Labor Day Weekend Boosts Car Sales in September

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A long holiday weekend played a role in boosting sales for two of the three American automakers in September as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. reported an increase in sales. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, meanwhile, posted a double-digit loss.

For General Motors, 275,552 vehicles were delivered to customers, up 7.5% from last year. Chevrolet, consistently the company’s top selling brand, reported 196,007 cars, trucks and SUVs sold last month, an 11.4% jump. Leading the brand was the Silverado pickup truck with 54,448 sold, followed by the Equinox with 28,245 and the Malibu with 22,725.

The Lordstown-built Cruze saw sales fall 26.1% to 16,500, the fourth-highest total for the brand.

Among the other GM brands, GMC delivered 47,718 trucks and SUVs, up 12.4%, led by the Sierra pickup with 17,254. Buick and Cadillac both reported a drop in sales of 22.5% and 8.1%, respectively. Buick’s sales totaled 16,811, led by the Encore with 7,682. Cadillac had 15,016 vehicles hit the streets. That brand’s top seller was the XT5 with 7,236.

Ford Motor Co.’s sales rose 8.7% to 222,248 in August. The Ford nameplate saw sales up 9.1% to 213,446. Topping the brand’s sales was the F-series pickup truck line with 82,302 sold last month, up 21.4% from a year prior. Meanwhile, the Lincoln luxury brand was almost even with last year’s sales figures as 8,802 were sold a month ago, five more than last August. That brand’s top seller were the MKX with 2,457, narrowly beating out the MKC, of which 2,456 were sold.

Fiat Chrysler sales fell 10% last month to 174,266 as three of its American brands – Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge –posted losses last month. The Ram truck line was virtually even with last year’s totals as 51,686 were sold, 200 fewer than August 2016.

The company’s two other brands, Fiat and Alfa Romeo had mixed results as Fiat sales fell 24% to 2,206 and Alfa Romeo’s rose 2,993% to 1,268.

Jeep’s sales totaled 73,409, a 4% decline from August 2016, led by the Grand Cherokee of which 22,270 were sold, a 20% jump from a year ago. Chrysler sales were down 16% to 15,759, topped by the Pacifica minivan with 10,835 sold. The Dodge brand posted a 30% drop in sales, totaling 29,938. Leading the brand’s sales was the Charger with 9,230.

According to Edmunds, an auto industry analysis site, sales were bolstered last month by sales over Labor Day weekend and the hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast, which may boost sales in the coming months as well.

“We anticipate that the recovery from the recent hurricanes will give vehicle sales an incremental boost in September,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of industry analysis, in a release. “When you have hundreds of thousands of people affected by an event of this magnitude, not everyone will hit the market at once.”

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