Specialists Expect US Vehicle Sales to Fall Significantly in September

Automakers will release September vehicle sales next Tuesday (October 1st) and currently, analysts estimate sales (Seasonally Adjusted at Annualized Rate) to fall significantly from August.

 

Here are some forecasts from specialists:

 

1/ Edmunds: Calendar Abnormality Will Snap 27-Month Winning Streak for Auto Industry in September, Says Edmunds.com

 

Edmunds.com predicts that 1,143,968 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in September for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.3 million. The projected sales will be a 23.8 percent decrease from August 2013, and a 3.7 percent decrease from September 2012.
 
“It looks like sales took a big hit in September, but the monthly SAAR is up year over year, and the industry is still selling more cars per day than it did last year,” says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. “Many of the fundamentals that have driven strong car sales over the last year are still in place, and we can expect them to contribute to a solid final quarter to close out 2013.”

 

2/ TrueCar: September 2013 New Car Sales Expected to Be Down 4.4 Percent According to TrueCar; September 2013 SAAR at 15.4M

 

For September 2013, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,131,333 units, down 4.4 percent from September 2012 and also down 24.5% percent from August 2013 (on an unadjusted basis – September 2013 had 23 sales days, compared to 25 in September 2012).
 
The September 2013 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (“SAAR”) of 15.4 million new car sales, down about four percent from August 2013 and up about four percent over September 2012.
 
“Labor Day sales clearly pulled ahead from September volume and resulted in a lackluster month. The uncertainty in the financial markets also finally caught up with auto sales, causing some hesitation for big ticket item purchases,” said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst for TrueCar.com.

 

3/ JD Power-LMC Automotive: JD Power-LMC Automotive say brisk US auto sales pace slowing
 

JD Power and LMC Automotive said “the new vehicle sales pace in September has slowed from its sprint in recent months,” and sees the month’s annualized selling rate at 15.2 million vehicles.
 
August’s annualized sales rate was 16.1 million vehicles.

 

4/ Wards: Q3 Strong Despite Expected September Sales Drop
 

U.S. automakers should sell 1.14 million light vehicles in September, according to a new WardsAuto forecast. Pull-ahead sales from the Labor Day weekend, counted in the August sales report, are a large factor in the forecast, which calls for the monthly SAAR to fall to 15.3 million units just a month after breaking the 16 million-unit mark.

 

5/ Kelley Blue Book: September Auto Sales Expected To Dip 2 Percent, According To Kelley Blue Book
 

In September 2013, new light-vehicle sales, including fleet, are expected to hit 1,167,000 units, down 1.8 percent from September 2012 and down 22.2 percent from August 2013.
 
The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) for September 2013 is estimated to be 15.7 million, up from 14.7 million in September 2012 and down from 16.0 million in August 2013.
 
“September 2013 new-vehicle sales represent the first year-over-year drop since May 2011, due to slower retail sales, two fewer sales days in the month, and this year’s Labor Day sales included in August 2013 totals,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book. “Despite the cool down this month, Kelley Blue Book forecasts sales will remain on track to exceed 15.6 million units in 2013 because of strong product introductions from automakers.”

 
My view
 
According to the specialists, new auto sales could fall significantly (5% in the worst case) in September. It means that personal consumption expenditures should be under pressure and its contribution to GDP would be less than expected in Q3. As a consequence, the Federal Reserve will not be obliged to start “tapering” at the end of October.