US SALES: Trucks outsell cars first time in a year
Trucks outsold cars for the first time in more than a year. Chrysler sales rose 60.9%, market share climbed 2.1 points to 10.4%, and the company even beat its August 2010 numbers. As a bonus, Chrysler outsold Honda for fourth spot and with reduced incentives. This its new Ram Laramie Longhorn model
It surprised no one that September’s United States light vehicle sales were better than 2009’s post-rebate swoon. According to Ward’s, volume was up 28.5% and year-to-date (YTD) sales are now 10.3% ahead of 2009.
The results also allayed fears of another slump. Volume was down just 3.9% compared to August 2010, which was better than expected. September’s seasonally adjusted annualised rate (SAAR) of 11.76m units was not just a huge gain over last September’s abysmal 9.38m but better than August 2010's 11.47m. Another positive sign is that light trucks outsold passenger cars for the first time in more than a year.
Chrysler sales rose 60.9%, market share climbed 2.1 points to 10.4%, and the company even beat its August 2010 numbers. As a bonus, Chrysler outsold American Honda to claim the fourth spot in the September rankings. All with reduced incentives.
Ford also had a good month. With sales up 46.4%, Ford added two points of market share and beat its August 2010 numbers by 1.9%. Lincoln sales were up, but the fact remains that the brand is currently eighth in the luxury segment and the new ad campaign probably won't be enough to overcome a line of 'upcontented' Fords with toothy grins.
General Motors' September was in line with analysts' estimates. Sales were up 11.1% overall and up 22.8% if one counts just Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. However, GM lost 2.8 points of market share and both overall and core brand sales fell short of August 2010 levels. GM's performance might give one reason to rethink that initial public offering but the Renaissance Center is in a dash for the cash so that won’t happen.
Both Honda and Toyota lost market share in September. Honda sales were up 26.1%, driven by Acura’s 47.7% gain, but the company lost 0.2 points of share. Toyota gave up 1.5 points: sales grew 16.8% but weak Lexus results watered down Toyota’s improvements. Nissan was the big winner: sales jumped 34% and market share rose 0.3 points.
Subaru set an all-time September sales record with a 46.9% surplus. Mazda finished 30.5% ahead of September 2009, Mitsubishi was in the black by 5.3% and Suzuki came up 11.8% short.
Hyundai Group sales rose 44.2% as both brands reported new September sales records.
All the European carmakers, except Volvo, beat their September 2009 results. Saab Spyker had the largest improvement, up 132.9%, but also has the largest room for further improvement. Of the major players, BMW had the largest gain, up 20.5% followed by Daimler with 18.1%. Volkswagen Group sales rose 14.4% as Audi set a third quarter sales record. Volkswagen said more than a quarter of its September sales were diesels.
A 12m sale year isn’t likely; 11.8m looks far more 'doable'. But even hitting that number puts the industry on track for a 12m-plus market in 2011 and, with the number of new vehicles coming out, that number could easily go higher.