August 2015 Auto Sales Stats: Background Information

2015 Chevrolet Silverado HD
America's new vehicle industry reported a 0.6% year-over-year loss in August 2015, a modest decline which masks the fact that auto sales continued to sell at a hot pace. August 2014's figures took into account a longer period, one which included traditional Labour Day sales. August 2015's figures did not.

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate, an equation which takes severe seasonal fluctuations into account, continued above the 17 million-unit mark in August. The daily selling rate in August 2015 was better than it was in August 2014.

U.S. Vehicle Sales Rankings By Model - August 2015 YTD
U.S. Car Sales Rankings By Model - August 2015 YTD
U.S. SUV/Crossover Sales Rankings By Model - August 2015 YTD

With that context in mind, with 21 August 2015-related sales articles already published to in September, and with another August 2015-related article published on Jalopnik, here are August 2015 U.S. auto sales facts you may have missed, factoids we may not have yet published, and tidbits deserving of mention from each and every brand.

August marked the first month in which we could see year-over-year TLX figures. Sales jumped 90% compared with the TLX's first month in August 2014. Compared with the TLX, TSX, and TL sales from August 2014, TLX sales in August 2015 were up 46%.
2015 Acura TLX
Acura TLX. Top: Chevrolet Silverado HD
Alfa Romeo's 4C enjoyed its second-best month yet in the U.S. 75 4Cs were sold in the U.S, down from 97 in January's peak but up from 48 in July.

Audi's 10% August improvement occurred with a dramatic increase in Q volume. The Q3, Q5, and Q7 crossovers combined for 8256 sales, 44% of Audi's total. Those figures are up from 5859 and 34% in August 2014.

Even in a great month for BMW's SAVs, the company's five X models, the 3-Series was still a far more consequential singular product for BMW USA. The five-pronged SUV/CUV lineup was up 9% to 8143 units – 3-Series sales jumped 24% to 10,163 even without the 4-Series, which was incidentally down 31% to 2940.

GM's Buick brand posted a modest 1% improvement in August even as car sales plunged 25%. The Enclave was up 27% to 7389 units – more than the LaCrosse and Verano combined – and Encore sales were up 29% to 6286, more than the LaCrosse and Regal combined.

Since December 2011, Cadillac has sold more than 6000 copies of its SRX only seven times. Three of those occasions, including August's 52% jump to 6903 units, have come in the last five months.

Top 13 Best-Selling Pickup Trucks In America - August 2015
Top 20 Best-Selling Cars In America - August 2015
Top 20 Best-Selling SUVs In America - August 2015
Commercial Van Sales In America - August 2015 YTD
Minivan Sales In America - August 2015 YTD

Chevrolet dealers want the new Cruze. Sales fell to a 23-month low in August 2015.

The Chrysler brand continues to run out of nothing more than a three-car stable, and with the Town & Country still falling (down 47% in August) following the plant shutdown in Windsor, Ontario, earlier this year, Chrysler brand volume plunged 14% last month. The 200 sedan/defunct Dodge Avenger tandem was up 2.5%.

Dodge's 15% year-over-year decline came as Avenger, Charger, Dart, Grand Caravan, and Durango sales all slid. The Journey, with 9375 units, was Dodge's best seller. August 2015 was the Journey's best U.S. August sales month ever. The Journey's best outright month was in June of this year when 9827 were sold.
2013 Scion FR-S
Scion FR-S
Fiat sold 1029 copies of the new Renegade-related 500X in August 2015, the best month yet for the 500X in its four-month lifespan. In the meantime, 500L sales, at just 305 units, were at their second-lowest total ever. 

Ford sales increased 6% in August 2015 as the F-Series posted its second consecutive 5% year-over-year improvement. Ford car sales, on the other hand, were down 7% as the Mustang and Fiesta provided the only boosts.

Combined, GMC and Chevrolet sold 85,755 pickup trucks in America in August 2015, 32% of GM's total volume. In August 2014, pickup trucks accounted for 25% of GM's volume.

Honda's Accord was America's best-selling car for the first time since September 2014. But in comparison with August 2014, when Accord sales rose to the highest level ever, volume was down by a fifth, or 10,144 units, in August 2015.

As Hyundai's car division saw its sales decrease by 1287 units in August, the brand's crossovers posted a 3296-unit improvement, helping the brand to a 3% increase. But Hyundai still generated only 22% of its year-to-date volume with the Santa Fe, Santa Fe Sport, and Tucson.

Nissan's upmarket Infiniti division recorded a 16% year-over-year increase in August. Only Mitsubishi, Volvo, Jeep, and Land Rover grew at a faster pace. Infiniti's SUVs were up 34%; Infiniti's cars were up 1% even as the Q40 fades away. Only 264 were sold last month, down from 1546 a year ago.

Jeep sold 80,804 new vehicles in August 2015, the highest monthly figure in the brand's history. The Cherokee was the brand's top seller; the Wrangler sold nearly as often as the Cherokee. Grand Cherokee sales slid 8% to 17,144, nearly as many sales as the Cherokee and Wrangler. Jeep then sold 18,581 copies of the Compass and Patriot – more than the Wrangler managed – plus 8156 Renegades, 29% more than in July.

Jaguar's press release regarding August 2015 sales says, "The 15MY XF, typically the Jaguar volume leader, is being replaced this winter with the all new 16MY XF sedan based on new lightweight aluminum architecture." But the lowliness of XF sales isn't directly related to the XF's transition phase. A year ago, XF sales were actually lower. No, the lowliness of XF sales – up 13% to 321 in August – is directly related to, well, the lowliness of XF sales.

August 2015 was the best month ever for the Kia Soul, a surprise success half-a-decade ago but now a mainstream player. With 17,108 August sales, the Soul was Kia's best-selling model and America's tenth-best-selling car, ahead of mainstream players like the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Nissan Sentra, and Chrysler 200.

Land Rover, Jaguar's Indo-Brit partner brand, posted a 16% jump in August sales as the Discovery Sport finally took off. Compared with the LR2's performance from a year ago, Discovery Sport sales were up 139% to 881 units.

Lexus was America's top-selling premium brand in August 2015 with a year-over-year 2% improvement to 33,487 units. Take away the NX and RC, Lexus products which didn't exist a year ago, and Lexus sales were down 16% to 27,702.

Like its Ford parent brand, Lincoln sales rose 6% in August. Like its Ford parent brand, Lincoln's non cars performed better this year than last – SUVs/CUVs were up 17% – but Lincoln's cars slid 9%, forming just 36% of the brand's total volume.

Mazda sold 10,033 CX-5s in August 2015. That 6%, 676-unit loss came as Mazda USA began selling the CX-3: 698 of them.

Mercedes-Benz began selling their new GLE-Class SUV in August. New? The GLE is, in part, just the M-Class renamed. (The GLE also includes the new "coupe" Benz SUV.) 1802 GLEs were sold in addition to the 2679 MLs registered. The M-Class alone was down 22%. Together, the GLE and M-Class were up 30% to 4481 units.

49% of the Minis sold in America were of the four-door variety, including the Cooper Hardtop 4-Door and the Countryman. That figure's basically on par with the Countryman's market share from August 2014, before the Cooper Hardtop 4-Door arrived.

Mitsubishi, oft-ignored and usually forgotten, reported the brand's 18th consecutive monthly year-over-year increase in August. Mitsubishi is on track for more than 95,000 sales in calendar year 2015. Mitsubishi sold 345,111 new vehicles in 2002.

Nissan's cars took a 7% hit in August as three products fell by more than half, as the Maxima plunged 30%, and as the Sentra and 370Z tumbled, as well.

Porsche's 10% increase was powered by the products Porsche didn't sell at the beginning of this century. 911 sales slid 7.5%; Boxster volume was down 21%. But the 918 Spyder, Cayman, Panamera, Cayenne, and Macan were collectively up 19%.

FCA's Ram brand continues to post modest pickup truck sales growth, but commercial van volume is strengthening. From 6.1% of the Ram brand's August 2014 volume, the commercial van's share of the brand's sales rose to 8.4% in August 2015.

Toyota's Scion brand was down 37% in August, sadly not surprising at all. Every model in the brand's fleet was down: FR-S, iQ, tC, xB, and xD. They slid 33%, 96%, 28%, 15%, and 98%, respectively. The iM and iA are on sale now.

New third-gen Smart Fortwos are beginning to arrive at the CN Autoport just down the road from GCBC Towers in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. And dealers surely want the new cars, thought to be a far more appropriate choice for American small car buyers than the old car, which GCBC still fondly recalls. Smart sales plunged 54% to only 617 units in August.

Subaru's best ever Forester month helped push the brand above the 50,000-unit mark for the second consecutive month after ten months below 50K. August was also the best month ever for the XV Crosstrek. Combined, Forester and XV brought in 26,364 sales, precisely half of Subaru's U.S. August volume.
2016 Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90
Toyota's 10% drop in August 2015 was the fifth-worst in the industry. Only Smart, currently replacing the brand's lone car, Scion, Toyota's own sub-brand, Chrysler, and Dodge fell more harshly. Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Prius, Prius V, Prius C, Venza, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, RAV4, Sienna, and Tundra sales all decreased.

During a month in which the industry failed to match last August's volume, struggling Volkswagen sales predictably slid 8%. The Golf and Tiguan were the bright lights, but together they account for less than one-third of the brand's business. Non-Golf/Tiguan sales were down 24%.

Volvo's not back, yet. But the new XC90 is performing in the early stages. Sales nearly tripled, year-over-year, to 918 units in August. And the new XC90 isn't stealing attention from the XC60, which rose 32% to 2361 units and is up 33% to 16,417 this year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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