September Picks Up and So Did Pickups
September auto sales were reported yesterday. Things were, over all, robust for most companies. Part of the reason was that hurricane Harvey took out about 500,000 cars and Irma another 200,000.
As Christopher Hopson, manager, North America light vehicle forecasting, IHS Markit, put it, “A perfect mix of hurricane replacement demand, especially in the Houston DMA, high incentives, surging fleet sales and available inventory of MY2017 models are helping to move the pace of light vehicle sales in September to a SAAR level of over 18 million units for the month. While this strong level of demand isn’t expected to be sustained throughout the fourth quarter, these short-term supports are not likely to drop off in a meaningful way, setting the stage of for strong Q4 results.”
“Perfect” is probably not the word that people in Texas and Florida would use, however.
But be that as it may, it is worth taking a look at some numbers that indicate not only the buying power of, certainly, Texas, but the total rehabilitation of the light truck segment of the market.
While Ram pickup sales were down by 1 percent compared to September 2016 to 47,142 units, know that the total number of vehicles sold by Chrysler (15,759) and Dodge (29,938) in September are a combined 45,517, so the pickups outsold the two sibling brands.
The GMC Sierra was up just 0.2 percent compared to last September, but its 18,106 are far greater than any other vehicle in the GMC showroom. Coming in second is the Terrain at 9,116, and know that the Terrain is up 61.2 percent compared with last September.
The Chevy Silverado has been off its game slightly this year, but for September things looked up—as in 21.7 percent higher than September 2016—and 55,236 of the pickups were sold, helping reduce the red ink for the year so far.
But the still-amazing Ford F-Series is still more amazing. In September 2017 there were 21.4 percent more of the pickups moved than had been the case last year. Ford delivered 82,302 F-Series.
To put that into context know that the entire number of Ford cars sold in September—as in Fiesta, Focus, C-MAX, Fusion, Taurus Police Interceptor Sedan, GT, and Mustang—was 47,018.
You could add in the number of all of the vehicles—cars and SUVs—sold by Lincoln in September, 8,802, and you still wouldn’t reach the F-Series.
Yes, the unfortunate weather had a boost for sales. But damn good products were probably more compelling for the customers.
Back in 2012 Audi bought Italian motorcycle manufacturer extraordinaire Ducati for €860-million which, at the time, probably seemed like a good idea.
What happens if that $2.29 a gallon goes up by a couple of bucks a year from now? How are the pickup, SUV and crossover sales going to be then?
The common wisdom seems to be that midsize cars have pretty much had it in the U.S. new car market.