- Martin Meissner/AP
US auto sales were higher than expected in September after automakers offered a record amount in incentives to buyers.
According to Autodata, sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.76 million. Analysts had forecast a rate of 17.45 million, according to Bloomberg.
Still, compared with an even stronger September 2015, many companies reported year-over-year declines on Monday. That includes the Big Three US automakers -Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- GM: -0.6% (-1.6% expected) Ford: -8.1% (-8% expected) Fiat Chrysler: -0.9% (5.1% expected) Toyota: 1.5% (2% expected) Honda: -0.1% (0.6% expected) Volkswagen: -7.8% Mercedes-Benz: 3.1% Mitsubishi motors: -4.8%
Carmakers offered a record $3,923 in incentives per vehicle in September, according to Bloomberg.
Ford spooked investors last month when it suggested that the auto market has peaked after a record year of sales in 2015. The company said during its sales call with analysts that it would be “really tough” to match the performance of last year.
Those comments were accompanied by other concerns about carmakers increasing the incentives that attract prospective buyers. Companies usually raise incentives when they’re trying to guard their market share from competitors amid worries that sales have peaked.
But because car companies are selling lots of more expensive trucks and SUVs, which are more expensive than sedans, the discounting could offset losses from incentives on cheaper cars.
Meanwhile, electric car maker Tesla on Sunday said it delivered 24,500 vehicles in the third quarter. That’s an increase of 111% from last year, but indicates that the company is running slightly below pace for the 50,000 second-half number it set for itself. Tesla releases its numbers on a separate schedule from most other carmakers.