 fortwo subcompacts.

Cadillac has a hard time keeping things together last month. It was GM’s only brand to report a decline last month. The American luxury company is about to launch a two-door version of the ATS compact, but the company is going to need a bigger shot in the arm than that to turn things around.

With former Infiniti (and Audi) boss Johan de Nysschen is at the helm now. Who knows, maybe he will bring the sort of leadership that Cadillac sorely needs.

The North American market is a tough egg for Volkswagen to crack. Strong sales among any of the company’s nameplates were hard to come by last month aside from the MK7 GTI. Its sales increased by 39.4 percent and the doomed Eos got a tiny bump, but the rest of the company’s products sank compared to last year. Most notably, the Golf dipped by 44.4 percent and the Beetle by tumbled 53.3 percent.

Sales were bitter Swede at Volvo this time around. While there were other brands that saw bigger losses in July, the luxury brand known for putting safety first ended up seeing a 17 percent dip in deliveries.

Scion and Acura both suffered an 18 percent drop last month. MDX sales continued to be a staple for Honda’s premium marque, but otherwise things were pretty bleak for the Japanese brand known for cars with beaks. The TL and TSX are both about to be replaced by the new TLX, so their declines are nothing to fuss over, but ILX sales sank by nearly 20 percent and the RLX is barely selling.

Things are even worse right now at Scion. Toyota’s ill-conceived entry-level brand didn’t have a single nameplate with sales gains last month. Fresh products are on the way, but the question remains: will they arrive soon enough?

And then there’s Jaguar: the automotive industry’s luxury bad boy brand. On September 8, it will officially reveal the new XE compact sedan built no a new modular aluminum platform slated to underpin the majority of its future lineup.

The new sedan is designed to take on BMW’s 3 Series and ratchet up sales in an effort to narrow the gap between its corporate sibling: Land Rover.

It’s been a long time since Jaguar had such an exciting product portfolio, but expensive sports cars can only do so much and what Jag needs right now is meatier sales.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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