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Auto Industry Posts Highest Sales Record in 13 Months for September

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On: Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 12:41PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Auto Industry Posts Highest Sales Record in 13 Months for September

According to a recent automotive news article the auto industry is not yet ready to sing “ Happy Days are Here Again,” but September’s posted profits are the highest in 13 months—enough to get automakers, at the least, feeling optimistic.

Up 29% since last year, September’s numbers came in at 959,049 for sales of light vehicles, raising the annual rate to 12.2 million sales, according to automotive News Data Center. Last September marked the end of the Cash for Clunkers government incentive program, leaving dealerships depleted of supplies as a result of an inflated sales rate for August of 2009. September was the first month since 2008 that the sales rate was more than 12 million units for total automobiles sold in the United States— other than August of 2009 when the falsely inflated numbers of 13.7 million reflected the Cash for Clunkers program.

Jesse Toprak, automotive analyst for TrueCar.com, stated:  "It's a solid month, another step in a stable, somewhat painful recovery." Toprak also said; "This may be a healthier way to recover."

Ford Motor Co’.s lead sales analyst commented that was the 4th quarter in a row to show that there has been “modest recovery in the sales rate,” according to Automotive News.com. A slow auto industry recovery rate may keep the automakers from making the same mistakes of the past, when they overproduced many models and offered so many massive incentives, which contributed to the bottoming out of profits last year. "We're happy with what we're getting," a spokesman said. "We're not going to waste a lot of time wishing that things would go quicker." Among the auto companies that posted great profits last month were Ford, GM, Toyota, and Chrysler.

Ford’s sales went up by 40% to over 160,000 vehicles, which put Ford in the number 2 spot behind GM for the year. Contributing for Ford’s success were high sales of the newly launched subcompact Fiesta and high pickup truck sales.

GM posted sales of 173,031 vehicles for September, which was an 11% gain for General Motors. Big pickup trucks reportedly contributed to GM’s gain.

Toyota Motor Co. posted sales of 147,162 units, an increase of 17% for the Japanese automaker, and Chrysler Group posted the biggest gain of 61% to 100,077 vehicles sold, mostly due to the launch of the Chrysler’s new Jeep Cherokee.

According to Edmunds.com: "Chrysler is benefiting from stable gas prices and the highly visible launch of the redesigned Grand Cherokee." Edmunds also reports: "As long as consumers are not worried about high fuel costs, Chrysler should be able to maintain a decent sales pace, since 71 percent of Chrysler sales are trucks."

Ford’s economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick stated: "We're hopeful that the fourth quarter will log a good SAAR." Cromwick also said: "But as you know, we have this so-called troika of challenges out there on jobs, housing and credit."

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