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O.C. automakers report mixed month in July

Brands report increases, decreases for the summertime sales period

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: August 02, 2012 02:15 PM

Orange County automakers had a mixed set of results in July, with two brands reporting increases in U.S. sales. Declines over the period were attributed in part to models that have been taken out of production, and may also be in part due to a mid-model year lull in purchasing.

Kia Motors America, approaching the 2-year mark on the company’s ongoing winning streak of consecutive monthly sales records, with U.S. dealerships reporting a total of 48,074 vehicles sold during the month, making it the 23rd month of increasing sales for the brand. July’s figures represent a 5.6 percent increase over the same period last year. Year-to-date sales have shown a 15.9 percent increase over 2011 as well.

Costa Mesa’s Hyundai Motor America had a good month of sales, reporting an all-time record for July, with a total of 62,021 vehicles sold during the month. The number is up four percent over last year’s record for July. Year-to-date sales came in at 418,690, improving 9.5 percent over 2011.

Dave Zuchowski, the brand’s executive vice president of sales, said it was a solid month but that product shortages may have hampered more accelerated growth. “This is a challenging situation in this hyper-competitive retail environment, so we are looking forward to August with great anticipation.“ Zuchowski said Hyundai dealers will shortly receive the first shipments of the all-new Santa Fe, as well as new shipments of the Veloster Turbo, Elantra GT and Elantra Coupe.

Mazda North American Operations, headquartered in Irvine, reported a sales decline last month, with 19,318 vehicles sold during the period, a dip of 7 percent over the same period last year. The automaker’s year-to-date sales still make up for the loss, with a total of 163,115 units over the first seven months of 2012, improving 13.9 percent over 2011.

Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America’s sales also saw a decline in July, reporting a total of 4,194 vehicles sold across the country. The number has dropped 47.4 percent from the same period last summer. The brand’s year-over-year sales numbers were not disclosed.

MMNA CEO and President Yoichi Yokozawa emphasized that the automaker will continue to see a slide in its reported sales figures while models that are no longer being produced work their way out of the reports. “This condition will continue for the remainder of the summer,” Yokozawa said.

American Suzuki Motor Corporation, headquartered in Brea, reported sales of 2,266 vehicles last month. Relative figures and comparisons were not available.

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