September Car Sales Outpace Forecasts


Continued unleashing of pent-up demand, widely available and cheap credit combined with a host of recently-introduced new models drove September car sales beyond forecasts.

September sales totaled 1.188 million vehicles, up 13 percent from September 2011. That put the Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of sales at 14.9 million vehicles for the highest seasonal rate of the year and the highest since early 2008. That was up from a 14.5 million SAAR in August and a 13.1 million SAAR last September. Sales for the month exceeded most forecasts, including Edmunds.com's, which expected sales of 1.145 million vehicles and a SAAR of 14.4 million. September typically is not a month in which unit sales are high. "Seasonally speaking, September isn't typically a strong month for unit sales, but this one was the best September since 2007," noted Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell.

On a conference call Tuesday, General Motors vice president of U.S. sales, Kurt McNeil, noted that the SAAR "has been resilient for most of the year, and, in the last two months, it has been particularly strong." He added: "Going forward, we continue to be encouraged by positive signs in the housing market, lower jobless claims and higher consumer sentiment and consumer spending. Yes, there are stiff headwinds including the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the pace of the economy. But we still believe all factors are net positive with auto sales continuing to be a bright spot in U.S. economy."

There's no secret recipe for the higher-than-expected sales, like hefty incentives or outsized fleet sales. Incentives fell slightly in September as 2013 models hit the market, according to Edmunds.com's True Cost of Incentives (TCI). The average auto industry incentive was $2,227 per vehicle in September, down 3.1 percent from August and down 9.3 percent from September 2011. The decline ended a five-month streak of month-over-month incentive increases that began in April. "This is the time of the year when inventories really start to see dramatic shifts in the proportion of vehicles from the upcoming model year," noted Edmunds.com's Caldwell. "As demand builds for the new hot designs, car dealers don't have to offer as much of a discount to move those vehicles off their lots. That's why we recommend that car shoppers give extra consideration to some of the great deals on outgoing 2012 model year vehicles."

September Car Sales

Higher vehicle sales are the result of the simple fundamentals - consumers' need to buy, credit is available and automakers are offering interesting new models, noted Edmunds.com's Caldwell. The vehicles on American roads are the oldest in history, and consumers are reaching their limit for keeping them. The high-level of trade-ins on new-car deals during September illustrates that households are not adding to their fleets but rather upgrading their primary vehicle. In September, about half of all new cars sold came with a vehicle traded-in for it; that compares with 39 percent in the heady days of 2005 car sales. All year, vehicles traded in have been around six years old — the highest seen consistently month-after-month in recent history. For the year, vehicles traded in for new ones had tracked at about 18 percent older than those traded-in on new vehicles sold in 2005. In September, the margin jumped to 24 percent higher, according to Edmunds.com data. Chrysler experienced the industry's highest percentage of trade-ins: 63 percent of Ram buyers came to the dealership with a trade-in, the industry's highest level, with Chrysler brand at 60 percent and Dodge brand at 56 percent, according to Edmunds.com's analysis of sales transaction data.

The wider availability of credit became obvious in data that showed half of all new cars sold in September were obtained by consumers through financing available at the dealership, the first time the 50-percent threshold had been crossed. Promotion of low-or-no interest rates is working as well. About 10 percent of vehicles sold in September carried a zero-percent financing contract, on par with August but a higher percentage than the rest of the year as automakers sell-down 2012 models to make way for the 2013s. Toyota won the crown for most zero-percent finance contracts written. About a third of consumers buying Toyotas got the no-interest deal, the highest percentage of all automakers all year but still not as high as a percentage as during Toyota's post-recall promotions.

And heavy shopping on Edmunds.com demonstrates consumers are intrigued by new models. Most notably, shoppers are interested in the new offerings in the midsize car category. The Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America, was revised last fall, just after Volkswagen introduced the new Passat. Nissan introduced the new Altima in June. General Motors launched the first version of the new Malibu in January and is rolling out the rest of the new Malibu line now. Honda just went to market with the new Accord and Ford is launching the new Fusion. As a result of all of the new vehicles in the segment, shopping for midsize cars is heavy and so are sales. The midsize segment now accounts for about 18.4 percent of all U.S. sales, the highest it's been in a decade or more.

But the pace of sales throughout September was anything but smooth. Volkswagen of America's CEO Jonathan Browning called the pace "choppy" throughout the month and varied by region, with the Northeast being the weakest. Similarly, Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president and general manager, said sales were "gangbuster" during the first 15 days of the month and then dropped off. Nissan, typically strong in the Northeast, also noticed a drop-off in the region.

Still, with three-fourths of the year complete, 2012 sales are on track to meet most forecasts that put total annual sales at 14 million to 14.5 million vehicles. Edmunds.com predicts light truck and car sales ultimately will total about 14.4 million vehicles in 2012 and could hit 15 million in 2013. "There's no sign that these fundamental won't remain," said Edmunds.com's Caldwell.

September Car Sales

General Motors: GM reported September sales of 210,245 vehicles, up 1.5 percent compared with a year ago for GM's best September since 2008, the month that Lehman Brothers collapsed ushering in the recession. Its sales were roughly in line with Edmunds.com's forecast. Sales by brand showed Chevrolet was up 1.5 percent, Buick rose 7.9 percent, GMC was flat, and Cadillac was down 1.3 percent. The bright spot was GM car sales which were up 29 percent, driven largely by new models. Mini, small and compact cars were up a combined 97 percent.

"Passenger cars have been the launch point for a broad and deep GM product offensive," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. Indeed, GM experienced strong sales of cars, especially small, fuel-efficient ones: the Chevrolet Cruze, up 43 percent to 25,787 units; the Chevrolet Sonic at 7,252 units; the Chevrolet Spark at 2,223 units while it remains available only in 18 markets; an all-time record for the Chevrolet Volt at 2,851 sold in the month; and the Buick Verano at 4,042 units sold. The Cadillac XTS, introduced in June, has been off to a good start with 2,506 sold in September; the Cadillac ATS had its first month of sales with 611 units sold.

GM claimed truck sales were down 12 percent — led by a 17-percent drop in Chevrolet Silverado sales — because GM is winding down the old version to make way for the new ones and fleet sales were down 46 percent "due to the timing of customer deliveries." GM replaces its full-size pickup trucks and its full-size SUVs next year. Sales of large crossovers like the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, with the exception of the GMC Acadia, had lower sales due to higher gas prices, GM executives said. Small crossover sales of the GMC Terrain and Equinox rose.

GM noted that the car market is opportunely improving as 70 percent of GM nameplates are new or redesigned in 2012 and 2013.

September Car Sales

Ford: Ford Motor Co. reported sales of 174,976 in September, a 0.1-percent decrease compared with August, 2011, as the company's sales compared with last September were hit by the almost complete phase-out of the Ranger midsize pickup truck and Crown Victoria large car, as well as changeover to a new-generation version of the high-volume Fusion midsize sedan.

Sales of the discontinued Ranger and Crown Victoria have dwindled to the low hundreds (Ranger sold 93 units for the month) and Fusion sales were off 37 percent as Ford continued selloff of the 2012 model as the pipeline began filling for the all-new 2013 version. Between the three models, Ford lost 16,000 sales compared with September, 2011.

Offsetting those losses was a giant 91.4-percent gain (to 19,736) for the Focus subcompact car, a reflection perhaps, not only of rising gasoline prices during the month but also Fusion intenders possibly not finding enough supply and shifting to the Focus. Also on the car side of the showroom, Taurus sales improved by 9.8 percent to 4,727. Sales for the Fiesta subcompact were off a slight 1.1 percent and Mustang sales dropped 12.2 percent to 4,439 units.

Also enjoying a healthy month was another of Ford's important new high-volume models, the Escape compact crossover, for which sales jumped 14.5 percent in September to 23,148 units, outselling the segment's benchmark, the Honda CR-V. The Explorer midsize crossover gained 18.7 percent on 13,453 sales, while the Flex crossover was off by 27.2 (1,518 units) and the Edge sold 10,771, a decline of 7.8 percent.

Despite the big drop off from Ranger's discontinuation, Ford's pickups held their own in September — the high-volume F-Series was up 1.2 percent to a whopping 55,077 sales as the industry geared up inventory-clearing incentives for full-size pickups in September. At the Lincoln luxury-car unit, total sales were 6,802 in September, a decline of 3.1 percent as the brand prepares to launch an all-new version of its best-selling model, the MKZ midsize sedan, which is based on the 2013 Fusion. Nevertheless, MKZ sales in September were up 33 percent to 2,575 units. Lincoln's MKT and Navigator also were up for the month, while sales dropped for the MKS flagship (-33.9 percent to 709 sales).

September Car Sales

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales reported September sales results of 171,910 vehicles for a 42-percent increase, well above Edmunds.com's forecast, which called for a 32-percent gain. "The auto industry had another very encouraging month in September," said Bill Fay, Toyota group vice president and general manager. "Our dealers got off to a great start over Labor Day weekend and that momentum carried through the rest of the month, as Camry continued to stretch its lead as the most popular car in America."

Toyota division accounted for the bulk of the increase with sales of 151,524 vehicles, up 42 percent. Toyota car sales rose 47 percent; Toyota truck, SUV and crossover sales climbed 37 percent. The Toyota Camry led the way with sales of 34,252 vehicles, including hybrids; Corolla came in second with 23,026 sales.

"Toyota helped itself significantly in September with the largest single-month concentration of 0% APR deals for any manufacturer this year," noted Edmunds.com's Caldwell. "This makes sense because Toyota still offers more 2012 model year vehicles than most automakers. It also helps that Toyota's customers can qualify for better APR than most of its competitors' customers — an advantage that's magnified by the fact that more car buyers are financing than ever before."

Toyota Division passenger cars recorded combined monthly sales of 85,642 units, up 47.1 percent from September 2011. Passenger car sales were led by Camry and Camry Hybrid with combined sales of 34,252 units, up 38 percent, followed by Corolla at 23,026 units sold for a 43-percent increase. The Prius family of vehicles posted a 103-percent increase in September sales of 18,932 units. Yaris sales fell 30 percent, and Avalon sales were down as the old model is being cleared for the new one coming in December. The RAV4 led the way on the truck side with an 80-percent hiked to 13,796 vehicles sold. Every Toyota truck model posted a gain; the Sienna van was roughly flat with a year ago. Similarly, every Scion model posted a hefty double-digit gain, pushing the brand to a 75-percent increase. The new FR-S sports car kicked in 1,133 in sales; the new iQ accounted for 683 sales.

Lexus reported sales of 20,386 units, up 36 percent. Car sales and truck/SUV sales were up about the same amount individually. The new ES 350, including the hybrid model sales up 81 percent to 6,553 units. RX sales rose 41 percent to 7,046 sold. GS sales soared 408 percent to 1,454 units. All three models have been revamped this year.

Toyota's hybrid sales totaled 26,747 units, up 121 percent.

September Car Sales

Chrysler: Chrysler Group reported sales of 142,041 vehicles, a 12-percent increase compared with sales in September 2011 for and the automaker's best September sales since 2007. Chrysler outperformed Edmunds.com's forecast, which had the auto company up 8 percent. "Last month marked our 30th-consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest September in five years," Reid Bigland, president and CEO of the Dodge Brand and head of U.S. sales, said in a statement. "Going forward with our current product line up, record low interest rates and a stable U.S. economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the U.S. new vehicle sales industry and our position in it."

All brands posted an increase from a year ago, and some models posted new sales records. Sales of Dodge models — the automaker's highest-volume brand - were up 18 percent to 47,356 units, the brand's best September in five years and second best sales month this year. The all-important Dodge Dart pitched in sales of 5,235 vehicles, up a hefty 72 percent from August as the Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant increases production of the new small car. Two Dodge brand models set September sales records: Dodge Journey had sales up 41 percent from a year ago; and the Dodge Avenger midsize sedan had sales hike of 89 percent, the largest percentage increase of any Dodge brand model. Dodge Grand Caravan minivan sales rose 32 percent for its best sales since 2006. Jeep sales increased 10 percent, the brand's best September sales in six years. September record-setters were the Jeep Patriot, up 42 percent for the largest sales gain of any of the Jeep models, and the Jeep Wrangler, up 6 percent. The brand's volume-leading Jeep Grand Cherokee had sales rise 19 percent for its best September in seven years.

Chrysler brand sales were up 5 percent with two less vehicles than a year ago for the brand's best September sales in five years. The Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan set a September sales record with sales up 13 percent. Sales of the revamped Chrysler 300 flagship sedan were up 7 percent for its best September in five years. Chrysler Town & Country minivans dipped by 2 percent.

Sales of the Ram pickup truck were up 6 percent for its best September since 2007. The Ram Cargo Van posted a 223-percent sales increase. Chrysler has extensively revised the 2013 Ram 1500 to include a new frame and new powertrains.

Fiat sales soared 51 percent for an all-time sales record for 4,176 vehicles sold.

September Car Sales

Honda: American Honda reported sales of 117,211 in September, a 30.9-percent increase compared with September, 2011, when Honda has just started to pull up from a decimating sales plunge caused by a March earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Sales for Honda's Acura premium-vehicle division also leaped by 43.5 in September.

Critically for Honda, sales kicked off in September for the all-new 2013 Accord midsize sedan — and accordingly, the Accord had a giant month, selling 29,182 units for a 56.6-percent increase compared with inventory-ravaged September, 2011. The Accord's relative gain was slightly eclipsed, however, by the 57-percent improvement for the Civic compact car, which sold 21,546 units for the month. The Fit subcompact slid by 1.6 percent in September, while the Insight hybrid plunged 52 percent to just 516 sales and the CR-Z hybrid coupe dropped 37.6 percent to 335 units.

It was all good in September for Honda's trucks, as every model save the Pilot midsize crossover (-2.5 percent) gained compared with last year. The best-selling CR-V sold 22,268 units, a 13.6-percent hike, while the Odyssey minivan was up 18.9 percent to 11,365 sales and the Ridgeline pickup moved 1,060 units, a 51.4-percent improvement.

For the Acura upscale unit, sales leaped 119.9-percent for the redesigned RDX compact crossover, which found 2,938 buyers in September. The effectiveness of the RDX's redesign is evident in the fact that the habitually low-volume RDX challenged the MDX midsize crossover (+60.4 percent to 4,692 sales) and TL midsize sedan (+29.1 percent to 3,236 sales) for the brand's top-selling spot. One casualty of the RDX's newfound success could be Acura's former entry-level car, the TSX, where September sales plunged 46 percent to 1,681 units. Also potentially cutting into TSX sales is Acura's new entry model, the Civic-based ILX, which sold 1,737 examples for the month.

September Car Sales

Nissan: Nissan North America, which includes the Nissan and Infiniti brands, reported sales of 91,907 vehicles, down 1.1 percent from a year ago but less than the 4-percent decline that Edmunds.com forecasted. Nissan brand sales totaled 82,462 vehicles, down 2.4 percent from a year ago; Infiniti sales totaled 9,445 vehicles, up 11 percent from last year.

Nissan sales were down largely due to tight availability of its new midsize Altima, launched in June and accounting for nearly a third of Nissan's total sales. "The Altima launch is going very well and the car is being very well received," said Nissan's Castignetti in an interview with Edmunds.com. "The issue is dealer inventory. We have a 35-day supply (when 60 is considered normal) and we're particularly anemic on tech packages, which should account for 15 percent of sales but are now only at 6 percent. We probably won't be up to normal levels until late October." Further, the old Altima is virtually sold out with only about 1,300 in dealer inventory, he said.

Ditto for the Nissan Versa sedan. Versa sales in total were down 32 percent, largely because sedan inventory is running at very low levels, said Castignetti. Both the sedan and hatchback are made in Mexico. The sedan was new last year; the hatchback is new in early 2013. In fact, Nissan is in the process of turning over a lot of its models. The new Sentra goes on sale in late October and the old one is selling down quickly with sales up 15 percent in September. The new Pathfinder goes on sale in October as well; sales of the old version being sold down were up 39 percent in September. Sale of Nissan's body-on-frame trucks and SUVs slowed due to rising gas prices, Castignetti said. Meantime Rogue set a new September record of 12,106 sales, up 13 percent. Leaf sales hit their highest level in 12 months at 984 units.

Infiniti sales were up 11 percent but were also hampered by supply shortages of the G sedan, which accounts for 40 percent of Infiniti sales and were down 29 percent, said Infiniti chief Ben Poore in a phone interview. Only the FX posted a sales gain; the new JX kicked in sales of 2,251 units.

Hyundai: Hyundai Motor America reported sales of 60,025 in September, a 15-percent increase compared with September, 2011. It was Hyundai's best-ever September and marked more than two years of consecutive month-over-month sales increases, while pushing Hyundai's year-to-date sales up 10 percent compared to the first nine months of its record-setting 2011. Sales for nearly every model in the Hyundai lineup gained in September, led by a 1,028-percent leap for the all-new Azera full-size sedan, although raw volume remained modest at 891 units. Year-to-date sales for the redesigned Azera are up 426 percent as well.

Hyundai's mainstream models mostly performed well in September: the Elantra compact car was up 27 percent to a robust 18,305 units to become the brand's best-selling model for the month, edging out the Sonata midsizer, where 17,332 sales amounted to a 5-percent decline. The Tucson compact crossover was up 23 percent on 4,573 sales and the Veloster coupe, aided by availability of the new turbocharged variant, jumped 262 percent.

Also down for Hyundai in September were the Accent subcompact car, off 5 percent, and the Genesis lineup, which slid 11 percent to 2,669 sales.

Kia: Kia Motors America reported sales of 48,105 in September, smashing its record September of last year by 35 percent and generating 25 consecutive months of sales records and a record third quarter that saw sales up 18 percent over the same period in 2011.

Kia's record September was led by the Optima midsize sedan, its 14,304 sales a 231-percent explosion over last year. The Soul compact hatchback also chalked up an impressive month with 9,467 sales, a 42-percent improvement of last September, while the Rio subcompact posted a 1,668-percent gain over last year, when the supplies of the new-generation Rio where just trickling into showrooms. The Forte compact car improved sales by 27 percent in September, finding 6,912 buyers.

A few Kia models did backslide in September, however. The popular Sorento midsize crossover dropped 10 percent to 10,066 sales and the Sportage compact crossover and Sedona minivan also had respective declines of 20 percent and 54 percent.

Volkswagen: Volkswagen of America, Inc. reported September sales of 36,663 units, 34-percent increase from a year ago for the German automaker's best September since 1972.

In September, Volkswagen posted the highest mix of diesel sales for the entire year; TDI represented 23.9 percent of Volkswagen's September sales volume, mostly from the Passat, Jetta and Golf. The Chattanooga, Tenn.-built Passat set a September sales record with 9,500 sold, up 199 percent from a year ago. During the month, the Passat topped its best full-year sales total ever in less than nine months. The Tiguan also set a September sales record with 2,202 sold, up 35 percent. Golf sales were up 34 percent to 1,758 units for its best September since 2007. The Beetle had its best September since 2003 at 2,622 units sold, up 263 percent from a year ago. The volume-leading Jetta had total sales of 14,740, down 2 percent from a year ago with SportWagen sales up 14 percent and sedan sales down 4 percent. Touareg sales rose 26 percent.

For the year so far, Volkswagen sales are up 37 percent, its best performance in four decades, and within 1,300 units of sales for full-year 2011. "And we promise not to go on vacation this last quarter so we will exceed last year's calendar year sales shortly," said Volkswagen of America President and CEO Jonathan Browning. "As we enter the fourth quarter of the year, we expect to continue our pattern of outperforming the industry."

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz USA reported record September sales of 23,156 for its Mercedes-Benz models, up 7 percent. Combined sales of Mercedes vehicles, smart cars — also setting a record — and Sprinter vans, which were even with a year ago, also set a September record of 25,980 units, up 9 percent. "We're on our way to a record year with extraordinary momentum and demand outpacing supply," stated Steve Cannon, president and CEO.

Mercedes-Benz sales for the month of September were led by the C-, E- and GLK-Class model lines. C-Class took the lead with sales of 7,872, up 15 percent. E-Class sales followed with sales of 4,826 units, down 6 percent. And the restyled GLK-Class rounded out the top three with sales of 3,206 units, up 66 percent. Sales of the SLK roadster were up 116 percent to 416 units sold. The new 2013 SL roadster posted sales of 621 units, up 827 percent. Mercedes sold 37 SLS AMG supercars for a 48-percent increase. Sales in other model lines decreased: S-Class sales, down 36 percent; CL sales, down 30 percent; M-Class sales, down 2 percent; G-Class sales, down 30 percent; GL-Class sales, down 23 percent. CLS-Class sales were flat.

The smart brand continued eleven consecutive months of sales increases with its highest month ever since Mercedes-Benz USA took over the brand last year. September sales of 1,030 units were up 120 percent. The company sold 1,794 Sprinters, about flat with a year ago.

BMW Group: The BMW Group, which includes the BMW and Mini combined, reported September sales of 26,660 vehicles, a 4-percent increase. Sales of BMW-brand vehicles were about flat at 21,761 units. Sales of the volume-leading 3-Series dropped 17 percent to 7,731 units in September. Among cars, only sales of the niche Z4 (34 percent) and 6 Series (80 percent) were up. The new X1 contributed 1,570 units of sales. X3 sales soared 64 percent to 3,034 units. Sales of other utilities were about even with a year ago.

Mini reported best-ever September sales of 4,899 automobiles, up 23 percent, on the strength of the now volume-leading Countryman, which had sales up 6 percent to 2,002 units. Other Mini models had lower sales than a year ago.

"The economic indicators and consumer confidence are showing improvement and the traffic in our showrooms is further encouraging our optimism for the fourth quarter of the year as the BMW new model ramp-up continues," said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, LLC. "The X1 in its first full month is largely sold out and MINI set another sales record; both are strong indicators of.

Subaru: Subaru of America reported September sales of 27,683 vehicles, a 32-percent increase from September 2011. Sales of Subaru's volume leader, the refreshed Outback (10,538 units sold), and Legacy models (4,124 vehicles sold) increased 39 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Impreza sales were up 211 percent to 4,992 units. Forester sales dipped by 8 percent to 6,066 units. Two new models pitched in additional sales as well. The BRZ sports car had sales of 508 vehicles; the XVCrosstrek, which just arrived in dealerships this fall, had 192 units of sales. Sales of the Impreza WRX and Tribeca were down.

"Subaru sales continue to rise because we have the right product, the right positioning and a strong retail network," said Thomas J. Doll, Subaru of America executive vice president and COO. Added Bill Cypers, Subaru of America senior vice president of sales: "With such strong September sales, Subaru is in an excellent position to exceed 300,000 units this year."

Mazda: Mazda North American Operations reported September U.S. sales of 24,135 vehicles, a 5-percent decline from a year ago. Mazda models equipped with the Japanese automaker's fuel-saving Skyactiv Technology (including the CX-5 utility and some Mazda3 models) accounted for 67.4 percent of all Mazda sales in September. The Mazda3 had its best-ever September sales of 14,031 units, a 57-percent increase, and of all Mazda3 models sold, 84 percent were equipped with Skyactive technology. CX-5 sales continued to exceed expectations, posting sales of 4,468 units. Lack of availability has hampered the nationwide availability since the utility's launch, the automaker said, with increased production just now starting to match supply with demand. MX-5 Miata sales rose 17 percent to 505 vehicles.

Audi: Audi reported record September sales of 12,302 new vehicles, a 27-percent increase above the previous record set in September 2011. Audi already has exceeded 100,000 U.S. sales for the third time ever, and September 2012 stands as the third-best month of U.S. sales in Audi of America history.

Sales of Audi premium category vehicles (Audi A8, Audi A7, Audi A6, and Audi Q7) represented 35.7 percent of Audi's September sales; Audi S performance models accounted for 10.4 percent of Audi sales. Diesel accounted for 55.2 percent of all Audi sales. Diesel represented 32.4 percent of A3 sales, and 32.4 percent of Q7 sales.

On an individual model basis, every model but three posted increases. R8 and TT sales were down; Q5 sales were flat, likely due to availability constraints. Strong individual performances included A6 sales that were up 84 percent, A8 (up 34 percent) and Q7 (up 95 percent). Sales of the updated Audi A4 combined with the new Audi allroad rose 13 percent. A5 sales climbed 26 percent.

"Our newly expanded lineup of S-model performance cars is delivering strong immediate results," said Mark Del Rosso, Audi of America COO. "This fact, along with increasing demand for our refreshed core models, bodes well for record sales results by year-end and more gains into 2013."

Volvo: Volvo Cars of North America reported September sales of 4,977 vehicles, 1-percent decrease from September 2011. It was the company's best September sales since 2007. The volume-leaders was the S60 sedan with 1,577 units sold, down 3 percent, followed by the XC60 crossover with 1,562 units sold, a 115- percent increase. The XC60 was the only Volvo model to post a sales rise.

Jaguar Land Rover: Jaguar Land Rover North America reported September sales of 4,640 vehicles, up 20 percent from September 2011. Land Rover sales for the month were 3,636, up 33 percent; Jaguar sales were 1,004 cars, down 10 percent.

Porsche: Porsche Cars North America reported September sales of 2,736 vehicles, up 26 percent from a year ago. Sales of the Cayenne SUV rose 47 percent. Of those, about 20 percent were equipped with diesel engines. Panamera sedan sales climbed 18 percent. Boxster/Cayman and 911 sales also rose.

Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi Motors North America reported September sales of 4,806 vehicles, down 17 percent from a year ago. Every Mitsubishi model posted a significant decline except for the volume-leading Outlander Sport, which posted sales of 2,253 units, a 49-percent increase. That was the best month for the crossover in two years.

Suzuki: American Suzuki Motor Corp. reported September sales of 1,921 units. SX4 sales were up 1 percent.

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