U.S. Auto Sales in October Rise Despite Adverse Weather

Despite the destructive path of Hurricane Sandy through the Northeastern states on Monday of this week, automakers in the U.S. market eked out a 7% increase in October light-vehicle sales vs. sales in the same month a year ago. Sales were anticipated to be up by as much as 11% from a year ago before the hurricane struck the East Coast.

Storm damage and loss of power caused many dealerships in coastal states, including New York and New Jersey, to close their doors for several days during the final week of the month, which is when many deals occur. As many as 18 states were impacted by the storm system. Some media reports suggest that Hurricane Sandy’s path cut across an area of the country that accounts for 20-25% of new-vehicle deliveries. Reports also say that the storm system reduced October sales totals by about 100,000 units. A Ford representative told Reuters that the storm cut its monthly totals by 20,000 to 25,000 units.

Volkswagen Posts Best Gains in Spite of Storm

In early reports, all three of the Detroit-based automakers posted gains, with Fiat-Chrysler Group’s Chrysler unit reporting the best increase among them—sales improved by 10% from a year ago. Chrysler Group said it was the company’s best October performance in 5 years. General Motors Co.’s sales were up nearly 5% from a year ago, while Ford Motor Co.’s sales were stable, edging up only a fraction of a point from October 2011. Continue reading ›

Retail U.S. Auto Sales Remain Robust in First Half of October

Deirdre Borrego

U.S. retail light-vehicle sales during the first 17 selling days of October continued to increase at a robust pace that was similar to the pace in September, according to a monthly sales forecast update developed by our Power Information Network® (PIN) and strategic partner LMC Automotive.

In October, retail sales are likely to reach 943,200 units, which is a 13% increase (on a selling-day adjusted basis) in volume vs. the same month a year ago. This translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 12.0 million units, which would be the second consecutive month of a retail pace above 12 million. Rates in September and October of this year would be the best in four years (since April and May 2008).

Total light-vehicle sales this month, which include retail and fleet deliveries, are projected to rise 11% from October 2011, with volume surpassing 1.134 million units. This translates to an overall SAAR of 14.8 million units, which is just 100,000 units below September’s 14.9 million-unit SAAR.

Fleet deliveries in October are anticipated to account for 17% of total sales—slightly below the 5-year average of 19% for October, which Continue reading ›