The Hyundai Santa Cruz Was the Fastest-Selling New Car in August
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In August, new cars sold over a week faster than they did in July, meaning that cars spent over seven days fewer at the dealership before being purchased.
After a year of crises for the auto industry, from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to a global semiconductor chip shortage that caused major supply chain issues, it looks like automakers can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Car-buying is bouncing back, and sales are once again accelerating.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz hit the number one spot as the fastest-selling vehicle in August, according to a report from iSeeCars. The automakers most represented on the list were Toyota and Lexus, each with six vehicles in the top twenty. The fastest-selling used car was Tesla’s Model 3, with the Model S and Model X also making the list.
The speed of car sales increased in August, with the Hyundai Santa Cruz as the fastest-selling new vehicle.
What’s so special about the new Hyundai Santa Cruz?
Hyundai recently released its new Santa Cruz pickup and boasted the fastest sales of any new car in the month of August.
The Santa Cruz is Honda’s first pickup truck, with many of the practical features of an SUV. Kelley Blue Book notes that the model has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds and offers two all-wheel drive models. Moreover, the Santa Cruz comes with free maintenance for up to three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. The front-wheel drive model starts at $23,990 and has a 2.5-liter engine.
According to Jose Munoz, Global Chief Operating Officer of Hyundai, “Santa Cruz, with its bold styling, breaks open an all-new segment territory, both for Hyundai and the industry as a whole. Open-bed flexibility coupled with closed-cabin security meets the ever-changing needs of its adventure-oriented buyers, while powerful and efficient engines and superb maneuverability ensure it is a pleasure to drive in urban or off-road environments”
Munoz adds, “Our customers will wonder just how they managed before owning one.” No doubt this model accounted for much of the August sales acceleration.
How fast are new cars selling, anyway?
According to data on over 900,000 car sales collected by iSeeCars, the typical new car took around 26 days to sell in August, while used cars took closer to 35 days. The speed of new car sales was up by more than a week from the month before, as new cars took an average of 35 days to sell in July.
The executive analyst of iSeeCars, Karl Brauer, said, “The microchip shortage is showing no signs of slowing down as major automakers continue to halt production, leading to lower and sometimes scarce inventory levels, especially for the most in-demand vehicles.”
Brauer added that the recent uptick in sales speed may be due to consumers finally realizing that the chip shortage isn’t going anywhere, and biting the car-buying bullet. “It looks like car-buyers who were initially waiting for prices to drop have embraced the reality that inventory shortages are here to stay, at least for several months,” Brauer said.
Which other new cars are selling quickly?
The 20 fastest selling new cars on iSeeCars’s list take 2.4 to 3.3 less time to sell than the average. This works out to an average of 9.9. fewer days left unsold. Most of the top 20 are SUVs, and hybrids represent 20% of the fastest sellers.
The top five fast-selling models were the Hyundai Santa Cruz, which took an average of eight days to sell; the Chevrolet Corvette, which took an average of 8.3 days; the Mercedes-Benz GLS, which took an average of almost nine days; the Subaru Crosstrek, which took an average of nine days, and the Toyota RAV4, which took an average of nine-and-a-half days.
Brauer explains the popularity of the Santa Cruz. “The Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup truck just started arriving at dealerships in August, and its asking price was marked up because it is not yet widely available,” reported Brauer, according to iSeeCars. “The aggressively-styled Santa Cruz truck is a niche vehicle that appeals to consumers who don’t need the full function of a traditional pickup but want the occasional cargo-hauling an open-bed offers beyond an SUV.”
The Santa Cruz beat out the Chevrolet Corvette, which was July’s winner. “Demand for the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette has exceeded supply since its launch for the 2020 model year,” Brauer said.
Brauer notes, however, that the Corvette’s sales speed is still quite impressive. “Dealers stopped taking orders for the 2021 model year in March, and demand remains so high the model consistently sells for over MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), with an average price of $89,788 compared to its MSRP range of $59,900–$79,850.”
Time will tell if the acceleration in car sales continues—and given that October is one of the best months to buy a car, it just might.