Another stellar new vehicle sales month in September: 18.17 m., SAAR

Another stellar new vehicle sales month in September: 18.17 m., SAAR

U.S. auto sales just keep on pointing upward, and September brought yet another round of impressive sales figures, including some records. Sales rose 16 percent from a year ago, bringing a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) of 18.17 million substantially above industry forecasts.

Some driving factors for the strong sales: SUVs, crossovers and light trucks again dominated the market as gas prices kept dropping and the job market continued to brighten. Credit remained available, with no interest rate hike, and incentives were high. The average incentive spending per unit rose $117 to $3,090, according to TrueCar. It helped, too, that this year September included Labor Day weekend sales.

Top makes saw double-digit increases: Ford was up 23 percent, General Motors 12 percent, and Fiat Chrysler up 14 percent, accomplishing its 66th month of increased sales. The Volkswagen emissions scandal broke in September, and sales suffered, rising less than 1 percent, but rising just the same.

–Staying focused on core values, like initial quality, sales and service satisfaction, cost of ownership, dependability and advanced technology is paying off in higher sales and share, stronger transaction prices and lower incentives,” said Kurt McNeil, GMês vice president for U.S. sales.

TrueCar raised its 2015 sales forecast to 17.4 million; NADAês remains at 17.2 million. If TrueCar is right, this year would top the industry record set in 2000.

Though incentives were high, said Kelley Blue Book analyst Akshay Anand, –Transaction prices continued to rise, with month-over-month increases spurred primarily by luxury utility vehicles, while year-over-year numbers are driven by strength in trucks, vans, crossovers and full-size cars.”

Three of the top five best-selling vehicles for September, and all of the top three, were trucks. The top sellers were, in descending order, the Ford F-series, Chevrolet Silverado, Ram Truck, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

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