Counting Cars

September Sales Thread: SAAR Falls to Five-Month Low

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GM, Honda, Hyundai/Kia among those reporting year-over-year declines in daily sales.

September 2013 Light Vehicle Sales Volume:
WardsAuto forecast LV Sales:   1.142 million units
Actual September LV sales:       1.134 million units
Differential between actual and forecast sales: 0.7%

September 2013 Light Vehicle SAAR:
WardsAuto forecast:            15.34 million
Acutal September SAAR:     15.24 million

WardsAuto tracks light vehicle (LV) sales throughout the day. Year-over-year change represents the change in daily sales rate (DSR). September had 23 selling days this year and 25 selling days in 2012. August had 28 selling days.

Company results appear in the timeline below.

FINAL: U.S. automakers reported September sales of 1.13 million light vehicles, bringing the month's seasonally adjusted annuar rate (SAAR) to 15.24 million, the lowest level since April, and a significant fall from August's Labor Day-inflated 16.03 million SAAR.

Among high-volume sellers, GM, VW, Honda and Hyundai/Kia all reported year-over-year declines in DSR. Subaru's 24.7% DSR gain in September, and its 27.7% year-to-date rise, led all reporting companies.  

Total LV sales were up 4.4% on a daily basis, the smallest year-over-year DSR gain since August 2011.

Year-to-date sales through September are up 8.1%, at 11.74 million deliveries.  

2:10 PM: Volvo rounds out the reporting days, with LV sales of 4,188 units an 8.5% decline. Europe-based automakers combined for an 8.4% increase in daily sales, two-points higher than their combined year-to-date gain of 6.4%.

1:55 PM: South Korean automakers Hyundai (-0.2%) and Kia (-14.1%) joined the handful of companies reporting year-over-year declines in DSR. But Hyunda outdistanced expecations considerably - perhaps the benificiary of Honda's lackluster September sales. the two brands combined for 93,105 deliveries.

Asia-based automakers' DSR was up a combined 0.9% over year-ago, compared to a nine-month year-over-year gain of 7%.

Daimler, on strong Mercedees-Benz sales, raised its daily sales rate 14.9% for the month. The company's YTD sales are up 10.5%.

12:55 PM: Honda reported sales well below WardsAuto's projections, with 105,563 deliveries, a 2.1% decline in daily sales. Leading contributors to Honda's downturn include: Accord (-6.2%), Odyssey (-26.2%) and Crosstour (-37.2%). Honda's year-over-year drop brings the projected SAAR down to 15.2 million, with Hyundai/Kia the largest volume-seller still to report. Honda's YTD sales are up 8.7%.

BMW registered a 17.7% increase in daily sales over year-ago, with 28,874 deliveries, ahead of its YTD gain of 11.6%. Jaguar Land Rover improved its daily sales 10.1% with 4,001 deliveries.

12:20 PM: Audi reports daily sales were up 15.4%, ahead of year-to-date gain of 13.6% on 13,065 September deliveries. Mistubishi's 4,001 unit sales marked 9.5% decline in DSR. The automaker's YTD sales trail same-period year-ago by 2.5%.

11:00 AM: Nissan DSR was up just 2.7% for the month on LV deliveries of less than 87,000. The automakers volume fell some 5,000 units shy of September 2012. Through the first nine months of the year, Nissan sales are up 8.6%, near the middle of the pack with Chrysler, Toyota, and GM.

Porsche daily sales were up 22.9% over year-ago, leaving the company 26.1% ahead of year-ago year-to-date.

10:40 AM: Subaru falls in line with forecast, delivering 31,755 LVs in September, for a 24.7% year-on-year increase. The Japanese automaker's YTD sales are 27.7% ahead of year-ago.

10:25 AM: GM was expected to have a down September , and they did. Daily sales for the automaker fell 3.2%, bringing GM's deliveres below already low expectations to 187,195 units, leaving the company 7.2% over year-ago YTD.

Ford seems to have picked up the majority of the slack, winning the automakers' current pickup battle handily on the the way to increasing LV daily sales 15.2% over year-ago with 181,285 deliveries. Ford is also running 11.7% over year-ago YTD.

Detroit 3 sales (plus several hundred Teslas) were up a collective 6.5% in September, and 9.6% through the first three quarters.

10:05 AM: Volkswagen is the first European automaker to report - with daily sales falling 4.5% in September.

10:00 AM: Toyota, like Chrysler, reports September sales direclty in line with WardsAuto forecast, with 164,457 deliveires lifting its DSR 4% over same-month year-ago. Toyota YTD deliveries are up 8.1%

9:30 AM: Chrysler first to report - says last month was the company's best September since 2007. The automaker's 141,845 light vehicle deliveries represent a 9.3% increase in DSR versus year-ago. Chrysler YTD sales through nine months are  8.6% over like-2012.

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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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