Sales Stronger than What They Seem
On August 1, Toyota announced U.S. July sales of 222,057 units, which, on a daily selling rate basis, was up 7.8 percent (and there was one fewer sales day than in July 2016) and up 3.6 percent of volume.
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On August 1, Toyota announced U.S. July sales of 222,057 units, which, on a daily selling rate basis was up 7.8 percent (and there was one fewer sales day than in July 2016) and up 3.6 percent of volume.
On August 2, Bob Carter, executive vice president, Sales, Toyota Motor North America, made the opening presentation at the CAR Management Briefing Seminar, and addressed the issue of sales, and noted that he saw a newspaper story that morning that included the verb crumble in its headline about July sales. (Overall sales were off about 7 percent from last July and 4 percent from June.)
Carter walked through the math and noted that the industry sold 1.415 million vehicles in July 2017 which calculates to a 16.8-million SAAR. And that in July 2016 the SAAR was 17.8-million.
While acknowledging that there is a softening, Carter said, “It’s still a 16.8-million market.”
And he suggested that if one thinks back not all that long ago in the industry, a 16.8-million SAAR would be the cause of extensive celebration.
Looking forward, Carter said that for the next 24 to 36 months there will be a plateauing of sales, which will be in the “upper 16-millions.”
But in Carter’s estimation, the auto industry is undergoing unprecedented change, not only in the sense that there is growing autonomy and electrification, but an array of competitors entering the market, the likes of which have not been seen in the industry—and he numbered companies including Uber, Apple, Google, and Amazon.
About the last-named, Carter noted that Amazon has set up Amazon.com/vehicles, that includes an array of car information and reviews, and Amazon.com/automotive-auto-truck-replacements-parts, which offer what its name implies. He added, “They’re not selling cars. . .yet.”
He went on to say that there are also considerations related to the burgeoning number of non-traditional technology suppliers that traditional OEMs have to learn to work with, if not completely partner.
Carter said that optimism is part of his DNA. And that notwithstanding, he sees solid sales going forward.
Often when there are vehicles that have ceased production and are in the process of being completely moved out of the system there are sales numbers that look like this: Honda Insight: June 2016, 9; June 2015, 126; % change: 93.1% Sometimes there is a vehicle that has just gone into production and it catches the sales at just the right time so that there are numbers that look like this: Honda Ridgeline: June 2016, 2,472; June 2015, 7; % change: 33,856% OK.
The previous-generation Hyundai Elantra (2010 to 2015) had the edgy Fluidic Sculpture design forming its sheet metal; it’s bigger brethren, the Sonata, was more visible in this regard, though the smaller size of the Elantra gave the skin a greater tautness than was the case on the Sonata.
Outside of a pickup truck, there is no vehicle that’s sold in greater units than the Toyota RAV4. So when they developed the new generation, they had a whole lot to consider.