Car Sales Ease into 'Cruise Control' in September, Forecasts

Car Sales Ease into 'Cruise Control' in September, Forecasts

Car Sales Ease into 'Cruise Control' in September, Forecasts

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — September 27, 2012 —, the premier resource for automotive information, forecasts that 1,145,344 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in September for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) this month of 14.4 million light vehicles. The results will keep the industry on track for's current forecast of 14.4 million new cars and trucks sold this year and sales of 15 million new cars and trucks in 2013.

"There's a feeling among dealers and automakers that car sales are easing into cruise control, and that's a good feeling for an industry that's felt more than its share of bumps in the last few years," says Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "This month's results offer more evidence that car buyers are finding the right signs to jump back into the market."

Sales Volume Sept-12 Forecast Sept-11 August-12 Change from Sept 2011* Change from August 2012*
GM 211,064 207,145 240,520 1.9% -12.2%
Ford 176,049 174,862 196,749 0.7% -10.5%
Toyota 160,560 121,451 188,520 32.2% -14.8%
Chrysler 138,030 127,334 148,472 8.4% -7.0%
Honda 114,606 89,532 131,321 28.0% -12.7%
Nissan 88,977 92,964 98,515 -4.3% -9.7%
Industry 1,145,344 1,053,153 1,284,635 8.8% -10.8%
*NOTE: September 2012 had 25 selling days, September 2011 had 25 and August 2012 had 27. estimates that September's projected sales will be a 10.8 percent decrease from August 2012, but an 8.8 percent increase from September 2011. Retail SAAR will come in at 11.9 million vehicles in September, with fleet transactions accounting for 17.0 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.13 million used cars will be sold in September, for a SAAR of 36.9 million (compared to 3.14 million — or a SAAR of 37.6 million — used car sales in August).

Chrysler is expected to enjoy the biggest jump in U.S. market share in September among the major manufacturers. The Detroit automaker's share is projected to climb 0.5 percentage points, month over month, for a share of 12.1 percent, which would be its highest share for any month since September of last year.

Market Share Sept-12 Forecast Sept-11 August-12 Change from Sept 2011 (Percentage pts.) Change from Aug 2012 (Percentage pts.)
GM 18.4% 19.7% 18.7% -1.2% -0.3%
Ford 15.4% 16.6% 15.3% -1.2% 0.1%
Toyota 14.0% 11.5% 14.7% 2.5% -0.7%
Chrysler 12.1% 12.1% 11.6% 0.0% 0.5%
Honda 10.0% 8.5% 10.2% 1.5% -0.2%
Nissan 7.8% 8.8% 7.7% -1.1% 0.1%

Toyota, meanwhile, will take the biggest hit to its market share this month, falling 0.7 percentage points to 14.0 percent of U.S. sales.

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