For much of the year, the U.S. auto sales battleground has been an affair of haves vs. have-nots.
Some companies have had enough vehicles to sell. Less-fortunate rivals have been hit harder by the microchip shortage that continues to crimp production schedules.
We'll get the latest scorecard Friday, Oct. 1. That's when most automakers will report third-quarter sales.
August results showed some ominous trends. The seven automakers that release monthly numbers were down a collective 13 percent. The total industry fell 17 percent, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas estimated. The seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate came in at the lowest mark of the year: 13.09 million.
As Cox Automotive's Kelley Blue Book said: "After a frenzy of strong sales in the spring, the pace of automobile sales slowed again … as car shoppers faced limited inventory, high prices and historically low incentives."
Kelley Blue Book said the average transaction price for a new vehicle in August reached $43,355, the fifth straight monthly all-time high. Cox and Kelley see more and more shoppers dropping out of the market and waiting for things to settle down.
Just how many? We'll get a clearer sense on Friday. Our main sales report will be posted around 7 a.m. Eastern time. The story and sales tables will be updated throughout the day. You'll find it all at autonews.com.
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