Automakers report June, Q2 sales as post-COVID rebound continues

U.S. auto sales continued to rebound in the second quarter despite ongoing supply shortages. While many have yet to report their June and quarterly sales, several key players in the U.S. industry checked in Thursday with their figures. 

Low interest rates, government stimulus and a preference for private vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic have bolstered auto demand in the United States, even as prices have risen due to tight inventories following a global semiconductor shortage. Consumers are purchasing more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, boosting profitability for automakers and retailers, according to industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

  • Honda remains strong, with only the Honda Fit and Acura RLX (both discontinued) posting negative results. HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline are all up more than 50% so far in 2021, as are the Acura ILX, MDX and TLX. 
  • On the Stellantis front, it was good news pretty much across the board. Only Fiat (AKA dead brand walking) was off in Q2. Ram is absolutely cruising, up 31% for the year with the 1500 outselling Silverado and creeping close enough to F-Series to make Ford sweat. 
  • The mainstream luxury brands performed consistently well despite maintaining most of their volume a year ago. For all of 2021, BMW is up more than 51% and Audi just a hair shy of 60%. 
  • Electrification was the buzzword of the day for Ford, where the Mustang Mach-E outsold all gasoline-powered Mustangs combined. It wasn’t anywhere near enough to overcome a massive chip-related inventory shortages. The F-Series alone slipped nearly 30% in June, and Explorer (-38%), Escape (-40%), Edge (-53%) and virtually every Lincoln was hammered too. 
  • Toyota reported a company-wide lift of more than 70% in Q2 and nearly 45% so far in 2021. While the three-row Highlander was up a whopping 70% in June, the bread-and-butter RAV4 was up just under 6%, signaling continued supply issues for the high-volume compact. 
  • GM posted a 40% jump in second-quarter U.S. sales on strong demand for its sport utility vehicles and said the trend is expected to continue into 2022. Total sales of Chevy’s Silverado line of pickups were up more than 34% in Q2 and nearly 10% for the year as the company struggles to keep production lines open despite chip shortages. 
  • Hyundai claimed its best-ever June sales in the U.S. contributed to an also-record-breaking Q2. There are no models in the negative on Hyundai’s 2021 sales sheets, however quite a few slipped in June, including Palisade, likely due to supply constraints. 
  • Kia likewise slashed previous U.S. sales records, marking its best first half so far on strong sales of… just about everything. Notably, the Forte and Sportage notched best first-half sales figures for their nameplates as the automaker reported 40% improvements over 2020 across the board.
  • Nissan reported a significant Q2 rebound, with an almost-74% improvement from its core brand and a rare 11% bump for luxury subsidiary Infiniti, which was struggling even pre-COVID. Mitsubishi likewise had a gangbuster Q2, up 106% from the same period last year. 
  • Volkswagen reported a 72% bump in Q2 performance for 2021, largely on big volume bumps from both of its Atlas variants, which together outsold the Tiguan. VW’s full-year results were similarly strong. 
  • Subaru did more Subaru things, notching a 20% Q2 improvement, but cautioned that its June sales suffered from the ongoing microchip shortage. Sales remain up more than 20% so far for 2021. 
  • Mazda did not break out its Q2 improvements, but June was kind to the small automaker to the tune of an almost-29% bump in sales. The only nameplate in the negative on Mazda’s sales chart for the year is the dead-for-2022 CX-3, which was supplanted by the CX-30.

We expect more automakers to report their results before the weekend, but some may be delayed due to the holiday. We will continue to update this story as more information is released.

This article contains reporting by Reuters.

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