Kelley Blue Book Sees Strong September

Well, to say the global economic and political picture is messy is an understatement, but it doesn't seem that retail car sales in the U.S. will get hit too badly this month. Kelley Blue Book ( sees a 9.1% increase year-over-year to a total of 1.24 million units. Because of the ongoing upswing, KBB is upping its sales outlook from 16.3 million to 16.4 million for the year, although anything could happen over the next three months.     

Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst, noted that there is strong momentum from August. "Sales will remain strong and show healthy year-over-year improvement. Rising incentive spend in recent months has been more than offset by increasing retail transaction prices, signaling continued consumer demand." 



The firm says Chrysler will have its seventh month of double-digit growth, with about 17% improvement from strong Jeep and Ram sales. The brands have boosted Chrysler market share up by a full point this year, to its highest point since 2007, per KBB. 

The extra selling day this month will help everyone's sales numbers, but KBB predicts Ford will be the exception because its strongest-selling vehicle, the F-150 is being sold down in preparation for the much-lauded next-generation truck, the one getting noticed for having a weight-saving aluminum body.  The firm predicts a 16% increase in sales for GM; a 2.4% decrease in year-over-year sales for Ford; a 7% lift for Toyota; a 17.5% improvement for Chrysler; a nearly 12% increase in September sales for Honda; 10.6% improvement for Hyundai and Kia; and 17.4% increase for Nissan. 

Segment-wise, KBB said compact crossovers -- now the third most popular segment in the industry -- will see a 19% percent increase this month. "Similar to previous months, growth in the compact utility segment has come at the expense of mid-size and compact cars," said Gutierrez. "With market share in the mid-size and compact car segments continually under fire and the competitive landscape stronger than ever before, consumers can expect to find great deals on the Camry, Civic and other traditional segment leaders."    

In terms of segment sales leaders, full-size pickups, then entry-level luxury cars follow compact SUV/crossovers.

"Car Dealership" photo from Shutterstock.

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