September current estimated SAAR - 13.04 million
August actual SAAR: 12.1 million
Growing supply, strong fleet sales and perhaps a post-Hurricane Irene bounce drove September sales to 1,049,866 units, and lifted the seasonally adjusted annual rate above 13-milliion units for the first time since April.
, which is just beginning to see its North America production rates return to normal after the March tsunami and earthquake disrupted the company's global supply chain, reported an 8% decline in sales versus year-ago - a decided improvement over four consecutive months of 20%-plus declines. The strong results put Honda ahead of /Kia for the first time since April, giving the Japanese auto maker the No. 6 spot overall.
finished the month down 17.5% and in the No. 4 spot behind . But its August-to-September comparison (down just 2.5%) indicated an improving situation for the Japanese auto maker, which has averaged a 10% drop in daily sales from August to September over the past 8 years (ignoring the 42% Cash-for-Clunkers falloff in 2009).
(which finished No. 5 this month) had a better than expected month, with a 25.3% increase in sales versus year ago, and an increase in daily sales between August and September (up 5.6%) for the first time since 2007.
Subaru - which has also experienced earthquake related sales losses - posted a 2.3% decline versus year-ago - its best year-over-year comparison since April.
sales were up 37.4% over year ago - the company's best yr/yr gain in 4.5 years. Kia reported sales up 18.1%, which brought it's ytd for 2011 to 367,405 units - better than any previous FULL year for the company. was up 11.8% for the month.
Detroit 3 companies were up 17.5% over year-ago.reported 126,721 light vehicles deliveries, up 27% over year-ago. Chrysler tends to outperfrom rest of industry in September in terms of month-to-month sales growth, but GM and also had relatively good months.
GM's 19.7% increase over year ago was in line with expectations of a 12.3 million unit SAAR. But's 9.1% gain in LV sales the smallest of the Detroit auto makers, represented the largest growth compared to expectations for the month. The company's car sales were down 8.7% versus year-ago, but total truck sales were up 14.8%, likely with help from a sizeable bump in fleet sales.
Sales by European companies were up 17.9%, led by volume leader's 35.6%. gain. Audi was up 19.3%, brands were up a collective 13.1%, and /Mini sales grew 11.4%.