AIADA: Franchised Dealers Enjoy Best September in 4 Years
Driven by a combination of factors, including “pent-up demand and cheap credit,” the American International Automobile Dealers Association indicated September new-vehicle sales came in the highest since 2008.
Unadjusted for business days, AIADA declared that sales for all brands climbed 14.5 percent from September of last year.
Furthermore, the association pointed out that Autodata Corp. estimated the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) at 14.94 million units, the highest recorded level since March 2008.
Officials noted that Toyota and Honda led the foreign charge in September, growing their market share 2.6 percent and 1.2 percent respectively from last September. AIADA acknowledged that the gain by Toyota and Honda may have been Nissan’s loss, as the Japanese automaker saw a drop in share of 1.1 percent from a year ago.
The association also highlighted that Hyundai sales rose 15.3 percent year-over-year, while Kia saw an improvement of 35.1 percent and Volkswagen’s sales shot up 34.4 percent.
AIADA calculated that incentives ticked down 3.1 percent from August and 9.3 percent from a year ago.
“Home prices, consumer confidence, and credit availability are all on the rise,” said AIADA president Cody Lusk.
“Americans are buying cars again, and that’s good news for dealers, their employees, and the communities they support,” Lusk continued.
International brands sold 663,301 vehicles in September, capturing 56.1 percent of the U.S. auto market. Market share was up from the 54.7 percent share they held last month, although the number of vehicles fell from the 703,611 vehicles sold in August.
Asian automakers scored the biggest portion of the U.S. auto market in September with 46.1 percent, an increase from the 45.6 percent share they occupied in August. They sold 547,703 vehicles, which is a 22.8 percent improvement over the same month last year when residual impacts of March 2011’s earthquake and tsunami were still hampering vehicle production.
The association mentioned Asian nameplates have sold more than 4.9 million vehicles so far this year and are up 20.1 percent for the year-to-date.
European automakers held a 10-percent share of the market in September with sales of 118,598 units — an improvement over the 9.1 percent share they held in August.
Year to date, European brands led by Volkswagen have sold more than 1 million vehicles and recorded a 19.9 percent sales improvement.
Domestic nameplates sold 522,564 units to occupy 44 percent of the market, a decrease from 45.3 percent last month.
So far this year, the Big 3 have sold more than 4.8 million vehicles and experienced an 8.3 percent improvement year to date.
The performance by the largest group of franchised dealers mirrored the results AIADA highlighted. AutoNation on Wednesday reported a 23 percent increase in new-vehicle sales during September as the company’s franchised stores turned 22,982 units.
Leading that charge was AutoNation’s import segment. The company broke down its September sales as follows:
—6,870 for domestic, up 10 percent versus last September
—11,854 for import, up 38 percent versus last September
—4,258 for premium luxury, up 11 percent versus last September