By on October 3, 2011

US car sales rose a solid 10 percent in September to a little over one million. The seasonally adjusted annual rate is reported as 13.1 million by Autodata.General Motors is up 20 percent, Chrysler shot up 27 percent, Ford brought up the rear with a 9 percent gain. And how did our analysts fare?

SAAR-wise, most of the analysts polled by Bloomberg came within a hair of the correct number. Jesse Toprak of TrueCar called it exactly. Jeff Schuster of J.D. Power and Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank were only a tenth of a percent off.

Rank Analyst  GM Ford  Chrysler  SAAR SAAR Diff OEM Diff Overall
1 Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank) 21.0% 8.5% 22.0% 13.0 0.76% 6.50% 7.26%
2 Seth Weber (RBC) 21.0% 8.0% 24.0% 12.8 2.29% 5.00% 7.29%
3 Jesse Toprak ( 21.0% 8.5% 20.0% 13.1 0.00% 8.50% 8.50%
4 Jessica Caldwell ( 19.0% 11.0% 23.0% 12.9 1.53% 7.00% 8.53%
5 Brian Johnson (Barclays) 17.0% 7.0% 25.0% 12.8 2.29% 7.00% 9.29%
6 Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse) 14.0% 4.0% 16.0% 12.6 3.82% 22.00% 25.82%
7 Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs) 15.0% -1.3% 13.0% 12.4 5.34% 29.30% 34.64%
8 Peter Nesvold (Jefferies) 24.0% 1.6%  NA 12.7 3.05% 111.40% 114.45%
9 Jeff Schuster (J.D. Power)   NA  NA   NA 13.0 0.76% 300.00% 300.76%
10 Itay Michaeli (Citigroup)   NA  NA   NA 12.9 1.53% 300.00% 301.53%
11 Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan)  NA  NA   NA 12.8 2.29% 300.00% 302.29%
12 Alan Baum (Baum & Associates)  NA  NA   NA 12.8 2.29% 300.00% 302.29%
13 Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley) NA  NA   NA 12.8 2.29% 300.00% 302.29%
14 George Magliano (IHS Automotive) NA  NA   NA 12.4 5.34% 300.00% 305.34%
Average 19.0% 5.9% 20.0% 12.8
Actual 20.0% 9.0% 27.0% 13.1

Where analysts really shined this month was when calling the sales of the Detroit 3. Most who had the guts to give estimates for the Detroit 3 had the big picture right: Chrysler way up, GM up a lot, Ford up, but not so much. The GM number received very close hits. The Ford guesses were a bit erratic, but also close. With Chrysler, some could have aimed a bit higher.

The winner of TTAC’s Grade the Analysts guessathon is Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank, a man who is otherwise known in the business as the best analyst for bearish calls. Seth Weber of the Royal Bank of Canada is breathing down his neck.

Only then come the folks who would have real time data, Jesse Toprak of TrueCar and Jessica Calwell of Edmunds. The bankers must have the better inside sources.

The analysts that did not give Big 3 data were hit with a massive penalty. That included Jeff Schuster of J.D. Power, and it ruined his pretty good SAAR call of 13.0 million. If you want to stand a chance in this game, you needs to guess SAAR, GM, Ford and Chrysler.

A solid “booooh” goes to George Magliano of IHS Automotive. Not only was he too scared to give Big 3 estimates. His 12.4 million SAAR wasn’t even close.

Congratulations to all.





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