Nissan sales rise 4.9 pct., bucking forecasts of down month

Auto Sales
The Associated Press

06 October, 2016

"There was a lot of incentive activity, very aggressive sales events, for the Labor Day period", LaNeve told analysts and reporters Monday on a conference call. Audi reported a 1.5% sales increase.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler and Ford Motor posted US sales declines in September, as the Detroit Three edged analyst expectations.

As the market shrinks, automakers are hiking incentives to entice consumers to spend.

With only one quarter remaining in 2016, the auto industry is expected to come close to matching its record performance for 2015 of over 17.5 million vehicles sold.

"Industry sales in 2016 remain in line with last year's record levels", said Bill Fay, head of Toyota's US division. Well, that's the sound of US auto sales, which slipped in September.

Cars have been particularly hard hit as low petrol prices have made SUVs and trucks even more appealing. Its luxury brand Lexus saw a 2 per cent rise in sales, with 25,801 units sold. "Demand for a rich mix of our all-new Super Duty pickups helped boost Ford's average transaction prices by $1,100 versus a year ago".

But the increasing number of vehicles being returned at the end of leases, most of which go to used auto auctions, is putting downward pressure on used-vehicle prices, which in turn means those who purchase a new one often must borrow more. The Detroit automaker's retail sales were flat at 204,449 units.

Ford Motor's shares (and sales) are in a slump, and I expect the lack of exciting growth prospects to continue to weigh on the shares in the remainder of the year.

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) traded 4,755,999 shares on last trading day with closing price of $6.46.

"We expect industry sales to remain strong but at a lower level than previous year", Ford sales chief Mark LaNeve said of 2017 in a conference call.

"There was a lot of incentive activity - very aggressive sales events for the Labor Day period", said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president of US marketing and sales. Sales were up 41.6% for the Chevrolet Colorado, 26.5% for the GMC Canyon, up 64.5% for the Nissan Frontier and up 35.4% for the new Toyota Tacoma. Sales at the Toyota division increased 1.4% to 171,459 units. Truck sales fell 8.1% for the month, and sales of F Series pickups fell 2.6%.

Ford Motor is feeling more pain, and very soft September U.S. sales made that very clear.

Overall, auto sales nationwide dropped 0.5 percent to 1.4 million in September, according to Autodata Corp. Retail sales represented 76 percent of total sales, while fleet sales were 24 percent. Toyota's vehicle sales gained 1.5% to 197,260 and Nissan climbed 4.9% to 127,797 sales. Sales of the hybrid Prius fell 23 percent, a victim of low gas prices. The Encore compact SUV led the way, with sales up 30 percent to 7,297 units.

Through the first three quarters fo 2016, Ford's total sales are up 1 percent to 1,988,456 units.

- Honda Motor Co.'s sales fell less than 1 per cent to 133,655. Sales of the all-new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, the latest addition to the FIAT brand product lineup, were up 7 percent in September, compared with the previous month of August. In addition, Ram ProMaster sales are up 17 percent year over year.

Ford said its retail sales slid about 4 percent in the month.

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