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July sales: GM's four core brands up 25%, Ford up 3%, Toyota down 3%

UPDATED at 3:43 p.m.:

By Frank Ahrens

General Motors' July sales of its four remaining brands shot up 25 percent last month compared with July of last year.

GM's four core brands are Chevy, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. The automaker, as part of its bankruptcy process last year, has halted or is shedding the Hummer, Saturn, Saab and Pontiac brands.

Overall, GM's total July sales were up 2.6 percent compared with June and up 5 percent compared with July 2009. The halted brands sell so few vehicles that they are a drag on the sales number of the core brands.

Toyota's July U.S. sales were down 3.2 percent compared with July 2009, but the Japanese giant still managed to outsell Ford (ex-Volvo) by 3,000 vehicles.

Ford's sales were up 3 percent compared with July 2009, but flat compared with this June. This is a rare slowdown for Ford, which has been the biggest beneficiary of the bankruptcy filings of its two Detroit competitors.

Honda was off slightly compared with July 2009 but up 5 percent from June of this year.

Chrysler was up 5 percent compared with July 2009.

Other automakers' July results:

  • Hyundai was up 19 percent from July 2009.

  • Kia (which is 38-percent owned by Hyundai) was up 21 percent from July of last year.

  • Subaru was up 10 percent compared with July 2009.

  • Daimler (Mercedes Benz) was up 7 percent from last July.

    According to, GM is paying consumers the most to buy their cars, via incentives. In July, GM paid an average incentive of $4,093 per vehicle, up from $3,617 last July.

    The industry average for July of this year was $2,753, up from $2,686 last July.

    Chrysler has actually been able to reduce its incentives, a positive sign, from $4,201 per vehicle last July to $3,105 last month.

    Toyota increased its incentives from $2,141 in June of this year to $2,204 in July, and July sales rose 20 percent compared to June.

    Automakers are reporting their July sales throughout the day today. Check back for updates.

  • By Frank Ahrens  |  August 3, 2010; 3:43 PM ET
    Categories:  U.S. Economy  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Low wages, spending, factory orders cast gloom on Wall St.
    Next: Economic agenda: Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010


    Consider the continuous round of discounts and rebates that General Motors—a company that lost $8.6 billion last year—has been offering to customers. If you bought a Chevy Tahoe this summer, G.M. would give you zero-per-cent financing, or six thousand dollars cash back. Surely, if you are losing money on every car you sell, as G.M. is, cutting car prices still further in order to boost sales doesn’t make any sense. It’s like the old Borsht-belt joke about the haberdasher who lost money on every hat he made but figured he’d make up the difference on volume. The economically rational thing for G.M. to do would be to restructure, and sell fewer cars at a higher profit margin—and that’s what G.M. tried to do this summer, announcing plans to shutter plants and buy out the contracts of thirty-five thousand workers. But buyouts, which turn active workers into pensioners, only worsen the company’s dependency ratio. Last year, G.M. covered the costs of its four hundred and fifty-three thousand retirees and their dependents with the revenue from 4.5 million cars and trucks. How is G.M. better off covering the costs of four hundred and eighty-eighty thousand dependents with the revenue from, say, 4.2 million cars and trucks? This is the impossible predicament facing the company’s C.E.O., Rick Wagoner. Demographic logic requires him to sell more cars and hire more workers; financial logic requires him to sell fewer cars and hire fewer workers.

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

    It is amazing what a company with worthless products can do if it is given $50 BILLION in taxpayer money.

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

    SO nice to see that disgusting, genocidal product known as the Hummer die at long last. According to a WHO study published in Nature several years ago, 150,000 deaths a year are already attributed in part to global warming (and we are just getting started). Unless you despise humanity and your country (increased droughts in the southwest are on the docket for the next few decades), you do not buy a needless gas waster and greenhouse gas factory. Stop killing your extended family, people. You might as well be murdering (slowly and indirectly, but quite literally) when you buy bloated metal heaps like the Suburban or Expedition. Those must die next. BE A REAL PATRIOT, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DRIVING. PLEASE.

    Posted by: B2O2 | August 3, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

    Let's get Obama & Co. out of the car business and force GM to compete in the real business world. Failure to do so is not fair to Ford and it's workers, and is a disastrous policy for the country US Auto manufacturing.

    Posted by: doug7772 | August 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

    Yippee!! Screw the Japs!

    Posted by: adrienne_najjar | August 3, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

    anonymous said:

    " Surely, if you are losing money on every car you sell, as G.M. is..."

    what evidence do you have that GM loses money on every car they sell? I don't think this is true.

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse


    Are you telling us that as soon as GM repays the loan to the US, you will start buying GM products again?

    Do you realize that the US is making NO management decisions, because the portion of GM that the government 'owns' actually is the collateral GM is using to 'guarantee' the loan?

    Or are you telling us that it would have been better for the GM employees, retirees, families of the former, suppliers, dealers, small businesses providing meals to the workers, etc., etc., etc., etc. if GM had been allowed to cease operations?

    Maybe you should occasionally turn off Faux News, Lush Rimbaugh, and the other right-wing screamers and get some information from other sources? And then you might find that not all what Faux News 'reports' is actually factual.

    As to Lush? Hasn't he already stated lots of times that he's 'just an entertainer'?

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

    Oh No! It's Obama's fault again!

    Posted by: knjincvc | August 3, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

    Oh No! It's Obama's fault again!

    Posted by: knjincvc | August 3, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

    As another proof of what utter complete Lunatics Republicans are, really what TRUE enemy of American people Republicans are, take the FACT that they did not want to provide help to the US Auto maker in early 2009 which would have resulted in GM and Chrysler going bankrupt and having added 500,000 more to the role of the Unemployed plus 1000 of other supplying companies to GM and Chrysler going bankrupt that would have added another 500,000 or more to the role of the Unemployed. But instead due to the capital infusion that GM and Chrysler got from the Government, because they could not get the same capital infusion in early 2009 from the so called markets due to the near collapse of US markets, they are now doing fine and are adding 1000s to their payrolls. In fact if the US Government had not provided capital to GM and Chrysler in 2009 and they had gone bankrupt then American people’s choice for buying cars would have been limited to German & Japanese cars which according to Republican lunatics are “Socialist countries…” since both Germany & Japan have Universal nationalized health care in their countries for their people & businesses, which is one of the reasons why their Auto makers and their economies are doing so much better than the US Auto makers and economy.

    More here:

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

    Anonymous - seems you forgot about Ford, which, by the way, didn't take the government money so today isn't owned by the government or the unions. Besides that, what's wrong with buying a honda or toyota if those cars are actually made here in the US - doesn't that support US jobs? How many "American" cars are actually made in Canada or Mexico? Anyone for buying a Fiat - oh wait that is Italian, but doesn't it now control Chrysler - so I guess Chrysler should be off the table as those profits will go back to Italy? Or maybe one of those Volts that actually goes a whopping 40 miles before kicking in the old gas engine or maybe wait for the Honda car that will get 100 miles on a charge?

    Posted by: termiteavenger | August 4, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

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