Labor Day Timing Skews September Sales Numbers

Labor Day Timing Skews September Sales Numbers

Labor Day is full of wonderful stuff: inflatable gorillas, free hot dogs and enough sheet metal on sale to drown a city in consumer debt several times over.

The holiday usually buoys September auto sales numbers, but won’t be reflected this time around because it happened during the August sales month. According to J.D. Power, sales are projected to total 933,400 units this month; a two percent gain year-over-year. It’s a smaller increase than the industry enjoyed in recent months.

“Although the year-over-year sales gain in September is smaller than has been observed in recent months, it’s important to recognize that September reported sales are being heavily influenced by a quirk on the industry sales calendar,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

Roughly 248,000 new vehicles were sold over the Labor Day weekend according to J.D. Power estimates.

Looking at the August and September sales months in combination reveals that sales aren’t actually poor at all. LMC Automotive is holding fast to its prediction that the U.S. auto industry will reach 15.6 million vehicle sales this year.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still plenty of new car bargains. In anticipation of its all-new 2014 CTS, Cadillac is offering $5,000 in cash discounts on the outgoing model. Volkswagen is offering a $3,250 discount on the 2013 Passat, and Mitsubishi will take a whopping $10,000 off the price of its languishing i-MiEV electric car if you’re willing to take it home…