Counting Cars

October Sales Thread: Sandy Subdues Forecast SAAR Growth

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U.S. Light Vehicle Sales reporting thread: Company updates throughout the day.

October 2012 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto (pre-Sandy) forecast: 1.15 million units
Actual sales: 1.087 million units
  
October 2012 Light Vehicle SAAR:
WardsAuto forecast: 15.0 million
Actual SAAR: 14.2 million

September light vehicle seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.9 million, along with positive economic and industry specific signs, pointed toward an even higher SAAR in October. But the late-season hurricane turned superstorm Sandy, wreaked havoc on the East Coast of the U.S., and inland, robbing the industry of end-of-month selling days in some of the market's most populous areas.

Sales Reporting Day thread below:

 4:17: BMW, locked in a sales race with German competitor Daimler, reported October BMW brand and Mini sales of 32,339, up 18.5% over year-ago, and 17% above expectations. Only BMW, Mercedes and Porsche out performed WardsAuto's pre-Sandy expectations.

3:00 Daimler brands - Mercedes, Smart, Sprinter - up 9%, moving 26,669 light vehicles this month and bringing the company's YTD total 14.4% over like-2011

2:00 With Mitsubish reporting all Asia auto makers are in. Mitsubishi was down 9.1% - worst year-over-year of any auto maker this month. Combined, though, Asia auto makers were up 8%, almost double Detroit, but comp comes against year-ago still saddled with inventory issues, particularly at Honda and Toyota..

1:10 Kia (along with preliminary Hyundai announcement) rounds out Top 7 auto makers. 1:00 Honda sales up 8.8% - over a very mediocre year-ago. Coming in about 7.5% below expectations. Not a great month for Honda. Accord sells 28,349, up 25.5% from year-ago. Mazda sales up just 1.6% over year-ago - Mazda6 sales off 56%. Mazda3, up 34.2%, was a bright spot for a company struggling to remain relevant in the U.S.

11:15 Nissan sales down 3.2%. Slightly better than rest of industry against expectations. From WardsAuto tweet - Almost all Nissan light trucks down in Oct. but cars up. Altima up 13.0% vs. yr-ago. Situation reversed at Infiniti as cars slide.

11:00 - Subaru outpacing industry improvement, with 30.1% gain over (relatively weak) year-ago results. Like most of the industry, about 6% below WardsAuto forecast.

10:30 Toyota up 15.8% (over a weak year-ago), with 155,242.

10:00 a.m. GM reports LV sales of 195,764 units - up 4.7%. Along with Ford's near flat (-0.5%) October, Detroit 3 up 4.2% for the month.

Audi joins sister VW with double-digit improvement - up 14.5% in October.

9:30 Chrysler reports light vehicles sales of 125,361 units, up 10.2% over year-ago (both months had 26 selling days.

Hyundai - via twitter - reporting 50,271 sales - down 4.1%, though still strong. Low stocks hurt ability to beat year-ago, but so too do stronger Honda and Toyota position in the market vs. 2011.

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Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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