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Market Update : 
In September and in 2015 Consumers Prefer Larger Vehicles
Author: Mukesh Buch
Last Update: 1:27 PM ET October 03 2015

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3:30 PM New York – September auto sales soared to a record high in ten years largely on the calendar shift, low interest rates and stable job market. The pace of increase in light truck sales and total sales continued to outpace the demand for passenger cars. Volkswagen sales struggled.

Seasonally adjusted U.S. auto sales in September surged 16% to 18.17 million the best run rate since July 2005 largely because of Labor Day calendar shift, the first time since 2012

Low gasoline price, incentives and lower interest rates drove demand for sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.

Closely watched Volkswagen sales were essentially flat, even namesake brand rose less than 1% after the company cheated on emission tests and the U.S. regulators announced penalties of up to $18 billion it on September 18.

The average new-vehicle transaction price for the month jumped to $33,730, an increase of $660 from the same period a year ago, the Kelley Blue Book said.

GM’s average transaction prices increased almost $800 per vehicle compared to August and almost $3,200 from a year ago month while incentives declined $400 per unit from last month and $800 from a year ago month.

Total light vehicle sales in September soared 15.8% to 1,442,460 from 1,246,006 in the month a year ago.

In September, sale of passenger cars jumped 6.7% to 619,109 from 580,260 but light truck sales surged 23.7% to 823,351 from 665,746 in the month a year ago.

Seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in September jumped to 18.17 million from 17.81 million in August and from 16.52 million in a year ago month, according to the data released by the industry researcher Autodata Corp based in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

All five largest automakers reported positive September sales.

Ford sales surged 23.3%, Nissan sales soared 18.3%. Sales at Toyota climbed 16.2%, Fiat Chrysler sales jumped 13.6% and sales at General Motors advanced 12.5%.

For the year so far, Fiat Chrysler sales climbed 6.3%, Nissan sales jumped 5.6%, sales at Ford increased 4.7%, sales at General Motors gained 4.2% and sales at Toyota rose 4%.

Kia sales surged 22.6%, sales soared 35.9% at Mitsubishi and Mazda sales jumped 6.8%. Subaru sales in September advanced 27.8%. research team left its 2015 annual sales estimate unrevised at 17 million.

GM Sales Soar 13%, Ford Sales Surge 23%

General Motors (GM) sales soared 12.5% to 251,310 units from 223,437. Sales of light vehicles surged 25.5% to 182,323 from 145,323 while automobile sales plunged 11.7% to 68,987 from 78,114.

For the year so far, sales jumped 4.2% to 2,299,847 from 2,207,888.

Ford Motor Company (F) said sales in September surged 23.3% to 221,269 units from 179,518 vehicles a year ago. Truck sales in the month advanced 25.1% to 157,537 from 125,909.

Sales of passenger cars soared 18.9% to 63,732 units from 53,609 a year ago month.

In September, sales of Fusion jumped 15% to 24,942 units compared to 21,693 units a year ago.

Fiesta sales surged 67.2% to 6,996 units and Mustang sales soared two-fold to 9,456 units from 3,158 units ad sales in utilities climbed 26.8% to 69,892 units compared to a year ago.

F-Series truck sales in the month advanced 16% to 69,651 and SUVs achieved the best September results in 12 years and surged 27% while Focus sales tumbled 12.7% to 13,437 vehicles.

Escape sales in the month rose 31.1% to 28,473 vehicles but Edge sales surged 33.4% to 10,262 vehicles. Ford brand sales soared 23.1% to 212,919 vehicles and Lincoln sales jumped 19.6% to 8,680 vehicles.

Fiat Chrysler LLC sales in the month jumped 13.6% to 193,019 units from 169,890 vehicles and rose for the 66th month in a row.

Total car sales in the month fell 1% to 39,667 units while truck sales soared 18.1% to 153,352 units from a year ago period. Jeep Brand sales jumped 40% to 77,201 units and Ram Truck brand sales increased 4% to 39,946 units.

Chrysler brand sales declined 5% to 27,250 units and Dodge brand sales rose 3% to 45,170 units.

For the year so far, sales increased 6.3% to 1,654,861 units from 1,556,059 units.

Honda, Nissan, Toyota Sales Soar]

Toyota Motor sales in September soared 16.2% to 194,399 units from 167,279 units in the same period a year earlier.

Passenger car sales jumped 19.1% to 101,796 from 85,499 units and light trucks surged 13.2% to 92,603 units from 81,780 units in the same period a year ago.

For the year, sales gained 4% to 1.87 million.

Honda sales in September advanced 13.1% to 133,750 units from 118,223 units a year ago period.

Passenger car sales rose 3% to 70,115 units from 68,070 units and sales of the light trucks increased 26.9% to 63,635 units compared to 50,153 units a year ago month.

Acura sales jumped 6.3% to 14,704 units while sales of Accord dropped 2.1% to 33,641 units.

For the year, sales increased 2.4% to 1,188,566 units from 1,160,605 units.

Nissan Motor Company vehicles sales in September surged 18.3% to 121,782 from 102,955 vehicles in the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales jumped 5.6% to 1,122,488 from 1,063,272 vehicles.

Passenger car sales in the month jumped 13.8% while sales of light trucks soared 24.7% from a year ago month.

Mitsubishi Motors vehicles sales advanced 35.9% to 7,556 units compared to 5,558 units in the month of last year.

Sales for Mazda jumped 6.8% to 25,616 units compared to 23,980 units in September 2014.

Subaru of America Inc sales in the month increased 27.8% to 53,070 vehicles from 41,517 vehicles a year ago period. Year-to-date sales jumped 14.2% to 428,702 vehicles from 375,485 vehicles.

In the month, sales of automobiles surged 30.4% to 30,292 vehicles compared to 23,229 and sales of the light trucks rose 24.6% to 22,778 vehicles from 18,288 vehicles a year ago period.

Hyundai Motor America sales soared 14.3% to 64,015 units from 56,010 units. Sales of light vehicles surged 49% to 18,677 units from 12,534 units and automobiles sales rose 4.3% to 45,338 units.

Kia Motors America sales in the month jumped 22.6% to 49,820 vehicles from a year ago month.

Auto sales in September increased 12.7% while sales of light trucks surged 49.4% from in the same month a year ago.

Jaguar Land Rover Sales Soar 61%

Volkswagen Group of America Inc sales in September rose 5.9% to 43,668 units from 41,221 units a year ago period.

Audi sales jumped 16.2% to 17,340; Volkswagen brand sales edged up 0.6% to 26,141 units while Bentley sales plunged 53% to 111 units. Lamborghini sales gained 5.6% to 76 units.

Mercedes-Benz USA unit sales in September increased 6% to 32,087 vehicles from a year ago month.

Maybach did not sell a single vehicle in the month and sales of the Smart branded vehicles inched up 0.3% to 750 vehicles from 748 vehicles a year ago period.

BMW of North America Inc sales in September rose 4.1% to 31,092 units compared to 29,867 units in the same month a year ago.

Rolls Royce sales soared 12.9% to 70 units from a year ago and Mini sales added 4.6% to 4,414 units.

Jaguar Land Rover N.A. LLC unit sales in September surged 61.3% to 6,850 units from 4,248 units a year ago. Land Rover sales soared 88.5% to 5,855 units from 3,106 units.

Porsche Cars N.A. Inc sales in the month climbed 22.7% to 4,424 vehicles from 3,607 vehicles a year ago period. For the year-so-far sales jumped 11.1% to 39,300 vehicles from 35,366 vehicles.

Sales of passenger cars in the month rose 13.6% to 1,941 vehicles from 1,709 vehicles and sales of the light trucks surged 30.8% to 2,483 vehicles compared to 1,898 vehicles a year ago month.

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Sources: Data collected by and from company press releases, filings and corporate websites.
Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc.

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