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New Car Sales Up in September, Will Hit 12.75 million for 2011 rightly asks the question, "What recession?" as it reports that new car sales are up 10.1 percent over last September. The car site is predicting that annual new car sales for 2011 will be 12.75 million.


The big winner in terms of increased car sales and decreased incentives spending is the Korean manufacturing duo of Hyundai/Kia. The combined company saw sales increase almost 25 percent since last September and incentive spending drop 18.8 percent over the same time period.

“New vehicle sales are doing particularly well, even with worries of a recession and another wild month for the financial markets in September, ” said Jesse Toprak, VP of Industry Trends and Insights for “If the current trends hold, we expect 2011 total new light vehicle sales to be 12.75 million units –up 10% from 2010.“

For September 2011, new light vehicle sales in the U.S. (including fleet) is expected to be 1,054,599 units, up 10.1 percent from September 2010 and down 1.6 percent from August 2011 (on an unadjusted basis) The September 2011 forecast translates into a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate (SAAR) of 13.1 million new car sales, up from 12.1 million in August 2011 and up from 11.7 million in September 2010.

These increase sales are coming at some expense to manufacturers. reports that the industry average incentive spending per new vehicle will be approximately $2,716 in September 2011, an increase of 3.8 percent from August 2011 and down 0.9 percent from September 2010.

So, who's the big winner in all of this? Not surprisingly, it's Hyundai/Kia (Hyundai owns a larger stake in Kia.) According to, the two Korean manufacturers, when combined, will have September sales of 95,424 – an increase of 24.5 percent over September 2010.

Most amazingly, that combined sales number puts Kia/Hyundai ahead of Honda for total new vehicle sales by slightly more than 500 units. Honda sales are down 2.6 percent from last September. Toyota shares are down even more at 11.6 percent compared to last September. Its total sales of 130,057 put it in third place behind GM, up 21.2 percent from September at 209,554, and Ford, up 8.5 percent at 174,036.

Here are the results for the top 7 manufacturers in the United States:

  1. GM 209,554, up 21.2%
  2. Ford 174,036, up 8.5%
  3. Toyota 130,057, down 11.6%
  4. Chrysler 120,579, up 20.5 percent
  5. Hyundai/Kia 95,424, up 24.5%
  6. Honda 94,857, down 2.6%
  7. Nissan 88,522, up 19.3%

Not surprisingly, Honda and Toyota also have the greatest incentive spending increases compared to September 2010. Toyota spent an average of $2472 for a 16.5 percent jump with while Honda kicked in an average of $2370 for a 7.5 percent increase.

Chrysler spends the most of any of the top 7 manufacturers at $3,369 but its incentive spending is actually down 7.3 percent. Ford spends a healthy amount more than Honda and Toyota at an average $2814, but its incentive spending is down 7.7 percent.

And the winner for greatest incentive spending drop and lowest amount spent per vehicle goes to the Korean manufacturers. Hyundai/Kia spent an average of $1454 per vehicle, which is an 18.1 percent decrease.