A Short Month Shows In The Numbers, Ford Still Rises



Yes, it's true that the auto industry experienced slower sales in September. However, the deceleration may appear to the casual observer like sales hit a brick wall last month, but they really didn't.

Ever wonder why we always include those last few columns that display the change in every automaker's Daily Average Sales Rate? It's for months like these. There were 25 available days to sell in September 2012 and only 23 last month, which means that not only were automakers dealing with fewer buyers, they also had fewer days to sell. And usually when there is a variance between the selling days of two months, it's only a single day, so having two fewer selling days was a considerable challenge to overcome last month.

So look away from the first three columns of sales data, which show the raw number of vehicles sold. What's more relevant to consider for September are those DSR figures. Yes, it was surprising to see a number of automakers sell fewer units per day last month than the year before (Hyundai, Honda, Kia and Chevrolet, for instance), but last month's sales don't look nearly as dire as those who are only looking at the raw numbers might suggest.

While many of the larger, mainstream brands couldn't overcome the deficit of selling days to post an increase in raw sales, Ford stands out as the only one that shrugged off the shorter month and recorded a gain of 6.25 percent. To put that percentage increase in perspective, Ford sold over 178,000 vehicles last month, and the next-largest brand with positive sales to report was Dodge with an increase of just 2.6 percent on 48,576 units sold. Subaru, meanwhile, continues to operate in its own universe of consistent success, reporting a near 15-percent sales increase in September.

As impressive as it is to see Ford so high up in the green column, to our eyes, it is equally surprising to see Chevy so far down in the red. The Bowtie reported a 14.7-percent drop in sales on 127,785 units sold. One might think that anticipation of the new Silverado, which often suppresses sales of the current model, would be to blame. Yes, Chevy's half-ton truck sales were down 10.6 percent – and there are reports of key models being in short supply – but the real wound came from Cruze sales, which were inexplicably off by 50.6 percent last month, erasing over 13,000 units from the brand's bottom line. Many other models were down in sales as well, including the new Impala, Volt and Suburban.

Check all of last month's sales figures in the chart below.



*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 23 selling days in September 2013 and 25 selling days in September 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 78 Comments
      telm12345
      • 1 Year Ago
      So many grumpie people! Yes, discounts would help, so would sales by dealership and model - you know what AB? Can you please create a monthly TPS report and send it to us all? And don't forget the cover sheet! You did get that memo about the cover sheet, right? I'm gonna go ahead and send you a copy in case you don't have it. If you want that kind of detail, pay the money ("What, you want me to...pay money to get stuff???") and get a subscription to Automotive News. Otherwise, quit complaining.
      riserburn99andre
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think GM is better set to make money in the future than Ford. Sure the mainstream vehicles are selling and truck is selling wellbut the bbottom line is more about transaction prices. If GM can get solid traction with Cadillac and Buick and command higher prices they will be in a better position to make more money off less vehicles. The real payoff is having a cascading effect with product. The company will have a luxury first trickle down effect for all of their vehicles. It makes sense to have your engines debut with the luxury make first. One of the reasons why Lincoln suffers is from having nothing exclusive and everything Ford hand me downs.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wow, Kia's decline was immense. I guess people are starting to realize just how crappy their cars really are.
        Roger
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        So crappy I'd easily consider buying one next time I'm in the market for a new car! Optima, Sorento, hell even the Soul..all good options these days. Sorry, your argument doesn't hold water.
        Feurig
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        I thought their surge in growth was temporary. The excitement is long gone, but the good news for them now is that they've reached a good status where people will actually consider their cars alongside many other OEMs.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Rob
        • 1 Year Ago
        Are you in junior high school? Grow up child
        Autoholics Anonymous
        If you look at the big picture it is not how bad GM is doing but more so how well Ford is doing. Ford sells more cars under one badge than any other badge in the sales charts. So by your logic is Toyota doing bad? How about Honda? I didn't think so.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Smilez1105
        • 1 Year Ago
        Marbles = Lost This kind of goes back to basic thought proces: If the company that is beating you is a lemon, what does that make your company??? I like Ford by the way, so please stop pretending you represent them.
        James
        • 1 Year Ago
        The real story is Toyota is just 22K short of being the largest selling automaker in the US. Even more impressive is how Toyota already sells far more cars to the retail ( i.e. not fleet ) buyer than any other automaker. Ford and GM are living off fleet sales.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          [blocked]
          SHF
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          SHUT UP ABOUT FLEET!!!! Fleet is not a bad thing! Fleet does not equal rental car. Fleet does not equal stripped down units. A local contractor might have a fleet account that buys anything from basic work trucks to loaded out Super Duties or a mid level sedan for employees to use as their personal car. Some fleet is government. Some is for rental cars. Corporate vehicles are often fleet. Fleet just means they have a special fleet sale code and get treated different for sales, that does not mean Ford or GM is pumping out Focus or Malibus into Avis or Hertz like in the old days, when Ford and GM used to own Avis and Hertz, respectively. So just shut up about it already!
          Smilez1105
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          DB, is that you?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          [blocked]
          billfrombuckhead
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          And Mighty Mopar was only 21k units behind TRDyota, JapanIncs top applicance. I guess the Japanese government has to buy more yen.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @James
          [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        [blocked]
        billfrombuckhead
        • 1 Year Ago
        I wish Laser had to put his money where his mouth is. I would like to see last months fleet percentages. Want to bet Ford had more fleet than GM?
      Andrew
      • 1 Year Ago
      please kill that jkoe of a brand LINCOLN it means nothing never has meant anything either it has always been a rebaged FORD PLEASE END THIS SH!T
        SHF
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew
        Lincoln was once the top selling luxury car in America selling over 200k units a year at one point. So while it may not be a volume brand now, to say NEVER meant anything is totally wrong. And what of limos, and don't give me that fleet sales crap, Lincoln served and still serves a major purpose with livery companies. Somebody has to make their cars, and Lincoln did and does. Never meant anything... just give credit where credit is due
        ndec08
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Andrew
        What an ignorant comment; definitely a troll.
      Famsert
      • 1 Year Ago
      September was the perfect example of why these monthly sales charts are useless- they don't tell us anything about a company's health considering incentives, days in a month, and new models are always varying. AB thinks Ford's performance was impressive but they also had some massive incentives this month to boost their numbers.
      Rob
      • 1 Year Ago
      Almost 65% of Acura sales are the RDX and MDX. Wow have they lost direction from the original mission they set out for. Looks like the target market is people who don't realize they are buying a polished up CRV and Pilot. ILX and RLX sales are a disaster. The outdated TL and TSX even outsell these duds.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        PTC DAWG
        • 1 Year Ago
        Not sure why anyone would want a brand to fall/fail. A lot of people rely on car sales for a living. I knew folks that had it bad a few years ago when they forced dealerships across the nation to close. Not just talking about Lexus here. I guess some just enjoy seeing others struggle.
          SHF
          • 1 Year Ago
          @PTC DAWG
          Not to be a dick but any AutoNation store could go out of business and everyone would be better for it. The employees will find new jobs at other stores. But yes, I don't like certain brands, but dealership closings are bad for everybody, I was joking about AutoNation, not a fan personally but whatever, hate to see people lose their jobs.
      Luke
      • 1 Year Ago
      The drop for Chevy is very telling considering the new Silverado has launched. You can blame it on short supply, fine. But to have short supply of your cash cow is simply unacceptable. Yes, Ford was short on Escapes and Fusions, but they don't command the profit that trucks do. You have to hit on all cylinders when you're talking about your biggest money maker. Also, it's interesting that the F150 continues to have solid increases. One, it's the oldest of the Big 3 trucks, and two, it's due to be replaced next year. God help Ram and GM if Ford nails the next F150.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
        Dean Hammond
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        note to Luke....it will be nailed and then some....
        rhb2012
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Luke
        You also have to look at percentage of 2014 trucks on the Chevy lot vs what is sitting on the Ford and Ram lots. Ford has commented how they are just now ramping up on 2013 MY truck incentives. Have you looked at their rebates? Regardless of how popular a product is, it is difficult to launch. You don't change making 50k of a complex good per month with a flip of the switch. Yes it is important, but you have to do it right and with high quality.
          Luke
          • 1 Year Ago
          @rhb2012
          I guess you missed the 2013 Ram launch, the 2009 F150 launch, etc., etc.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Jasonn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just gotta give my monthly love to Subaru again! They are frickin' awesome!
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