Consumer confidence is clearly growing following the economic shutdown.
Now that we're into the final quarter of the year, there are some promising signs that the automotive industry is on an upward trajectory as a challenging year draws to a close. In the US market, the likes of Subaru, Toyota, and Hyundai all sold more vehicles in September than in the same month in 2019.
Subaru sold 60,103 vehicles in September 2020, a 16 percent year-on-year increase, and the first time that the brand has sold over 60,000 vehicles since December 2019. It's not quite enough to offset the effects of the shutdown earlier this year, though. Despite its strong September, Subaru's year-to-date sales of 436,560 units are 17 percent down on the same period last year.
Toyota Motor North America reportedly sold 197,124 vehicles in September, up by 16.2 percent. With new models like the Venza crossover now here - a vehicle we expected to make a big impression on the sales charts - Toyota is primed for a strong finish to the year.
Elsewhere, Lexus Division sales were up 31.3 percent and Hyundai saw a five percent sales jump in September 2020 relative to a year ago. Hyundai's best-selling models for September were the Tucson (10,644 units) and Santa Fe (8,566).
Despite a strong September for many, Q3 was still a tough quarter. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a 10 percent drop in Q3 sales year-on-year, despite strong individual performances such as a 37 percent year-on-year jump in Jeep Gladiator sales for the third quarter. Chrysler Pacifica sales rose by 32 percent in Q3, no doubt buoyed by the arrival of an AWD version of the minivan. "We are optimistic about the U.S. market and expect sales to remain strong as we close out 2020," said FCA's US Head of Sales, Jeff Kommer.
General Motors delivered 665,192 vehicles in Q3, a year-on-year drop of about 10 percent compared to the same period last year, although Chevrolet Blazer sales rose by 45 percent.
Most automakers will be hoping that September is a sign of things to come in the months ahead.