Auto sales stagnate in September

10/04/2010 2:02 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Be careful what you compare things to.

If you compare U.S. auto sales in September 2010 to the horrendous sales of September 2009, the industry looks like it’s roaring ahead.

If you compare sales for September 2010 to those from a recovering August, the industry is barely inching ahead.

For example, Ford Motor (F) showed a 46% year-to-year jump in sales.

Super, right?

But Ford showed just a 2% increase in sales from August 2010.

The story was the same for Chrysler Group—up 61% from September 2009 but just 1% ahead of August 2010.

And the effect wasn’t limited to U.S automakers either. Toyota Motor (TM) showed a 17% increase in sales from September 2009 to September 2010. But the company actually showed a 1% decline in sales from August to September.

Toyota lagged other Asian competitors in the North American market. Honda Motor (HMC), for example, recorded 26% year-to-year sales. For Hyundai Motor sales climbed 48% year to year.

General Motors was the laggard among U.S. automakers. The company saw sales grow by 11% year to year. Sales dropped by 7% from August to September.

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