Chrysler was down 36%. Ford was down almost 30%. GM was down 18%. Nissan was down 18%. Toyota was down 21%.
There were a few bright spots, as Honda actually increased sales by 1% and Hyundai increased sales 3.5%. Daimler was up 13% and Subaru had an increase of 5%.
But all in all, it was an ugly month for the auto industry, which went from 1.455 million down to 1.189 million sales in June. Through the first six months of 2008, sales are down by 10% across the industry.
But it's clear there are ways out of the downturn in sales. Honda holding steady shows it can be done. Toyota had trouble keeping up with the demand on its fuel efficient vehicles, like hybrids. These days, the days to get a Prius or Camry Hybrid off a dealer's lot is about 3 days.
Toyota had a one-day supply of the Prius hybrid and a 2-1/2 day supply of its hybrid Camry sedan at the end of June.That's easy enough to interpret. The hybrid car is being sold before it gets to the dealership. It just takes the new owner a day or two to go pick it up. As Lentz puts it, "We don't know what the top end on Prius is."
But in the meantime, hybrid car sales are dropping as Toyota, which sells 3/4 of all the hybrids in the US, just can't keep up with the demand right now.
Ford, GM, et. al. are also doing well when it comes to their smaller, more fuel efficient cars. They are also doing very well when it comes to their hybrid cars. The days to turn any hybrid car is down to 20 days (pdf). That's incredibly fast. The average number of days for the industry is about 60 days.
It's the loss of trucks and SUV sales that makes it look so bad right now. As inventory is lowered in those larger vehicle segments and increased in the smaller, more fuel efficient segments, the sales will increase again.