CBT News Anchor Joe Gumm reports on U.S. automotive sales totals for the month of September 2017 at dealerships around the U.S.
A lackluster summer for car sales ends with some good news, according to Edmunds. Your seasonally adjusted, annualized sales rate, surpassing 18 million for the month of September. What a difference a month makes.
The strong Labor Day weekend kicked off an impressive month of September, says Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds executive director of industry analysis). She says “Automakers are finally starting to dial up the incentives to clear excess inventory, which we anticipate will continue through the rest of the year.” On top of that, with all of the destruction from hurricanes like Harvey, some believe the storms may have been a huge boost for auto retail. New-car sales in Houston spiked 109 percent in the three weeks immediately following the hurricane when compared to the three weeks before the storm hit.
Overall, GM…much better than expected, up 11.9%. A big bump from Chevy certainly helped…up 17.4%, but volume was down 20% at Buick. Kurt McNeil, U.S. VP of Sales Operations told the Detroit Free Press their new crossovers “have been very well-received.” He added, “We are entering the fourth quarter with strong momentum, great products and a healthy economy.”
Ford, also better than expected, an increase in September sales…up 8.9%. Although car demand slipped 1.3%, utility volume rose at Ford, 1.8%. Truck sales rose 20%. Mark LaNeve, (Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service), said in a statement. “We’re pleased to say recovery in Houston and Florida is moving quickly, with all of our dealers in the area now back up. We couldn’t be happier with the tireless effort from our dealers, employees and the countless first responders who are moving so quickly.”
Toyota posted the biggest gain. Sales rose 14.9%, driven by a 44% surge from RAV4. Pickup volume jumped 16%.
Some of the other automakers looking positive for September, included….
Nissan North America had an increase 9.5%, with Infiniti gaining 11.7%.
VW Group improved 23.2%.
Honda rose 6.8%.
Hyundai-Kia gained 6.6%
Mazda was up, 3.4%.
Let’s take a look at FCA. Overall…down 9.7%. Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Dodge and Chrysler…all declined.
According to Jessica Caldwell (Senior Analyst with Edmunds) “Even though automakers are being very aggressive with incentives, because interest rates are still relatively low, zero-percent financing just isn’t the big draw that it used to be,” Caldwell said. “Right now dealers are more apt to sweeten the deal through discounted leases or taking cash off of the purchase price, especially on 2017 models that are languishing on the lot.”