American Car Sales Slightly Off in June


As predicted, the catastrophic CDK ransomware outage seems to have had an impact on car sales in this country, with companies like Stellantis and Kia recording drops in volume.

Specifically, the Jeep brand was off by 19 percent last quarter compared to the same time last year, posting 147,147 deliveries. Every model was down save for the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, with profit centers like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee shedding 17 and 26, percent respectively. GC remains that brand’s top seller, if you’re wondering, at 52,296 units in the second quarter of 2024 and 106,751 so far this year (down 15 percent). Ram pickup trucks were down 23 percent last quarter and 20 percent on the year. Some, but not all, of these drops can be attributed to the cyberattacks.

Brighter news emerged at places like General Motors where sales were roughly flat thanks to Cadillac and Chevy losing a handful of units while Buick and GMC gained a few. Interestingly, GM is boasting that 40 percent of Blazer EV buyers are conquest customers defecting from brands like Jeep and Hyundai/Kia. Speaking directly to the CDK outage, The General said in an investor slide deck that “dealers who use the CDK platform are working to meet strong customer demand,” and that “some deliveries may be delayed until Q3.” This suggests paperwork for a number of June sales is simply moldering away on a sales manager’s desk, unable to yet be posted to the system and distorting actual numbers. Keep this in mind three months from now when viewing GM’s Q3 numbers – good or bad.

Honda, Subaru, and Mazda were up by notable margins at three, five, and seven percent respectively. Talking heads are looking at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales somewhere in the 14.7 million to 16.2 million ballpark, with inventory continuing to rebound. With the latter comes incentives in some corners of the market, a development on which we will be keeping an eye after supply constraints led to some customers paying over sticker just to get behind the wheel. Analysts say average transaction prices are pegged around $44,800 last month after peaking at an eye-watering $47,329 in December 2022.

[Image: Gretchen Gunda Enger/Shutterstock]

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