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Wall Street Journal Notes Surge in Auto Sales
Friday, October 2, 2015 6:40 AM

U.S. auto sales accelerated to a blistering pace in September as strong Labor Day weekend deals sweetened results for the Detroit Three and put the auto industry in a position to achieve its best year of sales since 2000.

General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, and Ford each turned in double-digit percentage increases over a year earlier as U.S. consumers splurged on pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

They project the overall sales pace for September will top 18 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate. If it bears out, that would be the highest yearly volume since 2000.

For September, the nation’s largest auto maker, General Motors, logged a 12.5 percent sales increase over a year earlier to 251,310 vehicles. Consumers continue to snap up redesigned pickups and SUVs. Sales for its GMC brand were up 23.8 percent for the month.

The No. 3 U.S. auto maker, Fiat Chrysler, sold 193,019 vehicles for September, compared with 169,890 in the same period last year. That 13.6 percent increase extends the company’s streak to 66 months of year-over-year gains. Its Dodge Journey, up 45 percent, and Jeep Cherokee, up 38 percent, posted all-time sales records, the company said.

Ford reported it sold 221,269 light vehicles during the month, up 23.3 percent from last year. Sales of its F-series pickups jumped 28 percent, putting its total truck sales to the highest level in nine years.

Toyota sales jumped 16.2 percent from last year to 194,370. Luxury SUVs drove its Lexus brand’s sales to a 15.8 percent gain for the month.

Nissan finished the month 18.3 percent higher than last year at 121,782 light vehicles sold. The Japanese auto maker’s sales of crossovers, trucks and SUVs were up 22 percent, a September record. It said its Rogue SUV set a record with a 46 percent sales increase over a year earlier.

According to Kelley Blue Book the average new-vehicle transaction price was expected to hit $33,730 for the month, an increase of $660 from the same period a year earlier.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal, 1 October 2015