Cars and Drivers

New Car Sales to Tick Down in September (GM, F, TM, HMC)

In 2011, new car and light truck sales in the United States came in at about 13 million units sold. According to, forecast sales for September put new light vehicle sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.6 million units sold, an increase of 11.5% over 2011 sales.

According to’s forecast, 1.16 million new vehicles will be sold in September, up 10.5% from a year ago and down 9.5% (unadjusted) month-over-month. All eight of the automakers included in the survey are expected to post lower sales than in August, but only Nissan shows a slight decline in year-over-year sales. Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is expected to post the largest annual sales gain at 32.7%, followed by a rise of 31.4% at Volkswagen, 26.7% at Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC), 16.7% at Hyundai/Kia, 8.1% at Chrysler, 2.5% at General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) and 1.3% at Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F).

Year-over-year gains at Toyota and Honda are still inflated by the low numbers posted last year following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Both GM and Ford reported double-digit sales jumps in August, so the paltry gains forecast for September are surprising.

According to a analyst:

Gas prices have continued their steady climb in September fueling unseasonably high sales of smaller cars while on the other end of the spectrum large trucks also performed well as small businesses have slowly started to come back to the marketplace

Used car sales are down nearly 12% month-over-month and up 5.8% year-over-year. estimates that about 3.5 million used cars will be sold in September, down from about 4 million in August.

Paul Ausick

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