Counting Cars

October Sales Thread: Sandy Subdues Forecast SAAR Growth


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.


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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