A WardsAuto forecast calls for October U.S. light-vehicle sales to reach a 17.8 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate, making it the seventh month this year to surpass 17 million.
A 17.8 million SAAR is greatly higher than the 17.3 million recorded year-to-date through September, but does not beat the 18.1 million result recorded in the same month last year.
The report expects 1.36 million LVs to be delivered over 26 selling days. The resulting daily sales rate of 52,205 units represents a 1.0% improvement over October 2015 (28 days), but an 8.6% month-to-month drop from September (25 days) when the DSR was boosted to 57,112 from high incentive activity.
U.S. LV inventory ended September at its highest ever level for the month, as attempts to reduce car stocks failed to keep up with sliding sales. Sept. 30 inventory totaled 3.69 million units, up 8.1% from like-2015 and 3.1% above August’s total. Days’ supply was 65, compared with 62 the prior month and 59 a year ago. A 60 days’ supply is an optimum level heading into October.
Elevated inventories will continue through October with an expected 74 days’ supply at the end of the month, greater than a favorable level of 70 days and year-ago’s 69.
Sales from the Detroit Three are expected to fall 1.5% from last year, while the other four top automakers should see sales grow a combined 3.7%.
General Motors is forecast to sell nearly 245,000 LVs in October for a 0.2% DSR gain on 2015 and an 18.0% share. The 10-month total would reach 2,457,000, down 4.1% from like-2015.
Toyota deliveries may reach volume of 195,000 units, equating to a 3.0% DSR rise and 14.4% share. The October number brings the year-to-date total 2.6% below like-2015 to 2,018,000.
Ford is expected deliver near 188,000 LVs in the month, resulting in a 2.3% decline in daily sales and a 13.8% market share. Year-to-date, sales will be 0.6% less than prior-year on 2,123,000 units.
FCA’s daily sales are expected to drop 2.9% from last year. Monthly volume of 176,000 LVs would give the automaker a 13.0% share. The 10-month sales total of 1,880,000 will be 2.3% above year-ago.
Honda is forecast to improve 3.2% over year-ago, with more than 126,000 deliveries.
Nissan should see the greatest year-over-year gain in daily sales this month, with forecast volume of 116,000 vehicles equating to 7.4% growth from year-ago’s DSR.
Hyundai Group is expected to sell just fewer than 104,000 LVs in the month, a 1.7% increase in DSR.
At forecast levels, year-to-date LV sales through October would come to 14.40 million units, down 0.3% over same-period 2015.