Saturn Sales Decline in July Inline with Industry; Aura, Sky, Astra Sales Increased Last Month

Saturn sales were down 13.6% in July, despite higher sales of the brand's newly revitalized and fuel-efficient car lineup. The jump in sales by the Astra, Sky, and Aura, though, wasn't enough to offset the sales gap left by the discontinued Ion sedan and quad coupe. As a result, Saturn's car sales fell 12.7% last month compared to July 2007. Saturn truck sales didn't fare well either, as they fell 14.7%.

The news isn't all bad, however, as Saturn's sales actually tracked right along with the auto industry. According to a report published this afternoon by Automotive News, U.S. auto sales also fell 13.6%. When comparing specific brands, the trade magazine says that Chrysler sales were down 28.8%, as was GM (-26.1%), Ford (-14.7%), Toyota (-11.9%), and Honda (-1.6%). Weak industry conditions caused by a challenging U.S. economic environment, higher fuel prices and inventory shortages in critical segments such as compact cars contributed to GM's overall sales decline for the month.

That didn't stop some vehicle sales from rising. The Aura midsize car saw a sales increase of 24%, while the two-seat Sky sold 14% more vehicles than July last year. Retailers sold 7,202 Auras (up from 5,827) and 1,042 Skys (up from 912). Year-to-date sales of the Aura totaled 40,140, up 21.4% for the same time last year. Astra monthly sales of more than 1,500 vehicles were the best to date, and showed a 75% increase compared with June 2008 (Astra was not available last July). On the truck side, both the Vue and Outlook saw sales decreases. While Vue sales were only off 5% to 5,426 (down from 5,711), sales of the Outlook were down 29.2% to 2,368 units (down from 3,345). In addition, GM says there were 29 Saturn Aura and 362 Vue hybrids sold in July.

Source: General Motors, Automotive News

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