August 2014 Auto Sales: Winners and Losers

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Like memories of band camp August is dead and buried. Regrettably the eighth month of the year didn’t go quietly; it took summer down with it. Sure, the season’s not officially over but we’re too emotionally devastated about the loss to care. At least new-vehicle sales in the U.S. were strong.

Overall deliveries for the month topped 1.3 million units, a healthy 5 percent increase compared to August 2013. All told dealers delivered about 9.3 million cars and trucks for the first eight months of the year, which is also a 5 percent uptick compared to 2013. There’s nothing to complain about with these figures. But how did individual brands fare? Which ones performed the best and which ones are knocking on death’s door? Let’s explore …

The triple-diamond brand posted a 29 percent year-over-year sales increase. Their dealers sold nearly 7,000 vehicles last month, a feat that brings Mitsubishi’s 2014 total to just shy of 53,000 units, which is also up 29 percent compared to the first eight months of 2013. How weird is that?

Daimler’s beleaguered smart brand posted an impressive 34 percent gain last month. They sold a whopping-for-them 1,334 vehicles in August. That’s a healthy jump compared to the 993 they delivered during the same month last year. So far for 2014 they’ve sold more than 7,300 cars.

Trucks! That’s what Ram does best. Chrysler’s pickup division is on fire (figuratively, NOT literally; they don’t build Model S’s). Ram sold nearly 47,000 vehicles last month, which resulted in a 39 percent increase compared to August 2013. As the old saying goes, if you can’t “Dodge” it, “Ram” it.

Another one of Chrysler’s many divisions had a stellar August. Jeep topped Ram’s already impressive performance by 10 percent. The mud-slinging brand’s sales were up 49 percent in August with nearly 70,000 deliveries in the books. This just proves that everyone LOVES Jeep.

But blowing past all rivals and topping every competitor was Maserati. The Italian exotic brand posted a 278 percent year-over-year sales increase last month, making it the strongest performing brand in the industry. Despite the eye-popping percentage figure actual vehicle deliveries were minuscule at just 1,233. August sales in 2013 were just 326.

Despite its strong product portfolio the wreath-and-crest’s August sales tumbled 18 percent compared to the same month last year. Overall Cadillac delivered just shy of 17,000 units during this time period. So far for 2014 its dealers have sold more than 114,000 cars and trucks.

With Fiat the magic number is 3,362; that’s how many vehicles the Italian brand’s “studios” sold last month. That performance was flaccid enough to result in a year-over-year decline of 20 percent. In August of 2013 they delivered nearly 4,200 vehicles. So far this year they’ve delivered a total of 32,141 units.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Fiat 500c Review

Scion also took a 20 percent tumble. Toyota’s youth-oriented division barely topped 6,000 sales last month; for the year they’ve pushed out fewer than 42,000 vehicles, a 14 percent drop compared to the same time period last year.

Apparently people don’t like high-priced electric cars. Telsa’s sales tumbled 22 percent last month compared to August 2013. It’s estimated they delivered 1,800 units, down from roughly 2,300 the year preceding. Shocking, isn’t it?

What’s in a name? Sales perhaps. We wonder if Infiniti’s confusing nomenclature has anything to do with its sagging showroom performance. Nissan’s luxury brand tumbled 23 percent last month compared to August 2013. Deliveries topped 9,100 units, though they fell just shy of 12,000 last year.

Meow or meOUCH? August sales declawed Jaguar. The British brand tumbled 31 percent in the U.S. Dealers delivered just 1,184 vehicles last month. Fortunately for them sales through the first eight months of 2014 are off just 4 percent. Through August they’ve sold nearly 11,000 vehicles.

[Source: Automotive News]

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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