As the Japanese Big Three continue to rebound from the previous year’s natural disasters, Honda, Toyota and Nissan all finished ahead of their domestic counterparts, Ford, GM and Chrysler, in terms of July sales growth. But to underline how much the first trio’s gains owe to their relatively low 2011 sales, here’s a quick ranking of the top six automakers in the U.S. last month by volume, with July increases—or losses—in parentheses:
General Motors—201,237 sales (-6.4 percent)
Ford—173,966 sales (-4 percent)
Toyota—164,898 sales (+26.1 percent)
Chrysler—126,089 sales (+13 percent)
Honda—116,944 sales (+45.3 percent)
Nissan—98,341 sales (+16.2 percent)
The point? Although it’s likely to happen sooner rather than later, Honda, Toyota and Nissan still haven’t quite gotten back to where they were in the pre-disaster days as far as volume goes. Which means more big gains are almost certainly on the way.