U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 6.3 percent in September — the first gain of the year — on strong truck demand and fatter deals.Some analysts expected industry volumes last month to benefit from replacement demand for hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. But the robust results — underscored by a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 18.58 million for the month — blew well past the most optimistic forecasts.It is the highest SAAR since the 20.64 million rate recorded in July 2005 behind employee-style discounts.“The auto industry showed renewed strength in September, bringing optimism for a third consecutive year with sales topping 17 million new vehicles,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division.It was a particularly strong month for light trucks, with sales advancing 12 percent, while car demand remained weak and down 3.3 percent.“The overall strength of the U.S. economy is the main force driving the market,” GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said in a statement. “With the U.S. economy strengthening, retail sales should remain strong for the foreseeable future.”Sharp gains at Ford, Nissan, Honda, Toyota and General Motors drove most of the industry’s deliveries last month.GM’s 12 percent jump marked a second straight strong month after a tepid start to 2017. Toyota Motor Corp. scored a 15 percent increase, its strongest in two years. Ford Motor Co., up 8.9 percent, snapped a three-month losing streak. Nissan Motor Co. up 9.5 percent, bounced back from a double-digit decline in August. American Honda tallied its biggest gain in 17 months.FCA US, meanwhile, dropped 10 percent as the company searches for its first advance in more than a year.
New car sales for August: Winners and losers
U.S. light-vehicles sales slipped 1.8 percent last month and the seasonally adjusted, annualized pace of sales fell to the lowest level — 16.13 million — since February 2014 behind a late-month …
Automaker by automakerGM said sales rose 17 percent at Chevrolet, 9.4 percent at GMC and 1.1 percent at Cadillac, with volume down 20 percent at Buick. GM’s crossover deliveries jumped 43 percent, while truck volume rose 10 percent and passenger car demand fell 11 percent.Sales rose 9.3 percent at the Ford division and 0.1 percent at Lincoln.Ford said truck sales rose 20 percent, with F-series deliveries topping 80,000 units last month — marking only the third September on record that milestone has been achieved. Car demand slipped 1.3 percent and utility volume rose 1.8 percent, Ford said.Toyota Motor Corp. sales rose 15 percent, with deliveries rising 17 percent at the Toyota brand and 1.5 percent at Lexus. The Toyota division’s SUV sales rose 43 percent and pickup volume jumped 16 percentDeliveries were up 9.3 percent at the Nissan division, behind another strong month for truck sales, and 12 percent at Infiniti.Every FCA US brand aside from Alfa Romeo posted a decline. Jeep sales, down 3.8 percent in September, have now fallen 13 straight months, just as FCA itself.The Honda division, up 7.4 percent, drove a 6.8 percent increase at American Honda, with Acura advancing 1 percent.Sales rose 6.6 percent at Kia, ending the brand’s 8-month skid, 3.4 percent at Mazda and 17 percent at Mitsubishi. Subaru managed to keep its streak going with a 0.4 percent gain.The Volkswagen brand continued to recover from its diesel-emissions crisis by recording a 33 percent surge. Audi, meanwhile, shot up 9.6 percent.
Certified Pre-Owned vehicle sales are flattening — here’s why
In fact, sales are a bit flat. Automotive News reports Certified Pre-Owned sales dropped 3.2 percent in July (the latest data available) from July 2016, while in the first seven months this year sales …
After the hurricanesU.S. sales have now fallen 1.7 percent this year through September after seven straight annual gains and a record 2016.The seasonally adjusted annualized pace of sales was expected to come in at 17.4 million, down from 17.72 million in September 2016, according to 12 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. There were 26 selling days last month compared to 25 in September 2016.IncentivesWith consumer demand slipping amid income growth, steady jobs gains, low interest rates and rising U.S. equity markets, dealers and automakers have been forced to dangle bigger deals to spur showroom traffic.Edmunds estimates average new-vehicle incentives spiked 21 percent to $3,506 last month compared with September 2016. ALG says the average new-vehicle incentives rose 1.5 percent to $3,742 last month over Sept. 2016, with GM, Nissan and FCA US the biggest spenders among mass-market automakers. (See chart below.)Even with the fatter deals, inventories continued to grow last month, with the average new vehicle now sitting on a dealership lot for 80 days before being sold, Edmunds says.And Edmunds says 2018 models represented only 16 percent of total sales last month as consumers took advantage of fatter deals on outgoing models.“With 6 of the 12 major automakers expected to pay in excess of $4,000 per car in sales incentives, one must question whether we will establish a new normal in terms of spending or whether automakers will collectively pull back and more closely align production with natural consumer demand,” said Eric Lyman, ALG’s chief analyst. “U.S. sales rise for first gain of year; SAAR soars to 18.58 million” originially appeared in Automotive News on 10/3/2017
By David Phillips at Automotive News