Compared with July 2010 Japanese luxury auto sales remain in the tank. Compared with June 2011, however, last month’s sales helped Acura/Infiniti/Lexus take back a portion of the market they feel is rightfully theirs. From June, Acura’s market share in the premium brand segment rose from 8.2% to 10.4%. Infiniti improved on June’s 4.4% with a 5.1% performance. Lexus gained nearly two full percentage points, rising from 6.5% to 8.4%.
On the other hand, Canada’s three favourite luxury brands in July were BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi – in that order – and BMW and Audi’s 14% year-over-year gains far exceed the market’s overall 4.9% decline. Acura was down nearly 19% in July; Infiniti fell 28.2%; Lexus was off last year’s pace with a 22.1% drop.
Nevertheless, it does appear as though the luxury market is gradually returning to pre-Japanese disaster conditions. In Canada, this means Cadillac and Lincoln are left out in the cold. Fiat, selling just the Cinquecento, out-sold the whole Cadillac range in July. Lincoln will supposedly be revitalized in the near future, but for now, year-to-date sales are down 6.2%. BMW out-sold Lincoln at a rate of three to one in July even as Lincoln sales rose 6.7% year-over-year.
Worse, however, is the fact that Cadillac market share slid from 5.8% in June to just 5% in July. Lincoln, fortunately, was up to 7.1% from 5.9%. Market share figures for luxury auto brands competing in Canada can be seen in the chart below. If you want to see Hyundai and Buick here, well, that’s not about to happen. But sales data for those cars will appear in GCBC’s Canadian July 2011 sales section, so keep watch over the next few days.