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The bad news is that Edmunds.com is forecasting September auto sales in the United States to drop 10.8 percent across the industry from August. The good news is that August was a record month for auto sales in the U.S., so the new numbers are still pretty good.
“There’s a feeling among dealers and automakers that car sales are easing into cruise control,” said Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell. “This month’s results offer more evidence that car buyers are finding the right signs to jump back into the market.”
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All of the major automakers except Nissan are expected to sell more than in September of last year. Volume for Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) is projected to increase 32.2 percent and 28.0 percent respectively from the month a year ago. American car makers Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) will see more modest gains of 0.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively. Overall, the industry could claim an 8.8 percent volume increase in the U.S. from last September.
Projections for overall new car and truck sales for 2012 in the U.S. are steady at 14.4 million units.
GM remains the largest U.S. manufacturer with a projected 18.4 percent market share in September, down 0.3 percent from August. Ford is expected to climb 0.1 percent to 15.4 percent of the market. Both companies are down 1.2 percent from September of 2011.
Toyota and Honda, in line with a general recovery in the U.S. from last year, are up 2.5 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, however both lost market share from August.
Solid U.S. auto sales come with bleak news from the rest of the world. Japanese car makers have seen sales drop as much as 30 percent due to protesting, while manufacturers in Europe are trying to close plants in order to cut costs and curb losses.
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