Auto sales in Sep 2013 remained mixed after a very strong
August, with many large manufacturers recording their highest
August sales since the recession. Auto sales in the U.S. declined
4% to 1.1 million units in September, mainly due to two less
selling days in the month than the comparable year-ago period.
Sales rose 3.4% to 15.3 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted
rate (SAAR) basis.
Ford Motor Co.
) recorded the best September sales since 2006, Chrysler recorded
a small improvement in sales. However, the monthly sales of
General Motors Co.
Toyota Motor Corp.
Honda Motor Co.
Nissan Motor Co.
) witnessed a decline.
Let's look at the U.S. sales figures reported by individual
General Motors' sale of vehicles was 187,195 in September,
falling 11% year over year due to lower demand for its Chevrolet
and GMC brands. Retail sales fell 6% due to lesser selling days
in Sep 2013. After adjusting for selling days, retail sales went
up 2% year over year. Even fleet sales declined 27% due to a drop
in Cruze sales, temporary suspension of sales of Chevrolet
Colorado and GMC Canyon, and repositioning of Chevrolet
Ford outperformed the entire auto industry with a 6% increase
in total sales to 185,146 vehicles. The company has generated
year-over-year growth in sales in every month since Nov 2012.
The impressive performance was mainly driven by strong demand
for its F-Series pickup truck, Fusion and Fiesta. Sales of the
F-Series grew 9.8% to 60,456 units while sales of Fiesta
escalated 28.5% to 5,043 units. Sales of Fusion surged 62.4% to
19,972 units. Fiesta and Lincoln MKZ recorded their highest
Chrysler Group - controlled by Italy's
) - recorded a 1% year-over-year rise in sales, bringing the
figure to 143,017 vehicles, driven by strong demand for its Ram
pickup truck. This is the best September sales for the company
Chrysler has witnessed year-over-year increase in monthly
sales for 42 consecutive months. Ram truck sales gained 8% during
the month, while Dodge brand sales increased 3%. Even Chrysler
brand sales improved 2% due to a 6% increase in sales of 300
large sedans and a 4% increase in sales of the Chrysler Town
& Country minivan. However, Jeep brand sales declined 5% year
Toyota sales declined 4.3% on volume basis to 164,457 units,
although it increased 4% year over year on the basis of daily
selling rate (DSR). Lexus car sales declined 1.8% on DSR basis
and 9.7% on volume basis to 10,858 units, due to significant
declines in the sales of HS, LFA and CT.
However, Lexus truck sales went up 12.6% year over year on DSR
basis and 3.6% on volume basis. Toyota Division car sales scaled
up 5.5% on DSR basis but declined 2.9% on volume basis to 83,122
units. Meanwhile, Toyota Division truck sales grew 2% on DSR
basis and sank 6.2% on volume basis.
Honda recorded a 2.1% year-over-year decrease in sales on DSR
basis and 9.9% decline on volume basis to 105,563 vehicles due to
lower sales in both Honda and Acura brands. Honda light truck
sales surged 9.9% over Sep 2012, while sales of Accord sedan
declined 6.2% on DSR basis and 13.7% on volume basis to 25,176
units. Meanwhile, Civic sales amounted to 22,983 units, up 15.9%
year over year on DSR basis and 6.7% on volume basis.
Nissan Motor posted a 5.5% year-over-year decline in sales to
86,868 vehicles in September. Nissan Division sales also fell
4.3% to 77,828 units, due to significant decline in sales of
models like Cube, GT-R, Maxima and Sentra. Even the sales of
Infiniti Division decreased 4.3% to 9,040 units in the month.
However, Nissan LEAF posted a 99% year-over-year increase in
sales, while Versa, Pathfinder and Frontier sales also
The weak sales figures in September are expected to be a
temporary phenomenon resulting from the inclusion of the Labor
Day weekend, which usually witnesses strong sales, in August this
year instead of September as usual.
Although the impact of the U.S. government shutdown is a
concern, auto sales are expected to bounce back in the next
quarter on the back of strong pent-up demand, easier car
financing, low gas prices and improving macroeconomic conditions
such as low interest rates, improving unemployment rates and
recovery of the housing market. These catalysts are expected to
drive the U.S. auto sales to the pre-recession level.
Moreover, as the automobile sector is a key industry for
growth, improving auto sales will also help the overall economic
recovery in the U.S. General Motors expects full-year sales to
exceed its guidance range of 15.0-15.5 million units, while Ford
expects annual sales in the range of 15.5-16 million units,
compared with 14.5 million units in 2012.
FORD MOTOR CO (F): Free Stock Analysis Report
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TOYOTA MOTOR CP (TM): Free Stock Analysis
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