Sales of vehicles to commercial fleets surged in September even as several automakers reported sharply lower overall sales during the month.
Nine manufacturers sold 17.8% more vehicles to commercial fleets during the month compared to a year ago, and year-to-date sales of trucks, vans, and SUVs remain strong. September also saw an unlikely surge in passenger car sales, according to Automotive Fleet data.
For the month, sales reached 62,195 vehicles. While the truck category increased 14.4% to 57,141, sales of passenger cars increased 78.5% to 5,054.
Year-to-date sales have increased 9.9% to 616,245 over 2018 with truck-based sales increasing 12.1% to 556,303 and car sales declining 6.9% to 59,942.
Sales to government fleets from five manufacturers declined 11.9% to 17,707 units. Truck-based sales fell 10.4% to 15,657, while car sales fell 22.3% to 2,050 vehicles. For the year, sales to public agencies are 4.6% lower than 2018 at 195,709 units. Sales in the truck category fell 2.6% to 166,808 while car sales have declined 14.8% to 28,901.
Sales into daily rental declined 16.6% to 131,798 in September with a 17.1% increase to 69,726 in truck-based sales and a 15.6% decline to 40,218 in car sales. So far this year, daily rental sales have increased 5.7% to 1.39 million. Of that, truck-based sales increased 6.4% to 865,481, while car sales have increased 4.6% to 529,543.
For all three segments, fleet sales in September declined 7.3% to 189,846 with a 6% decline to 142,524 in the truck category and a 10.9% decline to 47,322 in car sales. For the year, the three fleet segments have increased 5.8% to 2.2 million. Sales of trucks, vans, and SUVs have increased 7.3% to 1.58 million, while sales of cars have increased 2.3% to 618,386.