As expected, U.S. New Vehicle Sales Rose to a 7-month high in September. According to Wards data, they increased by 7.6% MoM, reaching 16.34M SAAR and beating the Bloomberg consensus of 15.70Me. It was the fifth consecutive monthly rise, getting sales close to pre-crisis level of 16.83M SAAR.
The WSJ noted that “strong demand for trucks and sport-utility vehicles is driving the comeback, which is occurring faster than many had expected this summer. Also contributing is an increase in urban consumers turning to car ownership, as well as easier credit conditions that make car payments more affordable.” In the meantime, Reuters highlighted that “the U.S. auto sector has climbed back quicker than other industries, but automakers had a hand in that with aggressive incentives like zero-for-84 months financing, payment deferrals and job assurance programs.”
The September’s spike is a positive sign in a context where the federal government’s CARES Act programs — which provided financial relief to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19 — for the most part expired at the end of July. As a result, the auto sector should support September retail sales that will be released on October 16th.