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  • Hyundai reported a 1 percent sales increase in July 2020 compared with July 2019, and Mazda was up by 3 percent. But Honda was down 11 percent, Subaru was down 20 percent, and Toyota reported a 22 percent decline.
  • Hyundai says that its inventory levels across the country are stable, which may have helped its performance.
  • Most other automakers only report sales numbers on a quarterly basis. We have updated this post with available monthly numbers.

    U.S. auto sales are looking up for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down many dealerships this spring—at least at Hyundai and Mazda. Hyundai reported a 1 percent sales increase compared with July 2019, its first increase since February, and Mazda sales were up 3 percent. Honda’s Acura division was also up slightly, although the Honda brand was down 13 percent. Toyota posted a 22 percent decline compared with last July, and Subaru was down 20 percent, showing that these sales gains may be anomalies.

    Honda/Acura: Down 11 Percent Overall, Acura Up

    Honda’s car lineup was down nearly 20 percent this month, but a smaller decline in the SUV lineup (down 7 percent) kept the Honda brand’s numbers from dropping as sharply as some competitors. The HR-V and Pilot crossovers were both up; the top-selling CR-V was down 10 percent and the Accord mid-size sedan was down 29 percent.

    The Acura luxury division managed to post an increase of 2.5 percent, with the best-selling RDX crossover increasing 8 percent.

    Hyundai/Genesis: Up 1 Percent, SUVs Strong

    In Hyundai’s case, the trend line is rising in a mostly linear fashion, as this slight increase comes after it reported a 43 percent decrease in March, a 39 percent decrease in April, a 13 percent decrease in May, and a 22 percent decrease in June. Hyundai says retail sales were up 4 percent and fleet sales (which represent 7 percent of the July total) were down 32 percent. Through the first quarter of 2020, Hyundai fared better than many other automakers, reporting an 18 percent decrease overall amidst many competitors’ numbers declining upwards of 25 percent.

    Hyundai largely has its SUV lineup to thank for the strong July. The three-row Palisade SUV sold 8404 units, a huge increase from last year and enough to catapult it ahead of the Sonata mid-size sedan, which sold 6834 units. The Tucson (10,922 units) and Santa Fe (9296 units) were the brand’s top two sellers, though both decreased compared with last July.

    Hyundai’s luxury division, Genesis, decreased by 21 percent, selling 1257 units in July.

    Kia: Down 2 Percent

    Kia sales slipped only slightly in July 2020 compared with last year, going from 53,405 units down to 52,479 units. The Sportage and Sorento SUVs were the brand’s top sellers, while the Seltos crossover, a recent addition to the lineup, contributed 4504 sales.

    Mazda: Up 3 Percent, Thanks to Addition of CX-30

    Mazda sales rose 3 percent to 24,085 units sold in July. This is largely thanks to the new CX-30 crossover, which was not yet on sale in July 2019. It added 3787 sales to Mazda’s total this month, which was enough to offset declines from the best-selling CX-5 and across the automaker’s car lineup.

    Subaru: Down 20 Percent, Citing Low Inventory

    Subaru often brags of its long steaks of increasing sales, but that has not held true recently. The brand dropped 20 percent in July compared with last year, to 51,458 units sold. The Forester SUV was up 4 percent, but the Outback, Ascent, Crosstrek, and Legacy were all down significantly. Subaru says it has a low supply of many models, reflecting a larger industry trend as automakers struggle to maintain inventory levels.

    Toyota/Lexus: Down 22 Percent, Hybrids Up

    Toyota and Lexus posted a 22 percent decline in July. The Toyota brand’s numbers were down 21 percent, and the Supra sports car—which represented just 515 of the Toyota division’s 146,044 total sales—was the only model to post an increase compared with last year. Toyota did note that sales of hybrid models increased 15 percent.

    Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, did not slide as far as its mainstream stablemate, with a 6 percent decline. Its small crossover models, the UX and NX, both posted sales increases.

    We will update this post with more sales numbers as other automakers release their July sales reports. Honda, Kia, Mazda, and a few others are also expected to provide monthly numbers.

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