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New Car Sales for September: Winners and Losers

Source: Autoweek

U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 6.3 percent in September -- the first gain of the year -- on strong truck demand and fatter deals.

Some analysts expected industry volumes last month to benefit from replacement demand for hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged by hurricanes in Texas and Florida. But the robust results -- underscored by a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 18.58 million for the month -- blew well past the most optimistic forecasts.

It is the highest SAAR since the 20.64 million rate recorded in July 2005 behind employee-style discounts.

“The auto industry showed renewed strength in September, bringing optimism for a third consecutive year with sales topping 17 million new vehicles,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota division.

It was a particularly strong month for light trucks, with sales advancing 12 percent, while car demand remained weak and down 3.3 percent.

“The overall strength of the U.S. economy is the main force driving the market,” GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said in a statement. “With the U.S. economy strengthening, retail sales should remain strong for the foreseeable future.”

Sharp gains at FordNissanHondaToyota and General Motors drove most of the industry's  deliveries last month.

GM’s 12 percent jump marked a second straight strong month after a tepid start to 2017. Toyota Motor Corp. scored a 15 percent increase, its strongest in two years. Ford Motor Co., up 8.9 percent, snapped a three-month losing streak. Nissan Motor Co. up 9.5 percent, bounced back from a double-digit decline in August. American Honda tallied its biggest gain in 17 months.

FCA US, meanwhile, dropped 10 percent as the company searches for its first advance in more than a year.

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