New-vehicle sales are expected to rise 1 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.44 million units in September 2017, resulting in an estimated 17.5 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), according to Kelley Blue Book.

“September will be another opportunity for the first sales increase of the year, as we project slight growth for the industry,” said Tim Fleming, an analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “While major hurricanes devastated parts of Texas and Florida in the past month, this is driving replacement demand for those drivers with vehicles destroyed. This demand has already started in some areas, but will continue into October and potentially November, as vehicle insurance payouts are received.”

Most consumers are likely to shop used, but with used prices trending upward recently, some used buyers may opt to purchase new. In addition, many automakers are offering hurricane relief incentives of up to $1,000. In these areas, car segments are likely to be shopped more, as these vehicles are the most affordable and in plentiful supply. Nationally, demand is still shifting steadily toward SUVs.

Key Highlights for Estimated September 2017 Sales Forecast:

  • In September, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,440,000 units, up 0.7 percent compared to September 2016 and down 2.6 percent from August 2017.
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for September 2017 is estimated to be 17.5 million, down from 17.6 million in September 2016 and up from 16 million in August 2017.
  • Retail sales are expected to account for 85.8 percent of volume in September 2017, up from 85.3 percent in September 2016.

After a record year of sales in 2016 and seven consecutive annual increases, Kelley Blue Book’s forecast for 2017 calls for sales in the range of 16.8 and 17.3 million units, which represents a 1 to 4 percent decrease from last year.

Review: August Sales Numbers

 

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