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September Auto Sales Show Industry Lacks Momentum

September 24, 2010

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — This month's new-car sales (including fleet sales) are expected to be approximately 936,900 units, a 27.9 percent increase from September 2009 but a 5.5 percent decrease from August 2010, according to Edmunds.com.

Retail sales are expected to be approximately 757,000 units, down from approximately 817,000 last month.

Edmunds.com analysts predict that September's seasonally adjusted annualized rate will be 11.47 million, up slightly from 11.44 in August 2010. SAAR for retail sales will remain constant from last month at about 9.4 million.

Average automaker incentives in the U.S. are estimated to be $2,595 per vehicle sold in September 2010, down $106, or 3.9 percent, from August 2010, and down $151, or 5.5 percent, from September 2009.

“Despite some noteworthy new car introductions, auto sales are stagnant right now,” commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Automakers seem to have accepted the current sales rate; most seem reluctant to invigorate the market through traditional incentives programs or unload significant levels of inventory as fleet sales.”

Edmunds.com analysts anticipate relatively stable vehicle prices in the next 30 days. According to the Edmunds.com True Market Value: Predicted Price Trends, approximately 47 percent of new car models are expected to be discounted slightly in the coming weeks while approximately 42 percent should maintain their current prices.

September 2010 had 25 selling days, the same as last September 2009. The chart below sets forth month-over-month comparisons:

 

 

Change from September 2009

Change from August 2010

Chrysler

52.3%

-4.8%

Ford

37.9%

-2.6%

GM

10.7%

-7.1%

Honda

37.1%

-3.5%

Nissan

44.4%

-9.5%

Toyota

13.4%

-3.8%

Industry Total

27.9%

-5.5%

“A comparison to last year is not meaningful because the market was distorted due to last summer’s ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program,” noted Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs in her comprehensive forecast report which can be found on AutoObserver.com.

The combined monthly U.S. market share for Chrysler, Ford and General Motors (GM) domestic nameplates is estimated to be 44.8 percent in September 2010, the same as in September 2009 and up from 44.5 percent in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Chrysler will sell 94,200 units in September 2010, up 52.3 percent compared to September 2009 but down 4.8 percent from August 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 10.1 percent for Chrysler in September 2010, up from 8.4 percent in September 2009 and up from 10.0 percent as in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Ford will sell 153,300 units in September 2010, up 37.9 percent compared to September 2009 but down 2.6 percent from August 2010. This would result in a new car market share of 16.4 percent of new car sales in September 2010 for Ford, up from 15.2 percent in September 2009 and up from 15.9 percent in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts GM will sell 171,900 units in September 2010, up 10.7 percent compared to September 2009 but down 7.1 percent from August 2010. GM's market share is expected to be 18.3 percent of new vehicle sales in September 2010, down from 21.2 percent in September 2009 and down from 18.7 percent in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Honda will sell 104,900 units in September 2010, up 37.1 percent from September 2009 but down 3.5 percent from August 2010. Honda’s market share is expected to be 11.2 percent in September 2010, up from 10.4 percent in September 2009 and up from 11.0 percent in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Nissan will sell 69,600 units in September 2010, up 44.4 percent from September 2009 but down 9.5 percent from August 2010. Nissan's market share is expected to be 7.4 percent in September 2010, up from 6.6 percent in September 2009 but down from 7.8 percent in August 2010.

Edmunds.com predicts Toyota will sell 142,700 units in September 2010, up 13.4 percent from September 2009 but down 3.8 percent from August 2010. Toyota's market share is expected to be 15.2 percent in September 2010, down from 17.2 percent in September 2009 but up from 15.0 percent in August 2010.

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