Anything short of double digit growth in the auto industry tends to make people FREAK OUT. Like the industry is flirting with the scrap heap, resembling the disheveled state of the Boston Red Sox and Bobby Valentine. In July, new auto sales jumped 8.9% from last year, and an analyst said the market was “stuck in second gear.”
Thankfully, August looks like it will more than make up for July’s “shortfall.” New car sales are expected to shoot up 20% from last August, which equates to approximately 1,290,000 new rides. That’s a 12% increase from July (this year).
Honda may see a 61% increase in sales, Toyota 42%, and Nissan 13%. Those old American stalwarts Chrysler, Ford, and GM? 12%, 9.8% and 6.4%, respectively (this is a legitimate FREAK OUT moment for the board members of these companies).
What exactly is behind this comfy increase? For starters, August had 27 selling days this year, up from 26 last year. But that only helps in explaining the yearly difference, not the uptick from July.
Is it entirely possible that parents are feeling a bit “empty-nesty”, and want their college-student children to visit home whenever they can? Or is it working the other way around, with mom and dad shipping Martha May off to Princeton, and they splurge on a new car to announce their own newly found freedom? Or maybe it’s just the feeling that’s been normalized in us that September is a time for renewal because it’s a new school year.
The same July to August bump happened last year, too. Whatever the reasons behind the strong August, auto industry folks should be content (except for GM…6.4% growth? Paltry…).