Trucks and SUVs continue to keep new vehicle sales on track

In what has become a solid market trend this summer, sales of trucks and SUVs kept total new vehicles sales on track in July, ringing up an increase of more than 15 percent over July of 2014. According to figures released by the Greater Cleveland Automobile Dealers’ Association (GCADA), franchised new car dealers across Northern Ohio sold 7,929 trucks and SUVs last month compared to 6,888 trucks and SUVs in July of 2014.

As with June, new car sales took a hit, declining just over seven percent for the month. Total new vehicle sales were off 0.74 percent for the month of July, but are still up 0.43 percent for the year to date — essentially flat with last year’s pace.

“In terms of the overall market, we are hitting a plateau,” says Louis A. Vitantonio, president of the GCADA. “We are still predicting a slight increase for overall sales of new vehicles for the year, with trucks and SUVs gaining a slightly larger share of the market.”

While sales of trucks and SUVs are on the increase due to more favorable fuel prices and the increased features and amenities found on larger vehicles, cars still make up the lion’s share of the overall market. In July, franchised new car dealers sold 15,832 cars compared to the 7,929 trucks and SUVs mentioned earlier.

In terms of overall brand sales, the gap between number one Ford and number two Chevy is narrowing. Chevy dealers sold 3,610 vehicles in July, just 241 vehicles less than Ford. The competition between numbers three and four was even tighter, with third-place Honda selling 2,130 vehicles in the month, just ten more than its offshore rival Toyota. Three brands enjoyed a strong month, led by Smart with a 50 percent increase, Jeep with a 29.58 percent increase and Mitsubishi with a 24.82 percent increase when comparing last month’s sales against July of 2014.

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