U.S. new-vehicle sales declined for a third consecutive month, but forecasts of the industry’s seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate (SAAR) ranged from 17.7 million to 17.9 million vehicles. Forecasts from LMC Automotive, Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book show sales falling 6-8% from a year ago. While that sounds like a major drop, the month of October had two fewer selling days than it did in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew slowed sales in the Southeast early in the month.
Year-to-date sales are slightly below the first 10 months of 2015. However, some of that could be made up in November, which has two more selling days than a year ago, and often marks the beginning of year-end clearance promotions.
According to LMC Automotive and J.D. Power, the average new-vehicle retail transaction price was on a record pace for October of more than $31,000. The previous high was $30,921, in October 2015. Incentive spending averaged $3,726 per unit through the first part of October, up 12% from October 2015.