Double digit gains expected for October car sales


Kelley Blue BookOctober usually means a slowdown in vehicle sales as end-of-model-year sales in September wind down, and 2012 will be no exception. But the picture is much better compared to October of 2011.

Adjusted sales are expected to hit 14.7M for the month, down 200K from September 2012, with declines expected in both retail and fleet sales.

“Fleet sales likely will decline 20,000 to 25,000 units overall, while retail sales will drive the remaining decline,” said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst of automotive insights for Kelley Blue Book.  “Retail sales typically slow in October following September’s model-year clearance sales, featuring heavy discounts on soon-to-be replaced vehicles.”

However, an overall gain of 10.7% is expected compared to October of last year. The gains are being driven by increased sales of high-mileage vehicles.

“Sales in California will be especially strong with gas prices currently more than $0.70 per gallon above the national average,” said Gutierrez.  “This will trigger incremental sales growth in the electric and hybrid categories as well.  However, due to their high cost of entry, Kelley Blue Book doesn’t anticipate sales volume for these segments to increase beyond the 2 percent market share consistently held during the past several years.”

According to K.B.B., Volkswagen is leading the charge, followed closely by Toyota. Here are the latest figures for key manufacturers.

Manufacturer 12-Oct 11-Oct YOY%
GM 203,400 186,895 8.80%
Ford 172,890 167,502 3.20%
Toyota 169,500 134,046 26.40%
Chrysler 133,340 114,512 16.40%
American Honda 115,000 98,333 16.90%
Hyundai-Kia 100,000 90,092 11.00%
Nissan N.Amer. 91,000 82,346 10.50%
Volkswagen 49,720 38,253 30.00%
Total 1,130,000 1,021,185 10.70%
Source: Kelley Blue Book    

RBR-TVBR observation: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which types of vehicles to promote at this point in time. Gas prices are going up – and consumers who increasingly view new vehicle term purchases as a long-term investment ate absolutely certain to take that into account when deciding where to spend their money right now. If your dealer clients want to move product, they should make sure that their stock of fuel-efficient models is communicated to potential buyers in no uncertain terms.