Toyota, Honda dominate car sales. The Japan earthquake in March left many U.S. dealers scrambling for cars, yet the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord continue to top the chart in car sales after six months.
Through the first half of this year, the Ford F-series and Chevrolet Silverado pickups hold the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in sales. But Japanese automakers hold positions three through six.
At the end of June, the Camry holds a 10,300 unit edge on the Accord, with Toyota’s Corolla/Matrix line less than 1,000 units behind the Accord.
The Nissan Altima holds the No. 6 spot, but it is in a virtual dead heat with the Ford Fusion the two are separated by 156 cars. And Chevrolet continues to gain with the Cruze, which ranks No. 9 in sales after six months.
Overall, U.S. light vehicle sales totaled 6.3 million units in the first half of 2011, up 12.8 percent from the same period a year ago.
In the pony car war, the Chevrolet Camaro holds a near 10,000 cars lead over the Ford Mustang for the first half of 2011 48,761 Camaros versus 39,041 Mustangs. For June, however, the Mustang had a the edge with 8,835 sales to the Camaro’s 8,486.
Over in the exotics garage, combined sales of Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Lotus and Maserati are up 8.7 percent in the first half of the year. Only Aston Martin’s sales trail last year’s numbers.
Among the winners in the first half of this year:
Saab saw a 158 percent increase. Sales had dropped to 1,346 units in the first half of 2010 as the brand was on the verge of being shut down by General Motors.
Mitsubishi has seen its sales jump 67 percent so far this year.
Jeep is the third biggest winner at the halfway mark, with a 49 percent sales increase from 2010. It is closely followed by Kia, which saw a 44 percent improvement in sales, and Mini, which saw a 42 percent improvement.
On the other side of the coin:
Smart has seen its sales drop 20 percent this year, as Mercedes-Benz moves to take over sales of the brand in the U.S. market.
Lexus had a sales decrease of 18 percent, but many of its vehicles are built in Japan and supply has been disrupted by the earthquake.
Chrysler Division sales are down 11 percent so far this year, as dealers look for traction from the redesigned 200 and 300 sedans.
By MICHELLE KOUEITER