Forecasters predicted U.S. auto sales in September were a bit slower than they have been so far this year but analysts said this September still marked a decent increase over September 2012.
After U.S. auto sales were up about 10% during the eight months period, to 10.6 million, automakers are expected to announce September auto sales on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
J.D. Power and Associates expects a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate of 15.2 million cars and trucks for September sales, up from 14.9 million in September 2012. The SAAR is an estimate of annual sales based on one month’s worth of sales, adjusted for considerable seasonal variation in auto sales.
Strictly speaking unit sales are expected to fall a bit in September 2013 vs. September 2012. That would be the first time monthly auto sales failed to beat the year-ago month since back in June 2011, but this could be because the Monday holiday for Labor Day fell on Sept. 2. That meant August auto sales this year actually ran from Aug. 1 through Sept. 3, inclusive. August sales included the long Labor Day weekend, even though it ran past Aug. 31. In turn, “September auto sales” for 2013 actually ran from Sept. 4 through Sept. 30.
There were only 23 official “selling days” in September 2013, vs. 25 days in September 2012. It happens pretty often that there’s a discrepancy of one selling day when comparing months. A two-day difference is unusual. September sales are the only time this year there’s a two-day difference.