Preliminary Estimate: U.S. Light Vehicle Sales Down 25% Y-O-Y
The automakers have slowly started to announce their sales results. After speaking with a few people and looking at a few press releases it looks like U.S. light vehicle sales were down around 25% year-over-year in September. If so, that would put the total at over the 700,000 level, say 710,000 to 725,000 or so.
That's a far cry from the 1.26 million Cash for Clunkers stimulated sales level that we saw in August, but it definitely is a heck of an improvement over the 500,000 to 600,000 pace that the industry was experiencing during the first half of the month. Business definitely seemed to pick up as September progressed. It will be very interesting to see where sales settle after all of the clunkers dust clears, i.e. inventory levels normalize and the pulled forward sales have been worked through.
This is a very preliminary number. I'll report back with more detailed information.