August was a very good month for U.S. sales of cars and light trucks. Industry research firm Kelley Blue Book (KBB) now estimates that seasonally adjusted annual sales in 2013 will reach 16.1 million units, up 11% over the 14.5 million units sold in 2012.
Looking at the various segments of the auto industry, KBB reports that the highest growth segment for the month of August was the luxury sports car group, with sales up 31.4% year-over-year. That is great for Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, but total sales in this segment number just 27,759 for the first eight months of the year. At an average sales price of $87,562, Porsche easily wins the prize for highest price, followed by Jaguar at about $66,000. Among luxury sport utility vehicle sales, Land Rover’s average sales price is right around $65,000.
For most of us, however, the mid-size car, compact car, compact crossover and full-size pickup segments are the likeliest choices for a new car purchase. Fully 60% of all vehicles sold to date in 2013 are listed in one of these segments. General Motors Co. (GM), Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Toyota Motor Corp. (TM), Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (HMC), and Chrysler Group are the sales leaders, and every one of these offers a variety of vehicles in each of the four best-selling segments.
Market share leader GM, with 18.4% share in August, received an average sales price of $34,531 for the nearly 276,000 vehicles it sold last month. The average price is 0.7% higher than it was in August last year. The company’s best-selling vehicle is the Silverado pickup.
Toyota claimed market share of 15.4% in August and an average sales price per vehicle of $29,188, up 0.8% over August 2012’s average price. Toyota’s Corolla is the second-best selling compact car, and the Camry is the best selling mid-size car. The family of Prius hybrids claimed a 70.3% market share in August, up nearly 30% year-over-year.
Ford’s August market share came to 14.7% with an average sales price per vehicle of $34,463, up 1.5% from the August 2012 average. Ford’s top sellers are its full-size F-series pickups, which sold more than 71,000 units in August, a year-over-year jump of 22.1% and a month-over-month gain of 17.6%.
Honda grabbed 11.1% market share in August and its average sales price per vehicle was $27,507, up 2.5% from its year-ago average. The Honda Civic is the best-selling compact car and the CR-V is the best-selling compact crossover. The Accord trails only Toyota’s Camry in the mid-size segment.
Chrysler held 11% of the August market and its average sales price was $32,439, up 3.9% compared with August 2012. As with Ford and GM, Chrysler’s Ram pickup trucks led the company’s August sales. The Ram trucks average sales price in August was $40,125, up 4.7% year-over-year for the month.