Sales took a turn for the better in September with Hyundai setting a new record and Toyota reporting strong sales for the month while General Motors posted strong sales for the full third quarter even as supply chain problems continued to haunt the industry.
GM sold 555,580 vehicles in the United States in the third quarter, up 24% year over year, based on what it described as “strong customer demand and improved availability” as it continued to add to its lead over Toyota Motor North America, the top seller in 2021.
In addition, three of GM’s vehicle brands posted double-digit total sales gains, with Chevrolet up 30%, GMC up 24% and Cadillac up 50%, the automaker reported.
GM gains market share
GM turned improved semiconductor supplies, stable production and improvements in dealer inventory into a nearly three-point improvement in retail market share year over year, according to J.D. Power data, as well as significant sales gains in the commercial fleet market.
“The design, technology and manufacturing investments we have made are helping us meet strong customer demand for our products, and they’ve translated into sales leadership in some of the industry’s most important segments,” said Steve Carlisle, GM executive vice president and president, GM North America.
On the other hand, FCA reported sales for the third quarter declined 6% even as the company’s total commercial shipments rose 57% in the third quarter.
“Our dealers are making every effort to deliver upon each and every customer’s needs while we continue to deal with challenging industry supply constraints,” said U.S. Head of Sales Jeff Kommor.
“We also saw orders open up for the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe this August, adding another 4xe nameplate to Jeep brand with the Wrangler 4xe here in the U.S., and the Dodge and Chrysler brands each saw strong third quarters as we head into the final sales season of the year.”
Toyota hits it hard in September
Toyota Motor North America today reported increased 17.1% on a volume and daily selling rate basis in September. versus September 2021. For the third quarter of 2022, however, TMNA reported U.S. sales of 526,017 vehicles, down 7.1 percent. While that number is down, it’s better than many of the estimates offered by analysts.
Lexus division posted September sales of 21,718 vehicles, down 4.3% on a volume and DSR basis. For the third quarter of 2022, Lexus division reported sales of 67,524 vehicles, down 16.7% on a volume and DSR basis.
“While our teams and dealers continue to face on-going challenges, taking care of our customers and their needs remains a top priority,” said Jack Hollis, executive vice president, Sales, TMNA.
South Korean brands rock
Hyundai Motor America reported total September sales of 59,465 units, up 11% compared with September 2021. In the third quarter, Hyundai sold 184,431 units, a Q3 retail sales record, and an increase of 3% total and 13% retail sales compared with Q3 2021.
“This is the best-ever September and Q3 retail sales result for the brand,” said Randy Parker, CEO, Hyundai Motor America. “We are seeing month-over-month gains thanks in part to our strong product line-up and dealer network with plenty of cars in the pipeline for the remainder of the year.”
Kia America announced best-ever September sales of 56,270 units, leading to the highest third quarter performance in company history.
“Building upon record September and third-quarter sales, we’re optimistic that Kia will see a strong fourth quarter as well,” said Eric Watson, vice president, sales operations, Kia America. “Kia is gaining market share and volume in key segments, including compact SUVs and EV models.”
Supply chain issues remain
American Honda also reported it was overcoming problems that had held back sales through the summer, resulting in a 17.1% drop in September and a 35% decline for the third quarter.
“While the auto industry seems to be hit by one challenge after another with transportation issues and parts shortages, the efforts of our dealers helped achieve strong turn rates that maximize the available inventory for our customers,” said Mamadou Diallo, vice president of Auto Sales for American Honda Motor Co. Inc.
Mitsubishi Motor North America reported third quarter 2022 sales of 16,782 vehicles, a drop of 29% from the third quarter of 2021. Sales volume was tempered by supply constraints of the most in-demand vehicles and trims. Even Hurricane Ian played role since it shut down ports at the end of September, Mitsubishi noted.
Subaru of America Inc. reported 45,658 vehicle sales for September 2022, an 8.6% increase compared with September 2021. Subaru continues to face inventory challenges as the result of microchip and supply chain issues affecting automakers across the globe, the company said.
Even though Infiniti posted a modest sales gain of 5.4% during the third quarter, Nissan’s overall sales in the U.S. dropped by 22% during the same period.
However, Consumers are digging deeper into their pockets to finance new vehicles, according to Edmunds. The average annual percentage rate (APR) on new financed vehicles in Q3 2022 climbed to 5.7% for the first time since Q3 2009.
“High prices and rising interest rates are dealing consumers a one-two punch by catapulting monthly payments into a new realm,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. “Consumers heading into the car market may be aware of high prices but also need to brace themselves for a different experience in the F&I office.”