With about 80% of our expected September dealer sales data collected, retail sales per rooftop are trending mildly better than originally forecast, at 4.9. This result makes September the slowest month since June. Prior to June, we have to go back to January of 2011 for a lower result. See graph below for details.
We’re still waiting for a couple of large dealer groups to report this month (you know who you are… hint, hint). Those groups generally sell greater than the average number of trucks per rooftop, so we expect September’s result to increase by a few tenths when all is said and done.
We still have very little market intelligence that might explain this unexpected drop. Some dealers report that September is traditionally a weak month, although our data for recent years does not show a September decline overall. The month did have two fewer selling days than August, but this is the case every year. As for the government shutdown, concern over that event didn’t really enter the radar until the last week of the month at the earliest, so impact would have been minimal.
As always, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section below.