When the Detroit Three reported September new car sales Monday morning, expectations had been set pretty low for the month, so it’s not altogether surprising that sales were down less than had been forecast. Analysts were looking for a year-over-year decline in light vehicle sales of around 2.3% for the month, but the decline for the three carmakers averaged about half that.
From a recent high of 70,937 units sold in June, the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) saw sales of its F-Series pickups fall to 65,657 in July and 66,946 in August to rise to 67,809 units in September. And while sales of the F-Series are up 5.5% in the first nine months of 2016, September sales were down 2.6% year over year for the country’s best-selling vehicle.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) said sales of its Silverado pickups plunged 15.5% year over year in September to 45,380 units. Sales of the company’s GMC Sierra trucks dropped 8.5% to 18,068 for a combined total of 63,448, down more than 13% compared with September 2015 and down 9% from combined unit sales of 69,886 in August. Year to date, GM’s pickup sales are down about 2%.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) sold 47,792 Ram pickups in September, a jump of 27% from 37,004 units sold in September 2015. Year to date, sales are up 8% at 361,086 units.
For the Detroit Three, full-size pickup sales in September totaled 179,049, compared with 177,034 in August, an increase of about 1.1%. Compared with total September 2015 sales of 180,134 that’s a decline of about 0.6%.
The other full-size pickups on offer in the United States are the Tundra from Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) and the Nissan Titan. Tundra’s sales totaled 9,507 in September (down 5.4% year over year). The Titan sold 2,484 units in September, up a whopping 130% compared with September 2015.
Toyota’s midsize Tacoma pickup sold 15,723 units in September, holding its place as the leader in this space. Sales of GM’s midsize Colorado pickup rose 41.6% to 10,383 units, and sales of the GMC Canyon rose 26.5% to 2,949 in September. Nissan’s midsize Frontier pickup sold 7,596 units in September, up 64.5% year over year. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) sold 3,318 units of its Ridgeline midsize pickup, up from just two in September of 2015.
In the full-size pickup segment, September sales of 179,049 vehicles from the Detroit Three pencils out to a Ford market share of 37.9% (up 0.1 point). GM’s share came in at 25.3% for the Chevy Silverado (down 4.3 points) and 10.0% (up about 0.1 point) for the GMC Sierra. Ram’s market share totaled 26.7% (up 4.0 points).
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales is forecast by Edmunds to come in at around 17.5 million in September, a 6.1% decrease from August and a 1.7% decrease from September 2015.
TrueCar reported that the average incentive from all carmakers in September rose 7.8% year over year to $3,387. Fiat Chrysler led with an average incentive of $4,302 (up 22.8%), with Ford at $4,092 (up 11.4%) and GM at $4,101 (up 2.1%).