September auto sales are in and the news is better than anticipated by even the most bullish analysts. September also represents the end of the quarter for car sales. We saw 1,185,775 cars sold last month and 3,622,690 cars sold in the quarter. The trailing category did steal a bit of market share from both the leading and point-of-sale categories.
As you can see the year to date total is 10,893,000. This leaves us about 3.1 million shy of 14 million, a number that should be crossed with relative ease. With the sales rate what it was this past quarter we should see the subscriber number come in toward the higher end of my subscriber projection. With a bit of quick math it would appear that 540,000 is doable this quarter. The number could go higher if retention discounts were heavier than normal.
At this point analysts are looking for total 2012 auto sales to be at about 14.4 million. This would imply a Q4 total of 3.5 million. More realistically auto sales should be able to approach 14.7 million. That bodes well for the auto sector as well as SiriusXM. The timetable on getting auto sales up to 16 million could be faster than people think! In fact, that number could be approached this year.