Auto Sales To Slow In June, But Not For Electric Vehicles.

JUN 30 2012 BY STAFF 5

Analysts across the industry are lowering new car sales forecasts for June and throughout the summer due to growing concerns about the economy, and the state of the American consumer.  That said, year over year sales will still track much higher than last year’s results.

5 Year Snapshot of US Auto Sales (YCharts)

Tracking site expects 1.3 million new cars to be sold in June, which represents a 4.7% decrease from May 2012.  However, that many vehicles sold in the month would show a 20.7% increase over last year.  The reason why a celebration is not in order for this dramatic improvement, is because June of 2011 was marred by the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami in March of 2011, leaving all the Japanese automaker’s dealerships here in the United States barren by June of that year.

Robust Sales for the Chevrolet Volt Expected for June

For this June’s results, Ford has said the economy for the month was ‘mixed’ and expects sales unchanged from May.  GM is forecasted to gain only marginally over last year, with Chrysler once again the surprise winner, with a sales increase of about 16%.

The big winners* this month will, again, certainly be the Japanese automakers working against disastrous comparables. Massive increases are expected anywhere from 20% (Nissan) to 50% (Honda) to 60% (Toyota).

Breaking the results down by vehicle segment this month however, should see a dramatic increase in the amount of electric vehicles hitting the road.  All the major EV players have come out this month to tout sales, new marketing programs and increased availability.

  • Chevrolet Volt – new HOV stickers, a $2,500 dealer incentive program lead a GM spokesperson to say “the company is “on track to have one of our strongest Volt months since  launch.”  (article here)
  • Nissan LEAF – Bill Kreuger, Vice Chairman of Nissan North America came out this month to state Nissan would still hit their goal of 20,000 units sold this fiscal year (thru March 31) despite only moving 1,459 LEAFs the first 3 months.  Nissan had blamed supply constraints in the past, and has said that September is when we start to see dramatic results.  Still, new model inventory for the company has reached an all-time high of 2,000 units, more than double that of last month.  (article here)
  • Mitsubishi i – while we still don’t expect much of anything from the smallest of the Japanese auto makers, having only sold 295 i-MiEVs over the last 7 months, Mitsu recently announced they have finally started an internet and print campaign to promote the car, as well as begun a superficially attractive $249/month lease deal (article here)
  • Tesla Model S – obviously the company was up against nothing for May, and as Tesla delivered the first 10 cars last week at the official first delivery ceremony (video) sales increases are assured.  Unfortunately, Tesla does not give out monthly numbers, so the finally tally for June will not be known until their next quarterly report (inaugural Model S review here)
  • Toyota Plug In Prius – this is the only real wild card of the bunch as the true on-going demand for the car is yet unknown.  The first full month of sales (April) saw 1,654 units move, but in the second month, sales normalized to just over a 1,000.  Toyota insists the demand for the car is still very strong.
  • Ford Focus Electric – like the Model S, the Focus EV is a very new entry into the market place and has a very low bar set for it to jump over.  About a half dozen cars were sold in May.  June should see many times that.

In all, the electric vehicle industry is expected to jump by over 50% for June, setting a new all time high for monthly deliveries.   And with new models and new supply coming online every month, the number should only increase from here.

June car sales will be released Tuesday throughout the day, and we will have all the up to the minute EV results by manufacturer here at InsideEVs as they are made available.

Graphic via Ycharts

Categories: Chevrolet, Ford, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota


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5 Comments on "Auto Sales To Slow In June, But Not For Electric Vehicles."

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I vote that, to be a member of the EV club, a vehicle should have design requirements that enable them to be driven electrically over 51% of the distances driven, as per the real world fleet average.

The PIP’s credentials probably won’t qualify for membership in this club. It’s still more of a gasoline hybrid rather than a hybrid electric as the Volt has proven to be.

I think that is a slippery slope, because you know the PIP drivers will say if you don’t include the Prius you shouldn’t include the Volt, or the Fisker, or the upcoming i3, etc.

We probably should have had the title as “Auto Sales To Slow In June, But Not For Plug-In Electric Vehicles” because that would have been an easy qualifier. I’ll send out a pink slip to whoever made this error for you, (=

“Anything with a plug” is basically the criteria for whatever you will see here at InsideEVs. No high efficiency cars, mini cars, ICE-only hybrids, etc.

(sidenote: what the hell am I doing here today, it’s my day off…I’ll catch you later, heeh)

I like that there are all kinds of different AER plug ins and would like to encourage the auto makers to continue to offer a wide variety of all electric ranges. The PIP certainly wouldn’t do it for me, but perhaps it would be perfect for my mom. She drives less than 20 miles on most days and probable doesn’t need to pay for and lug around a big battery when she won’t use it all the time. Occasionally she needs to drive far so a PHEV is a good fit. I drive about 90 to 120 miles per day and I’ve found that a pure EV with a real 100 mile range (MINI-E and now ActiveE) has been perfect for me. Even though I drive a lot I don’t need ANY gas. Works for me, but not for everyone and I recognize that. Horses for courses. If my mom bought a PIP and I bought a volt, I’d use more gas than she would but obviously that isn’t indicative of the PIP being ‘more electric’ than the volt. I just think it’s a little early to start claiming one car doesn’t qualify to be called electric because of it’s… Read more »

“If it has a plug and can drive on electricity, let’s welcome it to the club!”

Hear, Hear!

There are still so few options with any kind of plug, that I personally welcome them all to the club. The example of Tom’s versus his mother’s driving styles is exactly the reason we need a full range of options.

Personally, I own a Leaf and an Insight. If I replaced the Insight with a Volt, I would use more gas than replacing it with a PIP (I only really use it on LONG trips: 300+ miles).

The PIP is a glorified gasoline hybrid with its ICE directly critical to its propulsion.

The Volt is an EV with an asterisk, with its ICE indirectly critical to maintaining its propulsion via electricity.

Big difference IMHO.