Analysts Predict Slight Uptick in August Auto Sales

Ram Deliveries 2 II

Things have not been going well for the auto industry. Sales numbers for each month this year — so far — has fallen below 2016 sales numbers. However, according to Automotive News (subscription required), that could change when the August sales numbers are made public Friday.

Summer is usually a strong selling time for the industry, especially with three-day holiday weekends and vacations in the mix. Several automotive analysts have noted that incentive spending on full-size pickup trucks is likely to continue to creep higher, which could cut into automakers' profitability.

Interestingly, Ford is up more than 8 percent from 2016, and Ram is up more than 6 percent. Chevrolet and GMC are down close to 6 and 8 percent, respectively. However, much of that dip can be explained by GM's recent disciplined withdrawal from big rental fleet sales markets.

We expect the dramatic year-over-year sales increases to continue from the Nissan Titan and Titan XD, as well as the Honda Ridgeline. Of course, much of their trajectory this year is directly connected to the fact they didn't have a new product for much of the first part of 2016 — the half-ton Titan in Nissan's case and the new Ridgeline in the Honda's case.

Since pickups are the overachievers of the auto industry, August truck sales are likely to be pretty good, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that momentum could slow with much of Texas focused on recovery and fuel prices expected to climb.

No doubt Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma sales will continue their steady march, making a case for other automakers to get into the mid-size game as soon as possible. Of course, we know Ford and Jeep are breaking into that class in the next couple of years, and Hyundai will follow soon after that. But could there be more on the way? We'll know more about how new-truck buyers are responding later this week.

Cars.com photos by Angela Conners 

16putc_midsziepickuptruckchallenge_groupshot1_so_ac_01jpg_28743952815_o A II

 

Comments

Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma sales will continue their steady march.

@PUTC

There are some noteworthy omissions. Ford, Honda and FCA come to mind. Ford and FCA already have discussed their plans for entering the midsize market. Honda? The Ridgeline is AWOL

"The difference during the early part of 2016 was stark, as Ford's fleet sales are expected to be much higher throughout the first half of 2016 before tapering off throughout the back half of the year. GM, on the other hand, has continued to slash rental fleet sales to the point that it's actually noticeable year over year in its monthly sales reports.

During the first quarter, Ford's total fleet sales accounted for 36% of its total U.S. sales, much higher than its 29% level from the prior year's first quarter. Much of that increase was fueled by rental fleet sales; rental sales generated 17 percentage points of the 36%, while it only represented 11 percentage points of last year's 29%.

Meanwhile, during the same time period, fleet sales accounted for only 21.5% of GM's first-quarter sales in the U.S. market, and its sales to rental fleets plunged 36%."

https://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/05/23/2-great-signs-that-general-motors-fleet-reduction.aspx

It appears that the combination of high prices and polarizing design choices is hurting the Ridgeline. The 2nd gen is too El Camino to appeal to truck buyers.

GM truck sales will eventually see a slight uptick. They can't go much lower. I see someone posted that Ford's fleet sales were up first 1/4 of 2016 (this is 2017 BTW). Ford has cut back fleet sales (mostly cars) this year, June 17' was 14% lower than June 16'. July 17' 26% lower than July 16'. Ford is not, nor has it ever flooded rental fleets with F-Series trucks like some of you pretend they do. More people and business (high profit "commercial" fleet sales) buy F-Series trucks than any other brand. It doesn't make them better, it's just the reality that apparently more people think they're better. It's always been their cars and smaller SUV's that got dumped on rental fleets the same as other brands.

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/08/01/fords-trucks-and-suvs-are-still-shining-in-a-weake.aspx?source=isesitlnk0000001&mrr=0.17

Ford is not, nor has it ever flooded rental fleets with F-Series trucks like some of you pretend they do.

@2.7

Wrong. Back after the 5.0 engine option came out (2011?) the flood of rental F150s with the long bed, white paint and V8 engine started showing up all over my area.

By 2013 or so, RAM 1500s with the 4.7 engine and Ford 150s with the 5.0 engine were all over dealer lots. Low miles. They couldn't sell them even at $20k

Gonna be a lot of truck sales in Texas next month.

Gonna be a lot of truck sales in Texas next month.

Posted by: Don | Aug 29, 2017 3:56:43 PM

Yep, I would also be careful not to buy any 2nd hand car/truck as possibly a refurbished water damaged one...

Wrong. Back after the 5.0 engine option came out (2011?) the flood of rental F150s with the long bed, white paint and V8 engine started showing up all over my area.

By 2013 or so, RAM 1500s with the 4.7 engine and Ford 150s with the 5.0 engine were all over dealer lots. Low miles. They couldn't sell them even at $20k
Posted by: papajim | Aug 29, 2017 3:47:02 PM

Same situation here in the upper midwest.

XL Trim
White Paint
Plain black grill
Long bed
Steel wheels
5.0 V8
Dirt Cheap

Hundreds and hundreds of them with low mileage and plain interiors, flooding local Ford dealer lots.

Last time I thumbed through the used commercial truck sales books, I remember seeing used 2015 F-150's. Same XL trim, regular cab, long bed, black grill, steel wheels, prices starting as low as $16k. Looking quickly, I can get a 2016 F-150 XL reg cab long box 4WD with the 3.5 V6 for $19,700 with 8800 miles on it.

Haven't seen anything that cheap in my area. After looking on line at some of the prices of vehicles in other areas you could buy a discount airline ticket and drive home while still saving a lot of money.

Wrong. Back after the 5.0 engine option came out (2011?) the flood of rental F150s with the long bed, white paint and V8 engine started showing up all over my area.

By 2013 or so, RAM 1500s with the 4.7 engine and Ford 150s with the 5.0 engine were all over dealer lots. Low miles. They couldn't sell them even at $20k
Posted by: papajim | Aug 29, 2017 3:47:02 PM

You are talking about a purpose built contractor/rental special. Wouldn't account for hardly anything in over all F-Series sales. Some people come on here and see for sold almost 70,000 F trucks in July and act like a large portion of that is the trucks you mentioned. That's not the case. Ford sells more top end high profit models than they do low profit work trucks. They probably pump those trucks into the market on what they know will be slow months to offset the loss od sales revenue. That low volume sales of the plain trucks don't hurt the resale of the trucks most consumers buy.

Must be a slow news day. The real numbers will be out in a few days, no need to discuss what they might be now when we could be seeing pickup trucks reviews and tests.

That's not the case. Ford sells more top end high profit models than they do low profit work trucks. They probably pump those trucks into the market on what they know will be slow months to offset the loss od sales revenue.

@2.7

Please cite specifics.
Make your case using facts. You might even be right.

Please cite specifics.
Make your case using facts. You might even be right.

Posted by: papajim | Aug 29, 2017 7:53:41 PM
You might wish to employ your own council. Credibility will rise.

You might wish to employ your own council. Posted by: Casual Observer of Fools | Aug 29, 2017

@CoF

Please make your case! Don't just make a gratuitous assertion about my credibility. Tell it! Give the quotes, the facts, the numbers. Otherwise it makes you full of sh*t

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/08/03/silver-lining-in-ford-motor-cos-july-sales-decline.aspx

July highlights

" One vehicle that never seems to let Ford investors down is the company's bread-and-butter F-Series. It has consistently grown its U.S. sales and remains critical to Ford's profitability.
F-Series sales trendline consistently moving higher over past five years


The full-size truck line recorded a 5.8% increase in sales to 69,467 units sold in July. Super Duty represented 53% of the F-Series sales mix -- a rule of thumb is that the bigger the truck, the bigger the price tag -- which helped drive the line's overall average transaction prices (ATPs) $2,500 higher compared to the prior year, to $45,000 per vehicle. "

While that article doesn't specifically mention high end F-Series sales with specifics, it does point out that transaction prices were up $2,500 for an avg of $45,000 per F-Series sold. Clearly with a $45,000 per truck avg, it would suggest they are selling more nicely equipped trucks than the plain white, steel wheel $25,000 regular cabs. The article does specifically mention a good percentage of Ford SUV's being sold are higher end.

@2.7

Your stats refer to a 30 day period at the end of the annual sales cycle (late summer).

That is the time of year when the consumer is shopping for deals on the 2017s. Not fleet buyers.

When are purchasing managers and fleet buyers making their big capital expense buys? Last two weeks of December. Not July/August.

I used July as an example. Do a search, it's pretty much the same every month of 2017. Here are December 2016 results:

https://media.ford.com/content/dam/fordmedia/North%20America/US/2017/01/04/December-2016-Sales-Release-with-tables.pdf

"DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 4, 2017
– Ford Motor Company’s total December U.S. sales of
239,854 vehicles were up 0.3 percent. Retail sales increased 5 percent last month, with 183,454
vehicles sold – the company’s best De
cember retail performance since 2004.
F-Series sales totaled 87,512 trucks in December, up 3 percent. Strong retail demand for
F-150 and the all-new Super Duty contributed to the best overall sales month for F-Series in 11
years. Ford van sales gained 3 percent in Dece
mber, totaling 22,302 vehicles, for the company’s
best-ever December van performance.
December retail sales of Ford brand SUVs were up 6 percent, driving a 5 percent gain in overall
SUV sales, with 68,685 vehicles sold."

"“December marked Ford’s best retail performance
since 2004, with average transaction prices
increasing $1,600 for the month – $1,000 more than the industry average,” said Mark LaNeve

Reading that last statement that Ford's transaction prices were up $1,600 for the month, $1,000 more than the industry average, suggest that other manufacturers are indeed dumping to fleet buyers the last 2 weeks of December. :-)

January 2017 notes (vs. January 2016, except as noted):

Ford Motor Company:

Cumulative Ford Motor Company sales, which consist of Ford and Lincoln sales, decreased 0.6 percent to 172,612 units:
Retail sales increased 6 percent to 120,400 vehicles
Retail sales of Ford brand SUVs were up 11 percent, driving overall SUV sales up 6 percent to 53,224 vehicles sold. As such, January 2017 marks the best-ever overall start for Ford SUVs.
Fleet sales, including daily rental, commercial and government segments, totaled 52,212 units, down 13 percent. The decline reflects a strong year-ago comparison, with fleet customer orders front-loaded at the beginning of 2016.


So contrary to what you posted Papa, (and you asked me to state facts?) Ford actually had heavy fleet sales at the beginning of 2016 and not the end.

Ford actually had heavy fleet sales at the beginning of 2016 and not the end.

@2.7

You talk like a child.

Did I not say that late December is the time for corporate purchases?

Orders placed during the last 2 weeks of the calendar year allow the buyer to improve his position relative to corporate income tax and other annual expenses. It also lets buyers "sweep" their accounts and spend the last of their budgeted dollars for that year.

An order placed in late December will be fulfilled early in the next year. do the math.

TO A GARBAGE MOTORS FAN GIRLY CALLED GMSRJUNK HEY HOMES FIGHT ME JUST COME DOWN TO (BAKERSFIELD , CALIFORNIA) AND YOU WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. I'M GONNA MAKE YOU CRY LIKE A LITTLE GIRL THAT YOUR GONNA BE HATING GARBAGE MOTORS AKA (GM) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

OH WELL YOU MIGHT BE SLEEPING AT THIS TIME WITH YOUR PANTIES ALL THE WAY TO YOU BUTT.

watching Hurricane Harvey coverage on TV all week it stands out the only vehicles moving thru the flood waters are pickup trucks.
I believe this is not only free advertisement but a message to everybody watching that maybe they are impressed with trucks and would want to own one.
We have all come up on emergency situations on the road from floods, deep snow, trees down and glad we were driving a full size pickup where a compact car wouldn't make it.

Ford was pushing "Employee Pricing Sales Events" in October/November/December 2016.

------------------------------------------------------------------

So contrary to what you posted Papa, (and you asked me to state facts?) Ford actually had heavy fleet sales at the beginning of 2016 and not the end.
Posted by: 2.7EcoboostRoost | Aug 29, 2017 8:55:03 PM

That's exactly what he said though. Big fleet (aka low-margin) orders made in December, and delivered throughout early 2016. Ford had extra incentive since sales of their new multi-billion dollar aluminum truck was slow. Slow how? Well Ford was desperate enough to blame poor sales numbers on "frame shortages" in early 2015 and by mid-year 2015, Ford was offering well over $10k cash on the hoods of certain configurations of the 2015 F-150.

By the 4th quarter 2015, they were in full panic mode, pushing huge incentives (10-12k USD) to protect their marketing garbage. After a disappointing first year, Ford pivoted to big fleet sale orders to protect their best selling "truck" marketing garbage by loading up on fleet sales by 1st quarter 2016.

"It appears that the combination of high prices and polarizing design choices is hurting the Ridgeline. The 2nd gen is too El Camino to appeal to truck buyers."
---- Posted by: Brick | Aug 29, 2017 2:09:30 PM

The Ridgeline is a rather conventional-looking truck. It's different; it's very definitely light duty; but it is a truck and not an El Camino looking rig by any means.

[Ridgeline] is a truck and not an El Camino looking rig by any means. Posted by: RoadWhale™ | Aug 30, 2017

@Roadwhale

If a Chevy station wagon mated with a Bel Air, you'd get an El Camino.

Ditto for the Ridgeline: If a Honda Pilot has a fling with an Accord you get an unpopular stepchild that's trying to look like a truck.

Easy prediction: Ford continues to dominate the full size market.

Easy prediction: Ford continues to dominate the full size market.
Posted by: Nitro | Aug 30, 2017

@Nitro

Do you mean the full size fleet/rental market? Does that bracket include transports and vans? Please be specific.

if you are talking about everyday pickup trucks (midsize, halfton, heavy duty) GM will finish the year out front of Ford by a slim margin, just like last year and the year before.

Dominate? Use your words carefully if you expect to be taken seriously.

@papa, you will wake up from your coma one day and see the actual numbers, yes Ford has been dominating the full size truck market for 40 years and will continue to do so. They are not in the small corssover car/truck market yet, so I can count that against them, once there, they will spank the twins as they do in the full size. Sorry you have to continue to defend the twins like this.

@Nitro: GM offers more choice for consumers with a pick-up truck that will handle just about any situation. That's why GM sells more trucks. Any questions.

@gms, sorry you have to defend them again, so sad thats all you talk about on here, is defense. yet you never talk about what is actually great about the identical twins.....sorry you will need to defend that again.

I just realized how stupid I sound. I am an idiot.

Papa, yes you are, and so am I, we keep defending the twins, and offer no positives, lets face it, there arent any.

I agree, the sierra is exactly the same as the silverado, two different models, yet they both shake and have all kinds of quality issues. Papa/gms, you guys are right, we are stupid.

Are you guys taking your meds?

yet you never talk about what is actually great about the identical twins.....

Posted by: Nitro | Aug 30, 2017 12:12:05 PM

The articles here at PUTC says it all for me. You should really learn how to read and improve your comprehension skills.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/08/whats-the-best-midsize-pickup-for-2016.html

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/01/whats-the-best-light-duty-truck-for-towing-2016-texas-truck-showdown.html

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/06/chevrolet-nissan-pickups-top-2017-jd-power-quality-study.html#more

Whoever is posting using my name STOP. I always only bash Ford and will continue to do so, I will also continue to defend the "twin" because thats what GM owners do, we are so far behind Ford, so we have to defend.

GMS, you are as confusing as your posts, again you post articles, but cant say anything about GMS yourself, only in defense, then you say again you will always do that???

GMS, you are as confusing as your posts, again you post articles, but cant say anything about GMS yourself, only in defense, then you say again you will always do that???

Posted by: Nitro | Aug 30, 2017 2:00:19 PM

OK Nitro, here is your platform. Tell us all how great Ford is. Go ahead!

Ford is not, nor has it ever flooded rental fleets with F-Series trucks like some of you pretend they do. More people and business (high profit "commercial" fleet sales) buy F-Series trucks than any other brand.
Posted by: 2.7EcoboostRoost | Aug 29, 2017 3:04:45 PM

Ford has most definitely flooded the fleet market in previous years. At the beginning of 2016 they had a huge boost in fleet sales in the first half of the year. Fleet sales tapered back to normal levels for the 2nd half of the year. And because they were inflated in the first half of 2016, any fleet sales reports in 2017 can be misleading. Obviously if Ford reduced fleet sales back to a normal level in the 2nd half of 2016, 2017 fleet sales are going to appear to be "down" by xx%, because they were massive in the first half of 2016.

"Ford Motor Co. was the top-selling automaker in the U.S. last month for the first time in five years, outselling General Motors by 936 light vehicles. Fleet sales made the difference, with Ford’s rising 39 percent and GM’s dropping 13 percent."

"Ford said its commercial sales — mostly the F-series and Transit — rose 23 percent from a year ago and accounted for 14 percent of the month’s total."

http://www.autonews.com/article/20160401/RETAIL01/304019981/ford-outsells-gm-on-higher-fleet-shipments

"Much of Ford's fleet gains this year came from sales of vehicles such as Transit vans and F-series trucks to construction companies and other businesses."

"Ford says it's comfortable around its current fleet levels, although executives noted such sales aren't as profitable as selling to individual retail customers."

http://www.autonews.com/article/20161212/OEM/312129958/ford-stays-the-course-on-rental-fleet-sales

"Ford's fleet sales generated 29% of total sales: 12% commercial, 6% government, and 11% daily rental. During 2015, fleet sales accounted for 28% of total sales -- with a reduced level, 5%, coming from government sales."

"Ford's year-over-year fleet sales are consistent, but notably, the figure was certainly higher than that of crosstown rival General Motors, which had less than 20% of its total sales from fleet segments."

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/01/04/3-key-takeaways-from-ford-motor-companys-december-sales-figures.html

"“December marked Ford’s best retail performance
since 2004, with average transaction prices
increasing $1,600 for the month – $1,000 more than the industry average,” said Mark LaNeve

Reading that last statement that Ford's transaction prices were up $1,600 for the month, $1,000 more than the industry average, suggest that other manufacturers are indeed dumping to fleet buyers the last 2 weeks of December. :-)
Posted by: 2.7EcoboostRoost | Aug 29, 2017 8:48:13 PM

Ford's stupidly overpriced Platinum and Limited trims certainly went a long way in inflating those transaction prices. For every $67k Limited or $60k Raptor, Ford could sell dozens of cheap fleet trucks and still keep transaction prices above the industry average. There are plenty of suckers with too much money that will buy a Limited or Platinum trim F-150. Same goes for the Superduty trucks.

There are plenty of suckers with too much money that will buy a Limited or Platinum trim F-150. Same goes for the Superduty trucks. Posted by: Brick | Aug 30, 2017

@brick

Please don't blame Ford dealers for taking money that's on the table, especially if that money's there during the last week of the year.

I blame Ford for not doing more of it.

The ATP's are horrible, by and large, because they sell so much fleet/rental crap.

The sale of fleet/rental stuff makes like harder for their dealers. It's the dealers who will be forced to address the growing number of expired leases, rentals and fleet trade-ins next year.

You talk like a child.

Did I not say that late December is the time for corporate purchases?

Orders placed during the last 2 weeks of the calendar year allow the buyer to improve his position relative to corporate income tax and other annual expenses. It also lets buyers "sweep" their accounts and spend the last of their budgeted dollars for that year.

An order placed in late December will be fulfilled early in the next year. do the math.
Posted by: papajim | Aug 29, 2017 9:57:12 PM

You spin everything like the liberal media. I'd love to have an intelligent conversation with you or any one of your 4 usernames, but that would require a minimal amount of intelligence on your part. That's clearly not going to happen. Ford's transaction prices were above industry average in January, February, March-July of this year. They were above average (at least ) for November and December last year. Fleet sales were down in all those months. You can't accept that. You wanted facts, I gave them to you. You have zero credibility

@papa,
Ford has finally gotten past the low J.D. scores for their sync infotainment system to get back ahead of GM. Theone thing GM had..... "real people ( actually actors ) not actors" is dying just like their sales.....

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/06/26/ford-beat-toyota-in-quality-why-it-matters.aspx?source=isesitlnk0000001

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-frustrated-chevys-real-people-actors-commercials-i-derek-blair

"And the participants are not "not actors." As it turns out that more than 4 of the kids in one of the commercials have been positively ID'd as child actors. One of them is a young actress by the name of Haley Lyn Gilchrist. In the commercial, she appears wearing her name tag with "Haley" on it. She's been appearing in movies since 2012. Another is Norton Leufven, another is Noah Kaye Bentley, another is Aliyah Conley. All appearing in movies for some time."

@Brick,
So Ford is stupid because people are buying Platinum and loaded Fords and GM is smart because people are not buying GM trucks Period?!?!

@2.7

Ford as we know it today will not exist five years from now.

I hope your self esteem is not so tied to that firm that the company's bankruptcy doesn't mess with your mind too badly.

Good luck!

@Jim--Put a sock in it and stop your childish nonsense.

Ford's transaction prices were above industry average in January, February, March-July of this year. They were above average (at least ) for November and December last year. Fleet sales were down in all those months. You can't accept that. You wanted facts, I gave them to you. You have zero credibility
Posted by: 2.7EcoboostRoost | Aug 30, 2017 8:23:21 PM

Of course fleet sales were down in January, February, March-July. Ford had a massive increase in fleet sales the year before, just like I pointed out. You seem to be struggling with that concept. Ford's fleet sales are still very high, notably higher than even GM.


"Fleet sales made the difference, with Ford’s rising 39 percent and GM’s dropping 13 percent."

"Ford said its commercial sales — mostly the F-series and Transit — rose 23 percent from a year ago and accounted for 14 percent of the month’s total."

http://www.autonews.com/article/20160401/RETAIL01/304019981/ford-outsells-gm-on-higher-fleet-shipments

"Much of Ford's fleet gains this year came from sales of vehicles such as Transit vans and F-series trucks to construction companies and other businesses."

"Ford says it's comfortable around its current fleet levels, although executives noted such sales aren't as profitable as selling to individual retail customers."

http://www.autonews.com/article/20161212/OEM/312129958/ford-stays-the-course-on-rental-fleet-sales

""Ford's fleet sales generated 29% of total sales: 12% commercial, 6% government, and 11% daily rental."

"Ford's year-over-year fleet sales are consistent, but notably, the figure was certainly higher than that of crosstown rival General Motors, which had less than 20% of its total sales from fleet segments."

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2017/01/04/3-key-takeaways-from-ford-motor-companys-december-sales-figures.html

"Ford says it's comfortable around its current fleet levels, although executives noted such sales aren't as profitable as selling to individual retail customers."

Please note: Unless I'm mistaken, Ford does not sell to "individual retail customers." Nor GM.

They sell to third party distributors, agencies, brokers and car dealers. I've never met anyone who drove to the factory and bought a car, have you?

It's a common mistake though. Maybe it's different in other countries.

Some car dealers actually specialize in the fleet market, just like a Caterpillar dealer might.

@2.7ecoboostroost: your comments concerning child actors are so laughable. You sound like you're ready to cry. LOL. Actors or not, they are real people. Because they are children, they are not really mature or old enough to make a choice of vehicle based on brand. Instead they are asked to comment on the style of vehicle, in this case comparing a car to a pick-up. Those commercials were very effective in the launch of the new GM mid size trucks, you know, the mid size trucks that Ford is now rushing to market in an attempt to compete with GM. Those commercials has undoubtedly raised awareness and changed peoples views on pick-ups overall. I believe the pick-up market, as a whole, has benefited from those commercials including Ford.



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