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U.S. automakers post first monthly sales gain of year in September

05 October 2017

Toyota, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen all posted strong monthly USA sales numbers, confirming expectations that a boost in sales from hurricane-ravaged Texas would push the industry to a September rebound.

Ford said truck sales rose 20 percent, with F-series deliveries topping 80,000 units last month - marking only the third September on record that milestone has been achieved.

GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said all the key US economic indicators point toward continued economic growth and stability.

GM said new vehicle sales to consumers were up 14 per cent in the region that includes Texas.

GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said all the key USA economic indicators point toward continued economic growth and stability. Sales of the revamped 2018 midsize Camry sedan were up 13 per cent in its first full month of sales.

US sales rose 6.1 percent to just over 1.5 million vehicles, according to Autodata Corp., as Toyota, Honda, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen all posted strong numbers. Sales had been weak sales after a strong run since 2010 that culminated in record sales of 17.55 million units in 2016.

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With consumer demand slipping amid income growth, steady jobs gains, low interest rates and rising USA equity markets, dealers and automakers have been forced to dangle bigger deals to spur showroom traffic.

The RAV4, with more than 42,000 units sold this month, has surpassed the 40,000-unit mark for three consecutive months.

Edmunds estimates average new-vehicle incentives spiked 21 percent to $3,506 last month compared with September 2016.

GM said September sales in Chevrolet segment surged 17.4% to 199,801 units while sales in Cadillac unit rose 1.1% to 15,530 units while sales in Buick segment slumped 5.9% to 159,830 units from a year ago month. We're pleased to say recovery in Houston and Florida is moving quickly, with all of our dealers in the area now back up. Toyota posted a 14.9 percent increase, while Nissan sales were up 9.5 percent and Honda sales rose 6.8 percent.

The Volkswagen brand continued to recover from its diesel-emissions crisis by recording a 33 percent surge. The Ford Escape SUV, with 5,259 units sold, had its best September on record, up 7 percent. Sales of Armada SUV sales also set a September increased 160% and Titan pickup sales increased 52%.

GM's strong month was driven by sales of crossover vehicles, which were up 43 percent over a year ago.Truck sales were up 10 percent, while the demand for cars fell 11 percent.

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Passenger auto sales in the month slipped 1.3% to 49,918 units while fleet sales surged 25.1% to 52,704 units while trucks sales soared 19.9% to 103,625 units while Lincoln brand unit sales rose 0.1% to 8,802 units.

In line with FCA's strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, the company's fleet sales of 27,362 units shrank 41% year over year. Both blamed reductions in sales to big fleet buyers such as rental vehicle companies.

USA light-vehicles sales slipped 1.8 percent last month and the seasonally adjusted, annualized pace of sales fell to the lowest level - 16.13 million - since February 2014 behind a late-month. There were 26 selling days last month compared to 25 in September 2016. In August, the company's USA retail sales fell 2.7% YoY to 164,067 units. Volkswagen's sales jump is also tied to a shift to offer more family-friendly SUVs, such as the new Atlas and updated Tiguan, in its line-up. Audi, meanwhile, shot up 9.6 percent.

Kelley Blue Book estimated the average transaction price or for light vehicles in the United States was $34,861 in September 2017.

Of companies reporting early Tuesday, only Fiat Chrysler reported a sales decline.

Average new auto prices were up just 0.4 per cent, according to consultancy Kelley Blue Book, reflecting "the industry's trend of slowing demand for new vehicles", said analyst Tim Fleming.

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U.S. automakers post first monthly sales gain of year in September