People in Lucas and Wood counties bought fewer new cars and trucks through the year’s first six months of 2013 than they did in the first half of last year, though stronger sales to people outside the area still have local dealers on pace to top last year.
Data from the Toledo Auto Dealers Association show area dealers sold 8,044 new cars and light trucks to buyers in Lucas and Wood counties through June, a 12 percent drop from the same period last year.
However, those same dealers sold a total of 15,519 vehicles through June, a 2 percent increase over last year.
Domestics continue to be heavily favored locally. The area’s top selling car was the Chrysler 200, the top truck was the Chevrolet Silverado, and the top sport utility vehicle was the Ford Escape.
Nationally, it’s been a good year for the auto industry, and dealers closed out the year’s first half with a big milestone. June’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, an important measure for industry observers, was nearly 16 million — the highest since before the recession.
On the year, U.S. auto sales are up 7.5 percent after growing 13.5 percent in 2012.
“We’ve seen consistent growth in new vehicle sales,” said Larry Dixon, senior auto analyst with the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Locally, Chrysler Group continues to be the leading car company for buyers in Lucas and Wood counties, according to the local association’s data, though not by much.
Through the year’s first six months, about 22 percent of new cars sold to buyers in Lucas and Wood counties were produced by Chrysler Group.
General Motors Co. was second with a market share of 21 percent.
Nationally, Chrysler has a market share of about 11 percent, while GM’s market share is about 19 percent.
Considering Chrysler’s big presence locally — with one plant that builds Jeeps and another that makes a crucial transmission part used in nearly all the company’s vehicles — it’s not surprising it does so well.
But it isn’t Jeep that’s carrying the weight. Chrysler sold 434 Jeeps locally through June, good for eighth place. Chrysler’s top brand locally was Dodge, which ranked third and accounted for 803 sales. Chrysler’s namesake brand followed with 467 sales, ranking seventh.
For GM, Chevrolet led the way with 1,195 sales, ranking second among area brands.
Ford Motor Co. was third, with a market share of 17 percent. But its Ford brand was the top-selling brand in Lucas and Wood counties, at 1,331 new cars and trucks.
Mr. Dixon said Ford has been one of the top performers nationwide.
“Their market share year-to-date has grown by almost a full percentage point and they’re really one of the shining stars so far year-to-date, and that’s because of the strength of their overall product portfolio,” he said.
They’ve recently released new versions of two of their most popular vehicles in the Ford Fusion and Ford Escape, and Ford has long had the top pickup truck in the market with the F-series.
Rob Whitner, general sales manager at Brondes Ford Toledo, said his dealership’s sales are up 9 percent on the year.
“Things have been good,” he said. “We’re actually selling more cars than trucks and Brondes on Secor, we’ve always been kind of a truck store.”
Nationally, the best-selling car was the Toyota Camry, the top-selling SUV was the Ford Escape, and the top-selling truck was the F-series, Edmunds.com said.
Looking ahead, analysts expect the industry to continue to grow. Some, including Mr. Dixon, actually believe the year’s second half will be better than the first.
“We expect things to progressively get better as the year goes on and we're looking at 2014 being even better than 2013,” he said.
Registration data from the Lucas County Clerk of Courts office shows buyers bought 22,777 new cars locally last year. Through June, the office counted 11,860 new cars sold in Lucas County, up from 11,490 in the first half of last year.
Officials with the auto dealers association have said previously their data can differ from the clerk of court because of lag time between titles being registered with the county and data being received by the company that prepares their reports.
Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at: email@example.com or 419-724-6134.