US Auto Sales Jump In September

GM shares are now trading at $30.13, up 11 cents, while Ford shares are now trading at $13.50, down 7 cents. “Our Ford and Lincoln dealers had an outstanding month, delivering strong sales, with gains in cars, SUVs and trucks in September,” stated Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service.

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It’s always important to look at the details to understand where the sales increase is coming from.

The nation’s largest auto companies each reported double-digit sales increases in the USA last month, led by Ford’s 23 percent jump compared to September of 2014.

Sales of the Lincoln brand rose 19.6% year over year in September, while sales of Lincoln utility vehicles rose by 23%.

Additionally, GM plans to introduce new or refreshed vehicles to increase their share of sales to 40% by 2020.

Sales of Ford’s F-Series truck, America’s best-selling truck for the 38 straight years and best-selling vehicle for 33 consecutive years, rose 16.4% to 69,651 units in September. Furthermore, retail sales of the F-Series increased a very healthy 28%. The company’s strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations, impressive record of earnings per share growth, notable return on equity and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures.

Ford has been slowly but surely accelerating F-Series production to fill dealership inventory and is finally catching up on fleet sales. Ford said it ended the month with about 100,000 F-150s in its inventory. Other standouts were the Jeep Wrangler with sales of 17,583 units, a 26 percent increase over previous year, and the Ram pickups, flat compared to 2014, but with sales totaling 36,598 units.

Another interesting piece of data from Ford this morning was that 64% of F-150 retail sales last month included the EcoBoost engine option. “Sales of EcoBoost-equipped vehicles also were strong, driving us to an yearly record for EcoBoost sales with three months left in the year”. Sales at the company’s Chrysler brand fell 5 percent. Image source: Ford Motor Company. It’s becoming critical for major automakers to have a successful luxury brand to raise margins and transaction prices in markets where large SUVs and trucks don’t sell well. The all-new Transit, with sales of 10,154 vehicles, drove Ford to its best September commercial van sales since 1987.

Among GM’s four brands, Chevrolet sales rose 10.9% to 170,675 units, while GMC sales surged 23.8% to 47,386 units, Buick sales grew 5% to 18,341 units and Cardillac sales increased 7.8% to 14,908 units.

Lincoln sales totaled 8,680 vehicles, a 20 percent increase.

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Light trucks again outshone cars, with the former category rising 21.5% and the latter 14.1% vs. like-2014. While many investors simply glancing at the bottom-line figures will see a 9.1% increase in year-to-date Lincoln sales – which is a gain of almost 6,200 units – the fact is, all of that gain is due to the incremental sales of the MKC this year, which didn’t record a full year of sales in 2014.

Lincoln's MKC is hauling the brand's sales higher. Image source Ford Motor Company