New Vehicles Pump August Sales into GM, Ford, Chrysler

By Joel Arellano | September 04, 2012
New vehicles halted the downward sales trend for General Motors and Ford. Sales for GM vehicle rose 11 percent in the retail market compared to the same time last year, and 6 percent in fleet sales. Cadillac sales, which had been dropping steadily the past few months, saw that drip-drip slow -- but not stop -- thanks to the introduction of the all-new XTS flagship sedan. Ford saw the all-new Escape crossover bring in the green, though Lincoln buyers saw a bargain with the outgoing MKZ sedan. Chrysler didn't introduce new vehicles in August. However, its massively refreshed lineup -- Chrysler brand, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, as well as Fiat -- continue to bring in customers. With one notable exception, all of Chrysler drop in sales come from discontinued models. General Motors Winners
  • Over 2,150 Cadillac XTS hit the dealerships in August and waiting arms of customers. We've driven the XTS and found it to be a technological marvel.
  • Demand for the Chevrolet Colorado continues to be strong, with sales over 66 percent compared to last year. Shoppers cannot wait for the new one, which is tentatively scheduled to hit the states sometime in 2014.
  • Crime waits for no one. Thus it's not surprising that police departments are lapping up the Chevrolet Caprice PPV as budgets allow. Caprice sales shot up over 200 percent compared to last year.
General Motors Losers
  • The Cadillac brand continues to hemorrhage with the discontinuation of full-sized DTS and mid-sized STS. Both saw sales drop over 95 percent from the same period last year.
  • Buick saw overall sales up over 12 percent compared to last year that was due almost single-handedly by the Verano. Sales of the full-sized Buick Enclave crossover SUV dropped nearly five percent from last year while the Regal saw demand plummet over 45 percent.
  • Looks like Chevy Colorado is cannibalizing sales of its GMC twin. Sales of the GMC Canyon dropped over 56 percent compared to August 2011.
Ford Winners
  • People like to escape in brand new cars, so it's not surprising the all-new Ford Escape brought August sales up and over 36 percent compared to last year (and last-gen model).
  • Lots of incentives must be driving sales of the 2012 Lincoln MKZ, which saw sales figure jump over 42 percent over last year. But it's understandable: the 2013 MKZ is all new and a seeming true challenger to the entry-level lux champ, the Lexus ES.
  • The Ford Crown Victoria is gone (see below). Thus America's finest are patrolling the streets and freeways in Taurus-based Interceptors. Ford sold nearly 700 of the Crown Vic replacements in the month of August.
Ford Losers
  • Ford sold just 190 Crown Vics, an over 96-percent drop from last August. Die-hards continue to venerate their favorite full-sized sedan.
  • Crown Vic twin Lincoln Town Car still has fans, though they're primarily livery. Ford sold 78 of the classic vehicle last month, a drop of over 93 percent compared to the same period last year.
  • Ford Fiesta sales continue to drop, falling over 28 percent versus last year. Apparently, its sibling Ford Focus is the better-size small car for most buyers.
Chrysler Winners
  • The Chrysler 300's transformation from gangsta mobile to Bentley/Rolls-Royce chic bling continues to draw people and their pocket books. Sales of the full-sized sedan were 65 percent higher than same time last year.
  • On the other end of the size spectrum, the subcompact Fiat 500 hatch continues to find buyers in "bigger is better" America. Is it the 500's fuel economy? Or the leggy model in the 500 commercials? (And, no, we're not talking about Charlie Sheen.)
  • Say what you say about minivans: Americans still love like them. Sales of the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan twin rose 30 and 35 percent, respectively, versus August 2011.
Chrysler Losers
  • Dodge Durango sales took a beating, falling 45 percent compared to last year. Is it the look? Fuel economy? Price? Even we're scratching our heads over this one.
  • Chrysler continues to trickle out the discontinued Dodge Nitro compact crossover to dealerships. Drip, drip….
  • Dodge Caliber, also discontinued, waits for the junkyard in the sky. Interest -- and thus sales -- dropped 90 percent from last year.
Source: Chrysler, Ford, GM