In a sign that the U.S. auto industry’s prolonged inventory shortages have begun to ease, sales of Ford Motor, Hyundai and Kia vehicles rose by double digits, year-over-year, in August. By contrast, Toyota Motor and American Honda sales slipped from August 2021.
Helped by an extra day of sales and higher fleet shipments, U.S. vehicle deliveries climbed 4.8% last month, according to Automotive News. That topped the forecast range for a 3.6% to 4.6% gain and marked the first year-over-year monthly gain since the summer of 2021.
August saw a 27% increase in volume at Ford, with the Ford division jumping 28% and Lincoln 24%. The gains were felt across the automaker’s product line, with cars up 49%, commercial vehicles 48% and trucks 13%.
Demand remains robust, Ford says, with 76,000 retail orders for 2023 models in August, up 41% from the number of 2022 model year orders a year ago.
Inventory levels strengthened as Ford ended August with 259,000 vehicles in stock at dealerships or in transit. That was up from 254,000 at the end of July and 215,000 at the end of August 2021.
Meanwhile, Toyota Motor said unit volume fell 9.8% in August, with sales down 8% at its Toyota division and down 20% at Lexus. According to Automotive News, this is the 13th consecutive month of decline at Toyota and the seventh in a row at Lexus.
Year-over-year sales at Honda Motor fell 38% with the Honda brand down 36% and Acura down 47%, marking a 13th consecutive month of declines at Honda and 12 months for Acura.
But sales have recovered at Hyundai and Kia after five consecutive monthly declines. August sales volume jumped 14% at Hyundai and 22% at Kia.
“We’re seeing inventory starting to rebound, which has led to strong sales,” Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, told Automotive News. stocks.
Elsewhere, Subaru said sales volume rose 1.5% last month, Genesis reported a 2.6% gain and Volvo Cars said sales fell 4.6%. The rest of the auto industry reports quarterly sales.