Movers and Losers: July Top 10

2008chevymalibu

July's Movers and Losers are in. This month we've added more data to the lists to answer concerns from readers that we weren't presenting an accurate portrayal of which cars are movers and which are losers.

We had originally hoped that our own data of how many days it takes to sell a specific model would tell the whole story of these clever designations, but no, readers demanded more. So here it is. We've added each car's percentage sales increase or decrease from the same month last year (unless it's a new model), and the total number of units sold in July 2008. 

Be warned: The unit numbers are deceiving. A number that may represent a horrendous month of sales for a midsize sedan might still dwarf a successful month of sales for a large luxury SUV. 

In most cases, we think these added numbers prove we were correct to not include them at first, as all but two of our overall top movers and losers panned out accurately. Those were the Suzuki XL7 and Mitsubishi Endeavor, which took 165 and 176 days to sell, respectively, yet saw sales increase in July 2008 compared to last year. This is probably due to heavy incentives moving 5-month-old models off lots in July.

Sales losses by the 2008 Toyota Prius and 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid were due to decreased supply thanks to rabid demand.

Are you better off for the explanations? Is the extra effort worth it? Check out the lists below and let us know in the comments. 

Movers

We list how many days they spend on the lot, provided by Cars.com, and how sales measure up compared to July 2007 plus total units sold in July 2008, provided by manufacturers.

  • 2008 Toyota Prius: 5 days / -15% / 14,785 units
  • 2009 Lincoln MKS: 7 days / no 2007 sales data / 2,279 units
  • 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid: 8 days / +27.4% / 3,440 units
  • 2009 Chevy Malibu: 8 days / +78.6% / 16,637 units
  • 2009 Nissan Versa hatchback: 8 days / +14.4% / 8,701 units (entire Versa line)
  • 2008 Dodge Challenger: 9 days / no 2007 sales data / 2,895 units
  • 2008 Lexus LX 570: 9 days +277% / 843 units
  • 2009 Nissan Maxima: 9 days / +6.9% / 4,814 units
  • 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid: 9 days / -39% / 2,645 units
  • 2008 Mini Cooper Clubman: 10 days* / no 2007 sales data / 1,214 units (entire Cooper line)

*Also at 10 days: 2009 Hyundai Genesis and 2009 Scion xB. 

Losers

  • 2008 Dodge Durango: 177 days / -84% / 384 units
  • 2008 Mitsubishi Endeavor: 176 days / +22.6% / 764 units
  • 2008 Hummer H3: 175 days / -64.9% / 1,422 units
  • 2008 Nissan Titan: 170 days / -30.4% / 3,972 units
  • 2008 Suzuki XL7: 165 days / +5% / 1,812 units
  • 2008 BMW M5: 165 days / no specific trim sales data
  • 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible: 163 days / -31% / 3,816 units (entire Sebring line)
  • 2008 Honda Ridgeline: 150 days / -47.1% / 2,662 units
  • 2008 Kia Sedona: 149 days / -35% / 2,004 units
  • 2008 Dodge Dakota: 141 days / -24% / 2,593 units
By David Thomas | August 11, 2008 | Comments (32)

Comments 

Tog

Do the Malibu figures take into consideration fleet sales? I've driven one recently through Hertz and must say it was a pretty fine car. I'm not surprised the sales are up 78.6% but I guess that's partly due to the comparison being done to last year's Malibu which isn't even in the same league as the new one.

Tog, both 2008 and 2007 numbers would include fleet, which I would guess would be higher in 2007 than in 2008 since GM is looking to limit fleet sales.

But while the % number may seem high the 8 days number backs up its "mover" designation.

How about an honorable mention for the Saturn Astra? The Astra racked up sales of 1,555, an increase of 75% over June's sales of 888 Astras. Now there were 26 selling days in July verses 24 in June, but no matter how you slice and dice the numbers, it's quite a jump in sales.

rw,
The % number is July 2008 over July 2007 not month to month June to July 2008.

Astra sales are still quite poor compared to even the Pontiac Vibe despite similar prices and fuel efficiency.

It took 68 days to sell a 2 door astra and 83 for the four door

alex

i really wish cars.com would stop posting this infomation. in my opinion at least its not a good indicator for the market. Of course when there are only a few lexus 570 made they arent going to lag on lots. I think raw numbers (with fleet sales taken out should be the main one posted.

alex,
I think we answered everyone's requests, now we're getting a new set of issues. Regardless, after this month we're going to see how it shakes out but if all the numbers back up our days to sell I don't see what the issue is. If you want every bit of information broken down, then it's not really a handy list, it's a complicated mashup of industry figures.

Also you're wrong on the LX thinking, since I would guess BMW builds a LOT less M5s and they still take five months to sell.

Yeah, I know it's comparing the same month '07 to '08, but I'm going to badger you about the Astra whenver I can.

alex

dave, i do see your point, i know you have to reach a broad audience

Thomas

Holy cow 33% of Malibu sales are (still) to fleet!!! It's bad enough that the aging Camry still outsells the Malibu 2 to 1 but now we find out that 1/3 of Malibu sales are not real sales at all. I thought GM was going to stop the fleet dumping to help shore-up the re-sale values!? I guess some old habits are hard to break. Based on this info I'm not even going to consider the Malibu now. It'll be between the Altima, Camry, and Accord.

Cj

Thomas, GM has reduced Malibu's fleet sales by half I think. Fleet sales have been reduced from 60-70% of all Malibu sales to only 33%, which is better than the Hyundai Sonata which has 40% of all sales to fleets. Of course, they still can't beat the Accord and Camry's low numbers of fleet sales.

Terry Johnson

I agree with Thomas post in that I too thought General Motors was going to drastically lower fleet sales of the new Chevy Malibu in order to protect it's re-sale value. This move proves that GM could care less about the Malibu's market value. It's no wonder that I have not considered a Detroit product in over 15 years.

No surprises in this list

LM

Thanks for posting the sales numbers.

And to Alex: Even if they only make a few of a particular car it doesn't indicate that it sells well or not. You should also keep in mind that the LX a new model, and all those well-to-doers are just upgrading.

DT - Thanks for gritting your teeth and posting the new information. It's interesting to see the numbers and it broadens the discussion (fleet sales, for instance)!

Anyone have an idea the percentage of Corollas and Camrys go to fleets?

And finally, sometimes fleet sales are indicative of how popular something is too, not just how cheap it is. Lots of Escape Hybrids, Prii and Camry Hybrids are going to fleets too.

Cj

LM, according to the information in the link I posted, 8% of Corolla sales, 10.6% of Yaris sales, and 8.6% of Camry sales come from fleets. Those numbers are low compared to the big 3 and Hyundai/Kia, but the lowest of non-luxury brands is Honda, I think (I haven't gone through the entire PDF, yet). Only 1.9% of Civic sales, 0.5% of Fit sales, and 2.5% of Accord sales come from fleets. That's obviously why Hondas usually have the highest resale values.

Cj

For those who wanted to know here are more fleet sale percentages for other popular cars. Some may shock you:
Nissan Altima-14.5%
Infiniti M35-16.7%
Saturn Aura- 22.2%
Cadillac DTS-26.2%
Ford Taurus (obvious)-48.1%
Volvo S40-48.9%
Chrysler Sebring-62.2%
Chrysler PT-63.8%
Kia Sedona-45.6%
Mazda5-47.7%
Toyota Avalon-25.6%
Toyota Highlander-21%

What you guys are missing is the actual amount of cars in fleet. The Altima (which Thomas would consider because it isn't fleet heavy) has almost as many cars on rental lots as the the malibu- it just sales more.

I would like to know what is the difference between commercial and fleet. I think of cabs and police cars as commercial- who has a TL or S-Class as either of those?

Broq

Honda doesn't sell to rental fleets. Most of their fleet sales are of the natural gas Civic to govt agencies.

But Toyota certainly sells to rental fleets. And some car companies are selling their new models to fleets as a way of getting potential customers into them, not as a way of offloading vehicles. That's what Chevy did with the new Malibu, even though I believe they still sell a fleet only Malibu classic.

LM

Honda sells to ZipCar, which are fleets, right?

I also know they sell Hybrids to governments...are those considered "fleet" sales as well?

Cj

Broq, why did you bring up TL or S-class? Anyway, I would think commercial sales would include companies buying cars also. Companies could buy one of their CEOs an S-class as a 'company car' for whatever. The numbers are so low I don't know you even brought it up.

Cj

LM, just look at Honda's numbers, and you'll see that relative to Toyotas, GMs, Fords, and Chryslers rental Hondas are nearly non-existent.

LM

Cj...I'm not saying its large, I'm just saying it exists.

MSS

Since the Genesis was mentioned as an also 10 day supply, i was wondering what it's numbers were. How many were sold??

Cj

MSS, 600 I think.

It's interesting on how this post has changed. When DT started this post a few months back it was back and forth responses over what the statistics meant and now it focus is fleet sales...interesting.

ziggy,
it never ends.

Here's where you can get the complete list of fleet sales.
http://www.automotive-fleet.com/Statistics/

Where would some of these manufacturers be without fleet sales - it's amazing.

Or one could ask: Where would you be at the rental counter if they didn't have fleet sales?

CJ,
Last time I checked, this was an open forum- therefore I can bring up whatever I like as long as it pertains to the topic. Anyway, thanks for partially answering my question, or at least presenting an angle that I hadn't thought of.

Oh, and the S and TL were just two random luxury cars that I picked from that list. I know S's are often employed as chauffered cars, while I have never seen a TL used for anything besides a personal vehicle.

Broq

Oh my people would have to use public transportation when they get to the airport!

I would be interesting to see total manufacturer sales numbers and how they rank without the fleet sales figured in.

Cj

Sorry Broq, I didn't realize until now that your question was out of curiosity. Your welcome, for the partial reply. Anyway, I think that there's enough interest in this topic that there should be an article on the topic of fleet, Dave T.

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