Later today we will have more October sales data to look at. Early indicators are show that the pace may have cooled a bit since last week, but I will let you know tomorrow.
It is worth noting that in some ways October will be a layup. First off, sales last year were still depressed from the C 4 C payback, making any comps easy. Secondly, fleet sales are usually down. Thirdly, SAAR assumes a lower sales pace, and finally, there are two extra selling days this year.
What is most interesting though, is the transition from 2010 to the 2011 models. Sales in October could be up, driven by deal seekers snapping up the remaining 2010 models. Or they could up because of consumers looking for one of the exciting new 2011s. (Yes, there are some…)
Or, sales could be driven by the long-awaited economic recovery. (Wouldn’t that be nice?)
One indicator could be the ratio of 2010 to 2011 sales. I emphasize could, because I have looked at the data below and can’t say any trends pop out. (Both 2008 and 2009 were anomalies.) It is also hard to know whether these ratios are a result of consumer decisions, or simply a factor of supply.
So what I will be looking at closely is the tempo. A sales increase over September with a steady tempo through the month would suggest that consumers are finally just a bit more optimistic. A declining tempo would suggest that there was an uptick in sales driven by the new 2011 models, but that bump in demand was quickly met.
Model Year Change Over
|Calendar Year 2010|
|Month||MY 2010||MY 2011|
|Calendar Year 2009|
|Month||MY 2009||MY 2010|
|Calendar Year 2008|
|Month||MY 2008||MY 2009|
|Calendar Year 2007|
|Month||MY 2007||MY 2008|
*Based on early October sales