September Light Vehicle sales, which will be out on Monday, could rise to levels not seen since April, analysts surveyed by Bloomberg reckon. The consensus average stands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12.8 million units. The people who have the real time sales data even think it’s a bit higher: Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds figures 12.9 million SAAR, Jesse Toprak of Truecar even expects 13.1 million. And guess who saved the American bacon? The Japanese.
The American factories of Toyota and Honda are running at full tilt. Toyota already pre-announced that it has turned the corner and expects to reverse monthly U.S. sales declines next month. Honda is running two Ohio plants on overtime shifts.
“The big story this month was better inventory and favorable pricing” for consumers, said Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds. This means that incentives are back up. It will be a hot fall and winter: From my talks with Japanese manufacturers I expect aggressive sales campaigns well into the next year to make up for lost volume. It will be a tough battle for American manufacturers that already had piles of cash on the hoods of their cars when supply was tight. It will be an even tougher battle for GM, which already was leading in incentive spending.
For September, analysts still expect minus signs in front of the growth rates of Toyota and Honda, which is strongly expected to change in October.
|Patrick Archambault (Goldman Sachs)||15.0%||-1.3%||13.0%||12.4|
|George Magliano (IHS Automotive)||NA||NA||NA||12.4|
|Chris Ceraso (Credit Suisse)||14.0%||4.0%||16.0%||12.6|
|Peter Nesvold (Jefferies)||24.0%||1.6%||NA||12.7|
|Himanshu Patel (JPMorgan)||NA||NA||NA||12.8|
|Brian Johnson (Barclays)||17.0%||7.0%||25.0%||12.8|
|Seth Weber (RBC)||21.0%||8.0%||24.0%||12.8|
|Alan Baum (Baum & Associates)||NA||NA||NA||12.8|
|Adam Jonas (Morgan Stanley)||NA||NA||NA||12.8|
|Jessica Caldwell (Edmunds.com)||19.0%||11.0%||23.0%||12.9|
|Itay Michaeli (Citigroup)||NA||NA||NA||12.9|
|Rod Lache (Deutsche Bank)||21.0%||8.5%||22.0%||13.0|
|Jeff Schuster (J.D. Power)||NA||NA||NA||13.0|
|Jesse Toprak (TrueCar.com)||21.0%||8.5%||20.0%||13.1|
Once all the sales numbers are in, we will also announce the results of our monthly Grade The Analysts competition. The rules will remain the same as last month: We will grade on a combo of correct SAAR and correct calls on the Detroit 3, with severe punishment for those analysts who only give a SAAR number. With SAARs varying from 12.4 to 13.1 million, and with more analysts giving numbers for the Detroit 3, the race should become interesting.