Cash for Clunkers continues to cast a long shadow: Big automakers had what looks to be a bad month, but last year the popular government program dramatically boosted the sales of many models, including the Toyota Camry, Honda Civic, Honda CR-V and Honda Accord. So the dramatic declines experienced by those models is not all too surprising.
Year-to-date, five of the models in the top 10 are selling less than they sold year-to-date in 2009. Before August, only one model on this list – the Dodge Ram – was selling worse in 2010 compared with 2009.
Toyota (down 31.4%), Honda (down 30%), Nissan (down 27%) and GM (down 24.9%) saw the most dramatic declines. Of course, Japanese automakers were the biggest gainers during Cash for Clunkers; GM’s decline is partly due to the strong sales gains by Pontiac and Chevrolet in August 2009. Chrysler saw a 7% increase because very few of its cars sold well during Cash for Clunkers.
The best selling full-size trucks — Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge Ram — performed well this month, and they were the only models on the list (besides the Hyundai Sonata) to post positive gains. Honda remains the automaker with the most cars on the list with three models, the same as last month.
*Honda Accord includes 2,642 Honda Crosstours