Amid all the less than positive economic news this summer we learned earlier this month that auto sales in September were better than expected. U.S. sales grew nearly 10% last month versus a year ago. It was a particularly good month for American automakers. General Motors sales grew 20%, Chrysler's was up 27% and Ford rose 9%.
Overall, it was the strongest month for autos since April when the devastating impact of Japan's earthquake and tsunami destabilized the market, creating less supply and causing prices to rise. The U.S. is now on pace to sell 13.1 million vehicles this year. That's slightly better than some forecasts.
Rather than getting enthusiastic about the improvement in the market, Jeremy Anwyl CEO of Edmunds.com says the uptick is a result of "deferred demand" caused by the aforementioned Japanese natural disaster. "I would not read this as a fundamental market rebound I think we need to be cautious," he tells Aaron Task in the accompanying clip. "As we move into to November, December, we'll get a clearer read on whether car sales are defying gravity or if in fact they're drop back down a little bit."
But, if you're in the market for a car, Anwyl says, now is probably a good time to buy. The automakers are finally bringing their 2012 designs to market, after delays (again because of distributions caused by the Japan earthquake), and that means more incentives and better prices. "This month and then the next window of opportunity would be right after Christmas and all the way through the new year."