U.S. new vehicle sales to increase on strong demand – report

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Imported automobiles are parked in a lot at the port of Newark New Jersey

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(Reuters) -U.S. new vehicle sales are set to rise in September as consumers spent more money on new vehicles than any previous September on record, an industry report from consultants J.D. Power-LMC Automotive showed on Wednesday.

Customers have been unaffected by higher vehicle prices and lack of incentives or discounts from automakers, who have been taking advantage of strong demand and tight inventory.

“Transaction prices still rose and consumers spent more money on new vehicles this month,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, adding auto sales are yet to see an impact from the ongoing monetary policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve to curb inflation.

Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 958,948 units, a 5.4% increase from September 2021.

September seasonally adjusted annualized rate for total new vehicle sales is expected to be 13.6 million units, up 1.5 million units from 2021, the report showed.

The report, however, said that the per unit pricing and profitability may see deterioration in the coming quarters as broader macro economic conditions affect demand and pressure affordability.

New-vehicle retail sales for the third quarter are projected to reach 2,900,300 units, a 4.2% decrease from 2021 when adjusted for selling days.

Separately, research firm Cox Automotive cut its full-year sales outlook and warned that rising interest rates are beginning to chip away at pent-up demand.

Cox lowered its full-year forecast to 13.7 million units, down from 14.4 million.

(Reporting by Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Shailesh Kuber)

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