As previously expected, with fewer days on the sales calendar, U.S. consumer demand for new vehicles was slightly down in September, with Ford an Chrysler topping analyst estimates and GM falling short.
The annual auto sales rate reached 15.28 million vehicles, down rather sharp from 16.09 million in August, but close to what many analysts forecast. Overall U.S. auto sales dipped 4.2 percent in September to 1.14 million vehicles, according to industry research firm Autodata. This was actually the industry’s first year-on-year sales decline in more than two years, as from the previous year there were two business days less.
Ford’s U.S. dealers, buoyed by strong pickup sales, sold 185,186 units in September, up 5.8% from 2012 and narrowing the gap with industry leader GM to just 2,000 vehicles last month.
Chrysler Group LLC managed to overcome analysts’ expectations in September and announced sales grew 1% at 143,017, its best September in six years. Analysts had forecast a 2.8% decrease in sales for Fiat SpA-controlled Chrysler, which would’ve been the company’s first drop in 42 months.
Meanwhile, GM, whose September sales dipped 11% to 187,195, said that it was because the dealers had a limited supply of full-size pickup trucks. The automaker added the refreshed 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra while selling down stocks of the 2013 models. Silverado sales in September went down by 10.8%. Its rival, the best-selling Ford F-Series, meanwhile grew 9.8%.
Via Reuters, Bloomberg