The summer was just as hot inside as it was outside the showrooms, with sales outpacing the years of slow return to pre-recession levels. While third quarter sales reached their highest level in eight years, September brought some mixed results.
Leading automakers came up with interesting sales results, showing the rapid pace of delivery growth in recent months might slow down to a more traditional level. According to research firm Autodata, the overall industry sales last month were up 9%, narrowly missing industry estimates, reaching deliveries of 1.24 million units. The tracking company said the SAAR (seasonally adjusted rate) was lower than in August – 16.4 million, compared to 17.5 million two months ago.
“The rate of growth in industry sales is beginning to moderate,” said Ford chief economist Emily Kolinski Morris. “We are getting closer to what would be a likely plateau in terms of the industry sales pace.”
“Automakers have struck the right chord by putting more emphasis on leases and opening credit to a larger cross-section of buyers. Expect the same trends to continue through the end of the year,” commented Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at Edmunds.com.
General Motors, FCA’s Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai said their sales grew above last year’s level. Ford on the other hand saw a small decline and Toyota and Honda deliveries missed analyst estimates.