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General Motors, Ford Record Strong September Sales

GM sales increased by more than 12% year over year

The U.S. automotive market saw a strong surge in September with the Big Three - General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F) and Chrysler - reporting stunning sales during the month. 

Last month was the best September for the U.S. automotive market since 2005. The Detroit carmakers recorded double-digit growth. Usually, Labor Day falls in August, giving the month a big boost in terms of auto sales. This year, however, the late Labor Day weekend acted as a catalyst and helped lift September sales. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate came in at 18.17 million for September. This is above the analyst forecast of 17 million.

September: A blockbuster month for U.S. automakers

General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, saw sales increase by more than 12% to 251,310 units during the month compared with the previous year. The combined sales of Chevrolet, Buick and GMC displayed robust sales gain of 11%, 5% and 24%. Cadillac also showed huge signs of improvement with sales up 8% to 14,908 vehicles. Retail deliveries surged 17%, while commercial deliveries rose 10% over last year. The company’s fleet sales plunged 10% as a result of 12% decline in rental deliveries. Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operation said:

“Staying focused on core values like initial quality, sales and service satisfaction, cost of ownership, dependability and advanced technology is paying off in higher sales and share, stronger transaction prices and lower incentives…Unlike our competitors, we did not need to rely on higher incentives to grow our business.”

Ford witnessed sales gain of 23% year-over-year to 221,599 vehicles. The company's SUV and truck sales climbed 27% and 23.2%. The F-Series was among the sales leaders during the month with units sold increasing by 16.4%. The rise can be attributed to the Escape, Edge and Explorer models.

Chrysler’s sales increased 14% to 193,019 units on the back of heavy sales of its Jeep SUV brand, which increased sales by 40%. Ram and Dodge saw sales increase by 4% and 3%.

Performance of other automakers

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the largest global automaker, posted a sales gain of 16.2% to 194,370 units, compared to the year ago period. Lexus car sales climbed 0.5% to 12,639 units. Toyota Camry’s sales were up 21% to 34,487 units over September 2014, while the Corolla saw sales increase by 29.7% with 26,636 deliveries. Toyota’s compact SUV RAV4 stood out strong by logging sales of 26,963 units, up 18.7% over last year.

Volkswagen (VLKAY) witnessed a marginal sales increase of 0.56%. The German heavyweight was dragged down by the recent diesel emissions scandal. The bright spots in the carmaker’s September sales were the all-new Golf models and the Tiguan SUV. 

The U.S. is a hot market for the automakers, particularly because of the slowdown in the Chinese economy. Robust demand for fresh cars and light trucks is keeping the U.S. auto market attractive. Sales are expected to stay strong for the remainder of the year, as some consumers will take advantage of special deals on the outgoing 2015 models.

About the author:

Quick Pen
A seasoned writer with keen interest in the automotive, technology, telecommunication, retail and aerospace sectors.

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