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Nissan sales rise 4.9 pct., bucking forecasts of down month

04 October 2016

"The business is as competitive as I've seen in my 32 years", said Mark LaNeve, Ford's USA sales chief, in a conference call Monday with analysts and media.

Ford's auto sales continued a downward spiral, plummeting 20.7 percent, while its SUVs fell 3.4 percent and trucks fell 1.8 percent.

Among other automakers, General Motors' (GM) U.S. September sales dipped 0.6%.

General Motors (GM), the No. 1 US carmaker, posted a 0.6% decline for the month, in line with a previously announced policy change to reduce less-profitable fleet sales.

Total U.S. industry sales are heading for about a 1.5% decline in September compared with the same month a year ago even though automakers tried to keep the sales momentum going with higher incentives.

GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said this year's sales could reach or almost match last year's and at least remain there for the next two years. LaNeve says the company's inventory was abnormally low a year ago, noting September 2014's supply was 83 days.

U.S. vehicle sales have fallen slightly as demand for new cars and trucks sputtered.

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Fiat Chrysler reported a decline of 0.9 percent, compared with the average estimate for a drop of 5.1 percent. "There's still a possibility that the industry can deliver record full-year sales but, at the very least, auto makers can feel good that sales are consistently hovering at or around last year's record levels".

Industrywide spending for discounts rose US$430 per vehicle from a year ago, Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of USA marketing, sales and service, said on a conference call after the company reported sales. Sales were up 41.6% for the Chevrolet Colorado, 26.5% for the GMC Canyon, up 64.5% for the Nissan Frontier and up 35.4% for the new Toyota Tacoma.

Ford reported inventory of 651,000 vehicles, an 80-day supply, almost static with August and up from 599,000 vehicles and a 68-day supply in September 2015. F-Series truck sales also fell 3 percent as Ford prepared to launch its new Super Duty trucks.

In the full-size pickup segment, September sales of 179,049 vehicles from the Detroit Three pencils out to a Ford market share of 37.9% (up 0.1 point). Sales of the hybrid Prius fell 23 percent, a victim of low gas prices.

- Honda Motor Co.'s sales fell less than 1 percent to 133,655. A 73% leap in Expedition sales and a 6.4% uptick in Transit small van sales carried the brand, offsetting big declines by the Fiesta (-39.5%), Mustang (-32%), Transit Connect (-29.5%) and C-Max (-27.4%). The stock was trading up around 0.4 percent at $12.12. Analysts were expecting an 8% drop, according to Bloomberg.

Nissan also enjoyed a strong month in September as sales grew by 5% on strong sales of trucks, sport utility vehicle and crossovers.

Nissan sales rise 4.9 pct., bucking forecasts of down month