Auto sales for the month of September are being reported throughout the day today, and we’ll be tracking them as they’re released here on the blog. Make sure to check The Closer tonight (sent to our Institutional clients) for a full recap of the day’s reports and what it means for the broader economy. This month, the seasonal adjustment factor for the auto market as a whole is about 0.97; headlines sales numbers NSA will be annualized and then boosted by about 3% as the market enters the slower fall selling season.
Early releases from Nissan and Toyota were solid, with Nissan announcing a 4.9% YoY sales gain. Toyota missed expectations for a 2% YoY gain with a 1.5% figure but its report kept tracking well above the 17.5mm SAAR estimate. Ford was weak, as expected, with sales falling 8.1% YoY versus 8% estimated, but even with that huge drop, the market is tracking in-line versus estimates with about a third of the industry having reported. We will continue to update these figures throughout the day.
Update 1 9:39 AM: GM reported sales about in-line with expectations, selling 0.6% fewer cars than September of 2015, versus -0.5% estimate. Despite the slight miss, after seasonal adjustment our tracker for auto sales ticked up slightly and with 54% of the market reported we are now showing a seasonally adjusted sales pace of about 17.55mm vehicles.
Update 2 9:51 AM: Fiat-Chrysler was expected to see sales declines of over 5% but the final member of the “Big Four” US auto sellers reported volumes only the smallest margin lower than a year ago, bringing our tracker for industry-wide sales up to 17.59mm SAAR. Two-thirds of the market is now reported and we are tracking a modest beat versus the 17.5mm SAAR estimate.
Update 3 10:16 AM: Honda was expected to report a 1.6% YoY gain in US vehicle sales for September but came in a -0.1% growth. Despite that miss, our tracker now stands at 17.6mm SAAR with almost 80% of the auto market reported; unless remaining companies report very, very large misses, it’s unlikely total sales will miss analyst estimates for September at this stage.
Update 4 2:33 PM: A number of minor automakers reported over the last few hours, totaling about 16% of market share. Results were varied, with Subaru, Hyundai, and Mercedes all posting solid gains but big declines at BMW and a relatively weak month at Kia. The net impact on our tracker has been slightly positive, and we’re on pace for a beat of about 0.1mm SAAR with over 92% of the industry reported. All major auto brands have now reported. We will update the chart below with the final numbers from Ward’s Auto when they are released but by our calculations auto sales came in at 17.62mm SAAR in the month of September.