October Retail Light-Vehicle Sales Remain Relatively Strong

Jeff Schuster

Despite continuing concern about the state of the US economy, retail light-vehicle sales during the first half of October remained relatively healthy, and are in line with the average selling pace achieved at the beginning of this year. In October, J.D. Power projects that the average annual selling pace (SAAR) for retail light-vehicles will reach 10.5 million units, which matches last October’s rate and the average sales pace in September 2011.

Highlights from our most recent monthly sales update that is based on Power Information Network® (PIN) retail transaction data for the first 13 selling days of the month include an outlook for retail, fleet and total US sales in October and for the calendar year:

• Retail light-vehicle sales in October are expected to reach 828,300 units, up 11% on a selling-day-adjusted basis* from 776,839 unit sales in October a year ago. This equates to a selling pace of 10.5 million units, which matches last October’s retail sales pace and also the sales rate in September 2011. Continue reading ›

September US Retail Light-Vehicle Sales Show Surprising Strength

Jeff Schuster

Solid Labor Day sales in the first week of September and stronger-than-expected retail sales during the second week of the month boosted US retail light-vehicle sales in the first half of September to much stronger levels than in the prior month of August, despite continued anxiety about the US and European economies and stock market volatility.

Sales were primed by recovering inventory levels bringing buyers back to dealer showrooms. In news reports, Toyota Group said its production was back to 100% after setbacks following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. However, it should be noted that the retail sales pace in the second half of September may give up some of the month’s early strength as the economy remains a concern. In addition, J.D. Power analysis indicates that incentive levels remain flat compared with August. Continue reading ›

Some Automakers Post Stronger-than-Expected US Sales in August

In spite of Hurricane Irene’s lingering effects on the East Coast, including power outages and flooding, and a continued slowing of the US economy, which has hurt consumer sentiment, August US light-vehicle sales totals from a number of automakers were slightly stronger than anticipated.

All three Detroit-based automakers posted sales increases from August of last year, which had one less selling day. Both General Motors (+13.5%) and Fiat-Chrysler Group (+25.6%) deliveries were up in double digits, and Ford Motor Co.’s sales improved in the high single digits (+6.9%).

GMC, Jeep, Lincoln Outpace Industry

GMC (+35.1%) was the sales leader in terms of percentage gains among General Motors’ core brands, and sales of the Chevrolet Cruze compact passed the 20,000-unit sales mark for a fifth consecutive month, which likely made it one of the 10 best sellers in the US market. Chrysler’s Jeep brand sales increased by nearly 52% from last year as the automaker’s brands were helped by a 90-day-postponed-payment incentive on some models. Ford Motor Company said both Ford Explorer and Fiesta deliveries were strong, while Lincoln brand deliveries were up in double digits (+19.8%) from a year ago. Ford F-Series totals slipped slightly on a selling-day-adjusted basis*, although more than 48,000 large Ford pickup trucks were delivered and 41% were equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, according to Ford. Continue reading ›

January Begins with Upbeat US Retail Sales Pace

US retail light-vehicle sales in January are outdistancing projections, according to the latest forecast update from J.D. Power and Associates. On a volume basis, retail deliveries are expected to climb 23% from January 2010 to reach 632,100 units—representing a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 10.0 million units—nearly 2.0 million units higher than the . . . Continue Reading January Begins with Upbeat US Retail Sales Pace