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Automakers are reporting their US sales results for August throughout Thursday.
All the so-called Big Three reported sales below analysts’ expectations. Only Fiat Chrysler reported a positive month, while Ford and GM posted declines.
And according to Ford, US car sales have hit the top.
Ford said it no longer sees the pent-up demand experienced after the financial crisis, and that has led to the peak, according to Bloomberg.
During the sales call with analysts, executives said that for the rest of the year, it would be “really tough” to match the sales performance of the same period in 2015.
Overall, sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 16.98 million, according to Autodata. Analysts forecast that sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.20 million in August, according to Bloomberg. That would be lower than the 17.9 million rate in July, which was the highest of the year.
A number of analysts expect softer sales for August because car companies offered lesser discounts. Goldman’s David Tamberrino noted that sales in the first week of the month looked weak before picking up in the following days, according to Bloomberg.
Citi’s Itay Michaeli said that fewer incentives early in August meant that transaction prices were higher.
Following a record in 2015, car sales have remained quite robust this year despite concerns that the market was going to peak.
Auto sales numbers are watched not just for what they say about the industry, but also for what they reveal about the strength of consumer spending, since cars are a big-ticket item.
Here’s the latest scoreboard:
- Ford: -8.8% (-8.2% expected) GM: -5.2% (-4.9% expected) Fiat Chrysler: 3% (5% expected) Nissan: -6.5% (-0.6% expected) Honda -3.8% (1% expected) Volkswagen of America: –9.12% Toyota: -5% (-0.4% expected)