Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: August 2012

Civic

New-car sales in August continued a trend that dates to May: massive gains for Toyota and Honda relative to an earthquake-stymied 2011, with solid — albeit smaller — gains among other major automakers. Both Japanese automakers led the march toward higher auto sales as the industry's seven biggest automakers gained 20.4% in August sales. By day's end, we could see the best annualized sales rate since spring as higher incentives and more credit availability sent shoppers to showrooms. It comes despite rising transaction prices, which are up $2,338 or nearly 8% on the average car versus August 2011, according to CNW Marketing Research.

The highest gains among big sellers came from the Honda Accord and Civic, whose combined sales nearly doubled, even though a new Accord is just around the corner and the redesigned Civic received lukewarm reviews. Toyota Corolla and Matrix sales increased nearly 50%, and Japan's three biggest automakers gained 37.9% in August sales. That's more than three times the percentage gain for their Detroit Three rivals.

But Detroit had its own winners, including the new Ford Escape and popular Chevrolet Cruze. That's good news for GM: The Cruze had a bad July, leaving dealers with a 91-day supply of the compact sedan to start August — 37 days more than the industry average. GM continues to sell the car with few incentives, which could bolster resale values for Cruze owners down the road.

GM sales increased 10.1%, but Chevrolet Malibu sales fell 18.8%, leaving it off the top sellers list for the second month in a row. The redesigned 2013 Malibu should help, GM says, as it replaces "depleted stocks" of 2012s. Ford, meanwhile, jumped 12.6% on strong demand for the F-Series pickup and the automaker's crossovers, as well as the Focus and Fusion cars. F-Series sales gained nearly 20% on slight incentive gains, and that’s before a refreshed 2013 F-150 reached dealers en masse.

Pickup sales fought seesawing factors as higher gas prices battled sustained growth in the housing market, with annualized housing starts this year outpacing almost every month in 2011. The result? It's hard to say. Sales for full-size pickups gained 15.8% — good, but below industry gains for the month.

Here are the top 10 sellers:

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Comments 

sheth

As noted Japanese deliveries were way down last year- hence the "impressive" sales gains this year. GM outsold Toyota by over 50k units last month in spite of Toyota's huge gains. The % gain only tells part of the story. VW was up 62% vs results that werent impacted by the Tsunami- now THAT is impressive. Civic sales are up because incentives are up, Honda is discounting at over 8% right now- very high by their standards. Not far behind Ford. Incentives can boost sales of mediocre product. I read that Civic incentives are amongst the highest in the compact class- higher than its domestic rivals. Civic gets praised but Cruze's best month EVER on record wasn't noted.

Lance

Why make a big deal out of the Cruze's "best month EVER" when sales for the Cruze are down YTD versus last year. That's a period of 8 months which is much more significant that a one month period.

The only reason the Cruze is on this top ten seller list is because gas prices have spiked. Corolla and Civic still outsell the Cruze YTD. I wouldn't be too smug toting a car that the Corolla outsells.

The car world according to sheth and why certain cars do well.

Corolla =stupid consumers
Civic = high incentives
Focus = high incentives
Cruze = great car!

Blah, blah, blah. It's always the same whining.

Martin

Toyota and Nissan need to completely redesign their trucks. They don't even compare to the big 3's trucks.

Des Alba

Toyota and Nissan are not going to redesign their trucks until there is some competition in North America. Why mess with a good things when it still sells so well?

Both Toyota AND Nissan have cultivated a loyal following and many former owners of Ranger, Colorado/Canyon and Dakota have come over to their side.

My family, my sons and I all used to own domestic trucks. That's all changed now and by last month, the last holdout bought a new 2012 Tacoma 4-door 4X4.

I drive a Tundra, my brother a Titan. They don't need to be redesigned. If I wanted a domestic truck I would have bought one again.

I've owned the rest. Now I want the best. They work for me.

sheth

Lance

I'll point out the obvious here, this post I'd about August sales, not year to date sales. Hence the the title if the post.

As noted here cruze incentives are minimal. Same can't be said for your beloved Japanese sedans. Cruze isn't really great but it's better than those two. Have you ever priced a corolla? Its one of the cheapest and least advanced in this class. It's transaction prices are probably at bottom of class. Toyota prefers volume at any cost with corolla. Not mention those figures are inflated due to matrix sales. That wagon is not identified as corolla in any way but Toyota adds the two cars together to boost sales figures for corolla brand.

jimmy

Tundra has a history of rust and structural issues i.e bed hop not to mention transmission and disintregating camshaft problems. Not to mention Toyota's need to ignore unintended accelleration and gas pedal issues. Titan is nice truck but they sell in a year what the ram sells in a month. Big three totally superior. You guys just hate USA.

xrs2009

@ Sheth
I currently drive a 2012 Corolla S and I totally agree with you. For 2011-2012 MY they deleted a lot of features in the car and they don't have that many options. I have bluetooth wireless connectivity for call and music streaming. The 1.8 liter engine is not bad but could be better specially when paired to the 5 speed manual like i have. at 45-50 MPH in 5th gear that engine is running at over 2100 rpm and if you step up on the highway doing 65-70 which is the speed limit here is running over 3-3200 rpm and is killing gas mileage. I don't get any better than 30 mpg on the highway and believe it or not people with the same car with the old 4 speed automatic tranny are getting around 38 mpg highway.I m currently looking other cars to replace it and I just bought it 7 month ago.

@Jimmy
The fact that Ram sells more than Titan don't mean it's a better truck. My car right now is not as refined or up-to-date like other in the class but I can guarantee you that it will beat any of them in terms reliability. That I can go now and trade it for a let's say Ford Focus Titanium YES but not because it's a better car just offer more features for the money. Matter of fact the only 2 cars I would look to replace my Corolla would be Focus Titanium or Mazda 3 Grand Touring. Only two cars I can get the top trim with every option and manual transmision...

Jose

Oh God don't buy a Chevy Cruz as mine has been a total nightmare! I've been back to the dealer 18 times and it's not even a year old. I should have stuck with Subaru.

jimmy

Xrs2009. I said the titan was a nice truck. My point being is the titan is outdated. I do know that the ram is right now the superior truck based on technology performance ride and oh yes quality and workmanship. I appreciate your comments. Btw the ram has a lot of loyalty because farmers and ranchers as well as city folk have depending on them for their livelihood. Proud to be American.

Lance

@sheth
I don't love Japanese cars...just have to admit they build good cars that usually provide great service with minimal repairs. There is a reason they outsell everyone else. Doesn't make them the absolute best by any means...just better then GM brands. Love the Focus and the new Dart is nice too. Cruze was old style and old tech before it even hit the street. Malibu is following in it's path to mediocrity. The new Fusion is going to be a real consumer smash while the 'Bu goes to the rental fleets.

Des Alba

Jimmy, we don't hate the USA. But why buy something just because it is a domestic brand when there is better to be had?

I've had domestics before. Now I buy what I like a lot better. And my Tundra has no issues.

With over 85K miles it has never had to go back for any kind of warranty problem.

Can't say that about all the domestic trucks I owned during my lifetime.

My point was that neither Toyota nor Nissan is going to redesign any of their trucks because they have no competition.

Ford, GM and Dodge trucks all outsell the foreign brand trucks, but people keep buying Tundra, Titan, Tacoma and Frontier because that's what they want.

Imagine if those people didn't have a choice.

Choice is good!

sheth

The titan is one of the oldest pickups on the market. I believe only GM's pickups are older. It cannot compete with Ram or F150 and its never been a factor in terms of marketshare. That's just a fact. No matter how much people talk about the reliability of Tundra and Titan the reality is they have barely dented the market.

@Lance:

You cant even grasp basic facts. In the US, GM and Ford outsell Toyota and Chrysler outsells Honda. In Europe GM and ford outsell ALL Asian automakers. Naturally the Japanese brands have a huge advantage in Japan since few imports are sold there. The top selling vehicle in the US is a ford. The top selling SUV is a Ford. The top selling 3 row crossover is a Chevy. The Japanese are the top sellers in two segments- compact and midsize car but their share is down from 5-10 years ago due to the increased competitiveness of the Koreans and Americans. Look at the sales figures from 4-5 years ago- the Camry and Corolla crushed the competition from Chevy, Ford, Hyundai, etc. Not the case today. Your ignorant comments wont change the fact that the Cruze outsold the Corolla and Civic last month. Outdated? The Cruze debuted with a 6 speed auto- something you cant find on Corolla (4 speed) or Civic (5 speed) YET. Cruze has been out since 2009. It also was the first compact to have 10 standard airbags. Also comes with other features you cant get on Civic or corolla- backup sensors, blind spot warning, power driver's seat, remote start, push button start, MyLink, etc. You are clueless.

@Des Alba:

Comparing the reliability of a late model Tundra to some domestic pickups you had back in the day isn't logical. Any new vehicle you buy today should be more reliable than something you owned 20-30 years ago. Domestic (and Korean) quality is far better than it was only 10 years ago. What matters is whether or not a NEW Tundra is really more reliable than a NEW domestic pickup. I doubt there is much of a quality difference, in fact the domestic brands have the stronger warranties.

sheth

@lance:


BTW- do you consider the corolla/Civic to be state of the art in terms of styling and technology? You infer the Cruze is below your standards but don't seem to have any complaints about the Honda and Toyota. Can you explain that?

Lance

It appears your comprehension skills are sorely lacking. If you can't even read how do you expect people to believe anything you say. I said you shouldn't be toting the one month Cruze sales number because even the Corolla did better. People with comprehension skills would have immediately picked up that I don't consider the Corolla to be that great. Nor do I think the Civic is that great either. I would rather have a Focus, an Elantra or a Dart versus those two.

I said nothing about the design or tech in the Civic or Corolla as I was talking about sales numbers. It makes no difference if I like them or not. I don't defend these cars like you do GM as I have no vested interest in them other than as a car enthusiust. You, on the other hand have never revealed your fanboy obsession with GM. Salesman? Dealer? Employee? What is it? I've asked before but you always ignore the question.

Oh, and take out truck sales from either Ford and GM and what do you have? We have been talking about specific model sales numbers, not total manufacturer totals. VW and Toyota are bigger worldwide...does that make their cars better? No, so I don't know why you harp on GM and Ford sales being so large. You must really love Walmart because they are huge too.

Volume Van

Despite high prices, Prius is able to sell more than 21,000 units. If Ford C-Max could raise the competition and bring down the price of Prius, then it could appear in Top-10.

Surely it should be in Top-10 cars atleast.

sheth

Lance:

I have never worked for a dealer or auto manufacturer in my life. Ive said that before, dont know if you were around. Now you know. If I didnt answer its because I didn't really feel like dignifying your comment with a response. It wasnt because I'm afraid to answer your tough questions. Dont understand your obsession with bashing GM products, especially when you seem to be a fan of ford and chrysler. It's your problem, not mine. I stated the obvious, that the Cruze outselling the competition should've been one of the notable pieces of info from last month's sales figures. I didnt understand why the post focused so much on the Civic when 25k sales is a mediocre month for civic by historic standards. Last year GM outsold Toyota and VW- this year at the halfway point Toyota was slightly ahead. VW is not ahead of GM although that may change in the future. Facts are facts. I didnt imply that more sales indicates a better product- YOU did. Go back and read your own comment.

@volume dan:

Prius sales now consist of 3 totally different models. Toyota plays these games a lot to boost sales of a particular model. They do the same thing with Matrix/Corolla. Honda was doing the same thing with Accord/Crosstour until this year. The Prius models are very distinct and should not be counted as one car.

Lance

@sheth
Probably the reason I bash GM is because their product is so crummy in so many ways from cheap plastics, antiquated engines, low tech, terrible exterior design, poor MPG, etc. That's the main reason. Secondary is the fact that they were bailed out by the taxpayers, a huge portion of which we will probably never see. They should have went under and Ford and Chrysler and others pick up the pieces like it works in other businesses. This too big to fail crap is ridiculous. Others would fill the gap and pick up the workforces.

I've owned over 25 GM products in my life which may or may not be more than you. I feel I have a pretty good handle on their quality or lack thereof. I was pretty much a GM fan growing up in Michigan. The last two GM products I owned were a Buick LaSabre LTD and a Chevy S-10. Enjoyed them both but when I finally got rid of them and went through the repair/maint folders I keep on all my vehicles it was just ridiculous how many times I had to have warranty repairs and then repairs after the warranty ran out. It was literally in the thousands of dollars. I have had 3 Japanese vehicle for 10, 9 and 5 years since and have a total of $400+ in actual repairs outside of warranty and only three warranty or recall visits. That is a tremendous record for over 24 vehicles years. FYI, I owned the Buick eleven years and the S-10 eight years.

Why are you surprized that I like several Ford or a few (very few) Chrysler products but don't care for GM? I don't play that USA all the way game as businesses are too global to worry about it. Just build a competitive product for the right price and I'll buy it. We shouldn't have to buy inferior product just to buy American.

sheth

So the truth finally comes out. You dont have any rational basis for any of your comments. You are just another tired anti-bailout whiner who is stuck in 2009. Should've known, you werent really making much sense in the first place. What's bizarre is that you are a Chrysler fan but then claim to have an issue with GM because you don't believe in bailouts. Wow. That can only make sense to you. Chrysler was the company that some were arguing should NOT have been bailed out. Im glad Obama didn't listen to the skeptics because they have recovered nicely with help from Fiat.

Your commentary about current GM vehicles borders on delusional. You aren't being serious so there is no need to respond. If you've owned 25 GM vehicles and you've known for decades that the quality is poor I have to question your sanity.

GM sells more (inferior) vehicles in the US than any other automaker. They must be doing something half right. I never implored you buy GM or anything else based on country of origin. Interestingly, you seem to be arguing that we should NOT buy products based on the manufacturer being american. Your "proof" of GM inferiority is nothing more than rehashed biased nonsense. There are plenty of options from GM (and even Chrysler) that are competitive and priced right. And yet you wont consider them.

Des Alba

Choice is good, Sheth. People that want to buy domestic, buy domestic.

But when you really get down to the nitty gritty, there are a lot of people who choose to buy something else.

And those who do actually pay MORE for buying a Tundra, Titan, Tacoma or Frontier than they would have for a domestic brand, when they were still competing. Ranger, Colorado/Canyon and Dakota are defunct.

And since I've been there and done that, I'll stick with the ownership experience that was the best. So far, that's been with the Toyota Tundra.

Others in my family have also owned the domestic trucks, but they shifted away from them.

Ford is still the best selling truck in America. GM and Dodge also sell a lot more than the foreign brands do.

But the foreign brands offer a choice. And choice is good. Freedom of choice is even better.

I know of no one who went back to buying a domestic after they had owned a foreign brand.

I'm sure there are some but more people deserted the domestics than are coming back.

sheth

you could be telling the truth, or it could be made up. We dont know. At the end of the day what matters is that the Titan/Tundra have basically appeased loyal import brand buyers like yourself which is fine. They have not dented the success of the domestic pickups. The success experienced with SUVs (not larger ones) and sedans didn't happen here. Ive seen no worthwhile data supporting the idea that domestic pickups aren't durable. I certainly see plenty of older ones in service to contractors and in fleets. At this juncture reliability would really be the only advantage (real or perceived) in going with one of the Japanese brand entries. Styling, technology, interior quality, powertrains, etc. wouldn't really be compelling reasons.

Des Alba

I never owned an import in my life until 2007 when I bought my Tundra.

After I bought mine, my brother bought a Titan, because he liked it even better.

If people want to buy a domestic vehicle of any kind, that's good, for them.

But having a choice is even better, and a lot of people are taking the option of buying something else because they have a choice. I did.

If those same people who bought a foreign brand had wanted a domestic brand, they would have bought them. Nobody twisted their arms to buy a foreign brand.

That's the key issue here. As soon as they could, many people got away from the domestic brands, and of those very few have gone back to the domestic brands.

That's why domestic brand market share is lower now. Yes, Ford and Silverado are the top sellers last month, but so are Camry and Accord.

And at the end of the year, I suspect that the foreigners will hold more market share than the domestics will, in spite of heavy truck sales.

The domestics may have improved, but for many buyers the choice is clear.

Only a liar would accuse other people of making things up when they make the effort to comment on a topic of interest.

Why would a 58 year old man lie in comments that alter no one's life?

I rarely comment, but I see that the quality of people on this board has hit a new low with Sheth.

Lance

Well, sheth, if you're through with the childish name calling and insulting comments maybe the discussion can center on cars and not the people.

You say I must be idiotic to have bought so many GM products over the years if the quality was low. It wasn't always low and there wasn't always much of a choice where I lived. When I first started buying cars there really were no affordable imports and living in a rural small town there was Chevy, Ford and Dodge/Plymouth dealers and that's it. Had my share of 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s GM and Ford products and a couple of Chrysler products thrown in.

Fact is, when you have nothing to compare to the recalls, warranty adjustments and repairs and out of warranty repairs were the "norm". You can call it idiotic and maybe it was sticking with GM and Ford as long as I did. I then bought a 2002 Infiniti and a 2003 Toyota Tundra and still have them. I couldn't believe that absolutely nothing broke on them. I finally had to replace a power antenna on the Infiniti after 9 years of ownership. That was about $400. Nothing else. I literally had thousands of dollars of repairs on my Buick over the 11 years I had it. The S-10 wasn't quite as bad but there were many repairs including a/c, drive shaft, window motors, among others.

So I guess you could say I finally so the light. If you spent less time putting other people down and reading and UNDERSTANDING posts you'd be better off.

My decision to switch to Asian built came long before the bailout so you're little tirade about that just makes you comeoff as chicken little. Time to take the chip off your shoulder and stop whining like a baby.

WTF

You all whine like babies. Just go buy what you want.

Jaref

Its nice that the focus beat the camry as worlds top selling car but I still don't understand why its not as popular here. The camry is boringly designed

Tuck

You are ignorant to the engine designs of the big three. As far as engines go, they all use their European engines for fuel savers. Chrysler copies Fiat with the Dart and its 1.4 L MultiAir and GM with its Cruze from Opel and 1.4 L Ecotec from the same. What is the diference to you? Same engine displacement, both turboed, and both compact. Yet the cruze (as an older model) ekes out an extra mpg. I also think we can all confidently say Dodge has some shitty transmissions. As far as foreign trucks go, I dont consider them serious until they create a good Diesel engine, which will likely never happen. Gm is very capable of making good innovations like magnetic ride, and lets not forget electric starter,a fuel injected car in the 50's. I own a 2002 suburban only fixed the water pump, and 96 sunfire 2.4 twin cam few repairs, and a 97 volkswagen jetta which is bullet proof except electrical. Also have a 78 Phoenix original block, transmission, carburetor, and has 154,000 miles. Still runs!

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