Automakers' sales rise as Texas buyers begin replacing hurricane-flooded vehicles

Automakers' sales rise as Texas buyers begin replacing hurricane-flooded vehicles”

Analysts had predicted automakers would benefit from a strong economy and the demand for replacement vehicles following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which resulted in heavy flooding in Texas and Florida.

But others warned high inventory levels and record consumer discounts remained a concern moving forward. Replacing automobiles throughout the recovery in southeast Texas and Florida will boost US brand-new and used automobile sales through at least November, inning accordance with market specialists.

While the hurricane recovery drove purchases, "this will be a short-lived party", stated Michelle Krebs, executive expert for online sales website Autotrader.

General Motors Co, the number one United States automaker, reported sales climbed 12 percent compared to the previous year.

Up to 500,000 cars were damaged or destroyed during Harvey and another 200,000 cars during Irma, according to industry estimates.

Automakers bounced back from major hurricanes that tamped down sales in two large markets in August. While the company said five vehicles - the Jeep Renegade, Chrysler Pacifica, Ram ProMaster and Ram ProMaster City - "recorded their best September sales ever", fleet sales were down 41 percent from a year ago in an effort to "reduce sales to the daily rental segment".

GM said new vehicle sales to consumers were up 14 per cent in the region that includes Texas. He believes recovery in areas affected by the hurricanes are "spurring new and used vehicle sales".

A 44 percent surge in RAV4 deliveries carried Toyota to its third straight month of better USA sales than Ford.

While U.S. sales increased beyond the storm zones, according to automakers and dealerships, much of the September gains followed Typhoon Harvey hit Texas. Sales of the revamped 2018 midsize Camry sedan were up 13 per cent in its first full month of sales.

Toyota and Honda are betting the new sedans win market share as their Detroit rivals shift focus to SUVs, crossovers and pickups.

The news wasn't as good for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, which reported a 10 percent drop in sales from September 2016. German carmaker Volkswagen, for instance, posted a 17 per cent rise in wholesale volumes at 4,603 units in September.

During early trading, Ford shares grew 2.1 percent to $12.34 and GM was up nearly 3 percent to $43.37.

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