Honda September Sales Sway

By Jeremy Anwyl September 23, 2011

Honda Sales Sway.jpg

Last week I reported that sales for September were tracking at a pace of 12.6 SAAR. This week's sales data looks pretty much the same -- just slightly less at 12.5 SAAR. Breaking this down, retail sales should total 821K which equates to a retail SAAR of 10.2. Assuming fleet sales of around 18% gets us to a unit sales total of 1,001K. We looked at the changes in retail share for the major manufacturers last week. Here's the latest:

AO092211 MS Sept vs Aug.jpg

Again, much the same as last week.

As I said in my last column on sales, the headlines when September sales are announced will no doubt focus on the increase over August. This is fair enough, but a deeper look at the data gives plenty of reason for caution, even before we factor in the latest stock market scares. Namely, that much of the increase is driven by Honda, who is finally turning things around with regard to shipments to dealers. These extra vehicles are being delivered to customers as fast as they arrive on dealer lots. The other caution is that incentives are increasing, but the consumer responses seems tepid. Here's preliminary incentive data:

AO092311 Sept TCI Change.jpgA possible factor in why consumers are holding back is that dealer margins are still higher than normal (about half the increase we saw earlier this year). Although, I have to point out this comparison is getting less useful as there are a fair number of 2012 vehicles now being sold. Keep that in mind as you look at the numbers:

AO092311 Sep-2011 Price Changes.jpgSo that is the latest on the sales front. I have to caution that there is still a week to go and there is risk that the pacing could slow. I will have a better sense for this when we release our official forecast for September next week.

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