Edmunds Predicts Bad September

  • September 17, 2009
As the auto industry recovers from perhaps the biggest aberration in its sales history, Edmunds.com analysts are on the case. The firm says the best month of the year, August, could be followed by a real clunker. The research and shopping site says demand has dropped significantly since the program ended.

"Based on the current rate of sales, we anticipate that September's SAAR (seasonal annually adjusted rate) will be 8.8 million units," stated Edmunds.com Senior Statistician Zhenwei Zhou. "Last year when the bottom was falling out of the economy, September SAAR was 12.5 million, and prior to that it had been over 16 million for years. Many people regard February as the darkest month of the recession, but even then the SAAR was higher, at 9.1 million units."

The firm says that with the drop-off in demand for new car sales, transaction prices are falling, and so are dealer profit margins. In early August, Edmunds.com analysts reported that Cash for Clunkers shoppers were paying more because of the government rebate, while limited supply and high demand drove prices up for everyone else. Now that the program is over and demand has slowed, consumer discounts are getting greater even as the average vehicle purchased is more expensive.--Karl Greenberg



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