Auto sales in the United States unexpectedly recovered in September, for the first time in the year, with sales of more than 1.5 million vehicles, 6.1% more than in the same month of 2016 .
After eight consecutive months of declining demand, auto sales recovered in part as a result of hurricanes that hit the states of Texas in August and Florida in September, causing the loss of tens of thousands of vehicles.
The recovery in demand in September was of such a magnitude that manufacturers now expect total sales in 2017, although below 2016, to exceed the mark of 17 million new units. In 2016 total sales stood at a record 17.5 million.
“With the strengthening of the US economy, sales to individuals should remain strong in the future,” General Motors’ chief economist Mustafa said in a statement. “The strength of the US economy is the main force driving the market. Mohatarem.
Mohatarem added that in addition to the good indicators of the economy, the recovery of regions devastated by hurricanes will favor an increase in car sales in the coming months.
Ford’s vice president for sales in the United States, Mark LaNeve, expressed himself in similar terms.
“We are pleased to say that the recovery in Houston and Florida is moving rapidly, with all of our dealerships in those areas back to operation,” LaNeve said.
The result is that GM sold 279,397 vehicles in the United States in September, up 11.9% from the same month last year, while Ford’s figures were 222,248 vehicles in September and a 8.7% increase.
The Fiat Chrysler (FCA) group was not so lucky in September and was one of the few manufacturers to end the month with negative numbers but for its policy of reducing its reliance on sales to rental fleets.
FCA said it delivered 174,266 vehicles in September, 10% less than in the same period of 2016, due to the sharp drop in fleet sales.
According to FCA, its sales to individuals in September stood at 146,904 vehicles, up 0.3%, and now represent 84% of the total, while sales to fleets accounted for 27,362 units, down 41% from a year ago .
But the company said that its strategy is to reduce sales to fleets, which in September fell to 16% of total sales, as manufacturers try to lower their sales to fleet to the maximum because they offer a lower profitability than sales to individuals.
For example, GM, which has also reduced sales of fleets for months, said that in September sales to individuals accounted for 80% of the total, while Ford’s share was 76.2%.
Another of the big manufacturers that also had a good month in September was the Toyota group.
The Japanese manufacturer said it delivered 226,632 vehicles, up 14.9% from the same period in 2016, as sales of small trucks and vans increased 28.5% to 134,746 units.
“The automotive sector showed renewed strength in September, which has given rise to optimism that for the third consecutive year sales will exceed 17 million new vehicles,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president of the Toyota division.
From behind, profits were widespread.
The Honda group delivered 142,722 vehicles in September, 6.8% more than in 2016, while the Nissan group ended the month with a growth of 9.5% and 139,932 vehicles.
South Korean Hyundai was not so lucky. Its sales fell 14.4% with 57,007 units sold. But his sister company, Kia, delivered 52,468 vehicles, up 6.6% from a year ago.
Volkswagen sales increased substantially by 33.2% with 32,112 vehicles sold.
Among German luxury manufacturers, Audi sold 19,308 vehicles, up 9.6% from a year ago; Mercedes-Benz 32,096, down 1.2% loss, and BMW 25,571 units, up 0.7% increase.