J.D. Power released their forecast for September sales today. Their numbers are a bit higher than ours:11.8 SAAR vs. 11.5. (It doesn't take many monthly sales to move the annual SAAR.)
What is different is their tone. J.D. Power's analysts are stating this is the best result in two years (except for the C 4 C months last year.) We see September results as being in line with recent months and actually a bit disappointing.
The reason for our more somber outlook is that at the beginning of the month we had the Labor Day weekend event. Because of the holiday's timing this year--not until September 6th--SAAR will be distorted by fewer Labor Day Weekend sales occurring in late August. This year most sales occurred fully in September.
Additionally, as I noted in this post, in tough economies, SAAR is overstated during sales periods.
So there are two solid reasons to not get enthused about September. Of course the real test will come next month, when there are no holiday sales events and the new models will be sold at higher prices. Will that be a formula for building sales momentum?
We will see...