It appears the supply dynamic will soon get back to normal for Japanese automakers, which have recovered on the production front quicker than expected.
However, supply issues still plagued these automakers in July as their new-vehicle sales suffered, according to the American International Automobile Dealers Association.
Overall, there were 555,383 import sales in the U.S. during July, a 6.1-percent year-over-year drop and a 5.6-percent hike from June, AIADA noted. Year-to-date sales for imports have reached 3.92 million, a 7.5-percent year-over-year hike.
Domestics and imports combined to move about 1.06 million vehicles in July, a year-over-year increase of 0.9 percent and a 0.6-percent sequential gain.
“Unemployment, production shortages and uncertainty over our economic stability have all contributed to a sluggish summer for sales,” stated AIADA president Cody Lusk.
“In the fall, we expect stabilizing gas prices, rising consumer confidence and a return to normal inventory levels to drive an increase in transactions,” Lusk added.
Breaking it down, Japanese automakers like Toyota (off 22 percent), Honda (28.5 percent) and Subaru (off 9.4 percent) struggled in July. Conversely, looking at Korean brands, Hyundai’s sales jumped 10.1 percent and Kia climbed 28.5 percent.
Domestic brands improved July sales by 9.9 percent year-over-year, with year-to-date sales climbing 15.1 percent.
However, import brands still managed to grab more market share, increasing their share from 49.9 percent to 52.4 percent on a month-over-month basis.
The Big 3 market share dropped from 50.1 percent to 47.6 percent in the same time frame.
Of the 10 top-selling vehicles for the month, three were import models (Toyota Camry/Solara at No. 3, Nissan Altima at No. 6 and Hyundai Sonata at No. 7).
In June, just two imports made this list.
AIADA also provided the following graphs to better illustrate the month's sales data: