Honda Accord, Maserati, Tesla and other auto sales winners and losers

Nissan Leaf, Honda Accord, Jeeps and Maseratis were August auto sales winners

Watch out Toyota Camry, Honda’s Accord was the clear winner in the August sales race.

Honda sold more than 51,000 Accords, nearly a 33% gain, according to Autodata Corp., which tracks car sales data.

That pushed the Accord past Toyota Camry sales of 44,000. The last time the Accord beat out the Camry was in December.

But Honda contends that if you subtract commercial customers such as rental car agencies, businesses and government agencies, it is selling more Accords than Toyota is selling Camrys to everyday consumers.

Accord sales were especially impressive last month considering that the car also bumped past the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck to take second place on the list of best selling vehicles of any type for the month.

Chevrolet sold about 49,000 Silverados and is in danger of being caught by Chrysler’s surging Ram pickup. Ram truck sales jumped 33% last month to almost 44,000.

Still the Accord, Camry, Silverado and Ram all trail Ford’s F-Series truck – the best selling vehicle in America – by a large margin. Ford sold more than 68,000 trucks last month as it began its sell-down of the model. Ford is about to launch a new version of the truck late this year.

After years of tepid sales, Nissan is finally starting to move its Leaf electric car.

Nissan sold almost 3,200 Leafs in August, a monthly record for the car and a 32% gain from the same month a year earlier. The Leaf has logged nearly 19,000 sales this year, a 34% gain from the first eight months of 2013.

Tesla, meanwhile, is driving in the opposite direction. Sales of its electric Model S luxury car plunged 18% last month to 1,600, according to Autodata Corp. Sales for the year are down 1% to 12,200.

Sales of the plug-in hybrid Volt, Chevrolet’s entry in the electric car market, also are suffering. Chevy owner General Motors sold about 2,500 Volts last month, 25% fewer than it did in August a year ago. Sales for the year are down 12% to just over 13,000.

Looking at auto brands, Jeep hit a grand slam in August.

Helped by new models and a hot market for sport-utility vehicles and crossovers, the division of Chrysler saw sales rise 49% to 68,766 vehicles, Autodata said. Thanks to trucks, sales at Chrysler’s Ram division made it the second biggest gainer of the major car brands. Sales rose 39% to 46,594 vehicles.

Maserati, the Italian car company related to Chrysler through their joint ownership by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, had the biggest gain of any automaker selling cars in the U.S. last month.

Sales jumped 278% to more than 1,200 vehicles. U.S. sales for the maker of high-end Italian cars have risen 319% to almost 8,000 vehicles this year.  Its introduction of the Ghibli sports sedan has fueled the sales surge. Maserati has sold almost 5,000 Ghiblis this year.

Although U.S. auto sales are expected to cross 16 million mark this year for the first time since 2007, not every brand is doing well.

Cadillac sales were off nearly 18% last month and 5% for the year. Mini sales were off 17% for the month and 21% for the year.  And Volkswagen sales have fallen about 13% both for August and the year.

Follow me on Twitter (@LATimesJerry), Facebook and Google+.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
57°