Investors stepped on the gas with Ford (F 0.42%) stock on Wednesday. The auto industry incumbent's share price bumped more than 2% higher, slightly eclipsing the gain of the S&P 500 index on the day, thanks to the latest analysis from a pair of closely followed researchers.
J.D. Power and LMC Automotive were those entities. In a joint forecast published that morning, the pair wrote that they anticipate new vehicle retail sales will hit nearly 959,000 units in September. This represents a notable 5.4% year-over-year increase. Even better, total new vehicle sales should climb at a nearly 12% clip to over 1.12 million units.
The two researchers believe that consumers are hungry for new models. They pointed out that the typical Labor Day period advertising blitz by carmakers wasn't as heavy this year as in previous times. They said in their press release that "while holiday promotions were nearly nonexistent, modest improvements in vehicle production allowed manufacturers to tap pent-up consumer demand."
The J.D. Power/LMC take also highlighted several areas of concern. Although both measures of September sales are anticipated to come in higher, the industry is still down on a longer-tail basis. Total new vehicle sales for the third quarter are anticipated to land only slightly higher, by 0.2%, and well down (at over 13%) year to date as of Sept. 30.
Supply chain issues hindering production are one reason demand has been so robust, and those quarterly and year-to-date numbers aren't encouraging.
Yet that potential September uptick comes at a time when many consumers are fretting about inflation and the broader state of the economy; perhaps they're more confident than many believe. This should absolutely help manufacturers of high-priced products, such as Ford and its automaking brethren.