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June U.S. sales: GM Q2 volume slips, but surpasses Toyota

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The U.S. light-vehicle market slumped again in June, capping a weaker second quarter as global parts shortages and shipping woes continue to hobble output at automakers, leaving showrooms largely empty of new cars and light trucks for a year now.

Volume slid 15 percent to 578,507 in the second quarter at General Motors, but it was enough for the automaker to reclaim the U.S. sales crown from Toyota Motor Corp.

Deliveries dropped 11 percent at Chevrolet, 14 percent GMC, 56 percent at Buick and 6.7 percent at Cadillac in the April-June period. GM’s U.S. sales have now declined four consecutive quarters, though volume has increased sequentially three straight quarters and it expects to gain market share for the third consecutive quarter.

The automaker, citing “strong” second-quarter production, said it ended June with 247,839 vehicles in U.S. dealer inventory, including cars and light trucks in transit to showrooms.

GM’s second-quarter vehicle wholesale shipments were negatively impacted by ongoing semiconductor shortages and other supply chain disruptions, mostly in June. The company said it is holding 95,000 vehicles assembled without certain components in inventory until they are completed, which it said will occur during the second half of the year.

In the first half, GM’s U.S. sales dropped 18 percent, though many of the company’s most profitable vehicles — the Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban and Tahoe, and Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon — fared better.

Toyota Motor, which overtook GM, the longtime market leader, in 2021 and again in the first quarter, said June deliveries dropped 18 percent to 170,155, with second-quarter volume falling 23 percent to 531,105. June sales dropped 18 percent at the Toyota division, the brand’s 11th straight monthly decline, and 15 percent at Lexus, its fifth consecutive drop.

Several of the Toyota division’s top sellers posted double-digit declines in June: Camry, off 27 percent; Highlander, down 34 percent; and Tacoma, off 14 percent.

Stellantis‘ second-quarter sales dropped 16 percent, with double-digit declines at every brand but Chrysler, where deliveries jumped surged 95 percent to 36,934, behind a 143 percent gain in Pacifica volume. Deliveries slid 11 percent at Jeep and 27 percent at Ram in the latest period.

“We continue to see strong demand for our vehicles,” said Jeff Kommor, head of U.S. sales operations at Stellantis FCA US arm. “While there are certainly industry supply constraints, our dealers are working hard to satisfy the needs of every customer.”

June sales dropped 54 percent at Honda Motor Co., with the Honda division down 54 percent, where car deliveries slumped 61 percent, and Acura off 55 percent. Honda brand volume has dropped 11 straight months, though the company is still benefitting from robust demand and some of the lowest incentives in the industry. 

“With strong turn rates of up to 90 percent for core Honda and Acura products, it’s clear that success is a relative term in today’s business environment and sales volume is not the best measure of true customer demand,” Mamadou Diallo, vice president of auto sales for American Honda Motor Co., said in a statement.

Second-quarter volume skidded 39 percent to 183,171 at Nissan Motor Corp., its biggest decline over the last four quarters, with the Nissan division down 38 percent and Infiniti off 41 percent.

Volume dropped 13 percent at Hyundai and 4.9 percent at Kia last month behind weaker car deliveries. It was the fourth straight monthly decline for both automakers, though Hyundai’s volume — 63,091 cars and light trucks — set a high for 2022, even with retail volume down 5.5 percent.

Hyundai said it finished June with 17,922 cars and light trucks in U.S. inventory, down from 18,641 to close May and 67,992 at the end of June 2021.

“Our dealers are selling everything they get, and we are continuing our efforts on growing market share,” said Randy Parker, senior vice president of national sales at Hyundai Motor America.

In a small sign the market is getting some traction, Subaru snapped a 12-month streak of declines with June sales of 43,175, up 0.7 percent. Mazda’s U.S.  volume skidded 54 percent in June, the company’s third consecutive decline. At Volkswagen, second-quarter sales skidded 34 percent to 78,281, with cars off 48 percent.

Among other luxury brands, second-quarter volume dropped 18 percent at BMW and 8.2 percent at Bentley. Porsche bounced back from a 25 percent drop in first-quarter volume with a 2.8 percent gain in the April-June period. Genesis’ deliveries rose for the 19th straight month with June volume advancing 11 percent to 4,506.

Audi is expected to release second-quarter sales results later Friday. Ford Motor Co. and Volvo plan to report June deliveries on Tuesday July 5, followed by Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover later next week. Tesla Inc. is the only automaker projected to post higher second-quarter and first-half sales.

The market is expected to contract 7.5 percent to 12 percent in June, according to forecasts from LMC Automotive. J.D. Power, Cox Automotive and TrueCar, with second-quarter deliveries projected to drop by double digits. June will mark the 12th consecutive month of year over year declines, according to J.D. Power.

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