More October sales data to digest: Retail sales are tracking at a rate of 787K, which translates to around 10.1m SAAR. This compares with 760K retail sales or a SAAR of 9.5M SAAR last month.
Assume an industry fleet mix of 17% and we end up with a total SAAR of around 12.2M.
The last time we saw a SAAR over 12 -- other than during "Cash for Clunkers" -- was September 2008 when it was 12.6.
We will have one more look at this next week before the official numbers are released. For now, this looks like a clear indication that sales are lifting above their range for the year. (SAAR for October could easily have been as low as 11.5M.) Putting this in perspective, these sales levels are still awful—but at least they are less awful than before. For now, that counts as good news.
Winners and losers retail share-wise are as follows: Mercedes Benz (+9%), BMW (+17%), and GM (+5%); the current losers are: Nissan (-11%), Chrysler (-5%), Kia/Hyundai (-8%).