The Urethane Blog

Strong August Auto Sales


 US auto sales are crushing expectations across the board

cars auto sales vehicles dealerReuters/Reuters Staff

August car sales for the major carmakers are set to roll in all day on Tuesday. 

And so far we've got three big reports and three beats. 

The latest US carmaker to report August sales was General Motors, which saw sales decline 0.7%, less than the 2.6% decline that was expected. 

Ford's US sales rose 5.6% in August, better than the 0.2% decline that was expected. 

This report also followed Fiat Chrysler, which reported sales in the US that rose 1.7%, beating expectations for a 1.2% decline. 

Here's the rundown on US sales in August so far:

  • Ford: +5.6% (-0.2% expected)
  • Fiat Chryslter: +1.7% (-1.2% expected)
  • GM: -0.7% (-2.6% expected)
  • Audi: +9.9%

Overall, expectations are that for the 4th-straight month, vehicle sales will come in at an annualized pace of more than 17 million vehicles. 

Economists are looking for sales to hit a pace of 17.3 million August, down slightly from the 17.46 million seen in July

July's sales marked the first 3-month stretch of sales topping a pace of 17 million/month for the first time since August to October 2000. 

In a note to clients ahead of the report, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said, "Sales have been somewhat range bound lately, with continued gains in light truck sales offset by lackluster auto sales. We expect a slight easing in vehicle sales in August, only partly reversing some of the previous month’s gains. On a YoY basis, sales are still 5%-6% higher, consistent with a steady increase. Looking ahead, continued gains in economic activity and hiring should support a further recovery in vehicle sales."

This post will updated throughout the day as results roll in.