The August auto sales figures have been reported, and there were many reasons for Japanese automakers to celebrate. Though Ford’s (NYSE:F) F-Series pickups still paced the industry with an impressive 71,115 units sold, cars by Japanese automakers took 6 out of the 10 top spots in U.S. auto sales last month. Like Ford, GM (NYSE:GM) has committed to making smaller cars a priority in company strategy. Here are the top six cars now keeping U.S. automakers at bay.
6. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota (NYSE:TM) Corolla has been threatened in overseas markets by the Ford Focus, but U.S. buyers made the Corolla the 10th best selling vehicle in the U.S. in August, at 26,861 cars sold nationwide. That figure amounts to over 6,000 more units than Ford sold of its Focus, which is scoring higher on style points but not in domestic sales.
5. Toyota Prius
The best-selling car in the state of California is the Toyota Prius, a hybrid that was also the 9th top-selling vehicle in the U.S. in August, with 27,358 units moving off the lots. That impressive figure got an exclamation point from the increase in sales compared to August 2012: the Prius leaped 30 percent in sales last month.
4. Nissan Altima
There is no question the Nissan (NSANY.PK) Altima is still winning the hearts of Americans. The Japanese automaker reported 30,976 units sold in the U.S. this August, making the Altima the 8th best selling vehicle (car or truck) in the nation. That marked a 20 percent increase over the August 2012 figures.
3. Honda Accord
Following news of its Odyssey receiving the IIHS top safety rating last week, Honda (NYSE:HMC) spread word about its impressive 50 mpg EPA estimate for its upcoming Accord Hybrid. The car will be built in Marysville, Ohio, where Honda has a major plant. U.S. buyers made Accord models the 5th best selling vehicle overall last month when 38,559 units of the car were sold.
2. Honda Civic
Selling even better than the Accord in August was the Honda Civic. Some 39,458 units moved on the lots of U.S. dealerships, making the Accord the 4th top-selling vehicle in the country. Sales soared 59 percent compared to August 2012 figures — easily the biggest increase of any car in the top 20. Only the two big U.S. pickups and the standard-bearer of the Toyota brand sold better among American buyers.
1. Toyota Camry
How good a month did the Camry have? For starters, it jumped the Chevy Silverado to nab #2 on the list of best-selling cars in the U.S. in August. According to Toyota, the automaker moved 44,713 units in total, up 22 percent compared to Camry sales figures from August 2012. However, those numbers only tell part of the story.
According to Edmunds.com data reported by Bloomberg, Toyota pushed its Camry incentive spending up $650 this August, nearly 35 percent higher than the automaker did in August 2012. As a result, the automaker had an average transaction price lower than each member of the Detroit Three, according to data from Truecar.com.
Nonetheless, sales figures count, and Toyota led the pack in a comeback for Japanese automakers, followed by Honda and Nissan. These six cars were the driving force behind the trend.
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