Auto sales in September continued to show strength compared to year-ago totals. The traditional Big 3 companies, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler reported positive sales gains, with Chrysler leading the way with a 27% increase year-over-year. General Motors sold over 200,000 units in September and reported an increase of nearly 20%, while Ford reported a more modest increase of 9%, selling 174,860 units.
Some Japanese manufactures are still feeling the effects from the tsunami that rocked their country this year. The severe weather there disrupted the supply chain that provides parts and logistics for them and that has hampered sales as some vehicles have had problems getting parts to fill vehicle orders. Toyota sales are down 17.5%, while Honda reported a decline in sales of 8%. Some smaller Japanese manufacturers were less affected by the supply chain disruption and reported higher sales, with Mazda leading that group with a 37.4% sales increase and Nissan sales improving 25.3%.
Korean manufacturers, lead by Hyundai, continue to make significant progress in the American auto market. Hyundai sales rose nearly 12% to 52,051, while Kia sales increased 18.4% to 35,609 units.
Saab continues to struggle in the U.S. market, its sales declining 62% and only selling 429 units. Saab’s future continues to remain cloudy as the company struggles to find a buyer for itself or find a viable path to sustainability.
While sales have remained fairly strong and steady for most automakers, each has done a very good job hiding how much incentives are driving sales. In the past, cash rebate amounts were a very prominent selling feature for vehicles, despite that tactic’s profit-erosion ability. Cash rebates are touted much less, but are still a vital component to new car sales. Shop around to determine the best deal for your budget.
Some OEMs will be launching new models this fall, although that cycle has faded as automakers release new models when they’re ready and at a timeframe that presents the least amount of competition from other automakers.
We’ll see how sales look for October in early November.