The drop in September new vehicle sales will not be as steep as I initially thought it would be
Well, it looks like I beat the fancy PhDs over at Edmunds.com to the punch again. Last week (September 4th) I revised by dour forecast for weak September light vehicle sales in the U.S. upward slightly saying the following
There certainly will be a dramatic drop in September auto sales, however this drop might not be as large as I initially thought it would be if A) there are a number of vehicles that consumers ordered during the CARS program that weren't delivered until this month and B) the effectiveness of the program was exaggerated meaning that there was slightly more "real" demand for autos last month than many believe. Interesting stuff. (link)
Edmunds.com issued the following statement today:
Edmunds.com announced it has adjusted its prediction on the seasonally adjusted sales rate for vehicles in September, and the new forecast is creeping upward.
Prior reports by the company had the SAAR at 8.3 to 8.4 million units. However, the company now said it believes that number to be 600,000 vehicles higher at 8.9 million, based on information obtained from Sept. 1 through Sept. 5 of this month.
"The industry is still experiencing a depressed level of sales, but we're seeing modest improvement from week to week," said Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive officer for Edmunds.com.
"Soon we should surpass the level that the industry was at before Cash for Clunkers launched," he speculated.
Interestingly, the company predicts that 3.6 percent of the SAAR is attributable to clunker sales, which is down from 6.4 percent based on numbers from the last week of August.
"Of the vehicles sold so far this month, 3.6 percent are ‘hold-over' Cash for Clunker orders that are being delivered," officials stated.
SAAR to Reach Pre-Clunker Levels Soon
I will do some channel checks later on this month to see what sales are like (sales are typically so heavily weighted towards the end of the month that it's tough to get an accurate gauge on how things are going this early on). Any stronger than expected demand for new vehicles is an excellent sign for the economy.