September 2013 auto sales are in, and for the first time in 2013 the year over year comparison was negative. Auto sales for September 2013 were 1,134,170 with a SAAR of 15.2 million. Yes, September looks disappointing when compared to the 16 million SAAR numbers we had gotten used to. The news is not all bad however.
For the quarter, sales stood at 3,942,843 units. This is about 180,000 units less than the last quarter where SiriusXM announced an impressive 715,000 subscribers. For some perspective, specific to new car sales and a 65% installation rate, the quarter saw about 117,000 less satellite radio equipped cars sold. Because the contracts with auto manufacturers differ, the impact is likely about 50,000 less subscribers in Q3 vs. Q2. That being said, the used car initiative has been carrying a great impact, and because subscribers counted from used cars trail by a quarter, the used car sales last quarter will convert to subscribers in Q3.
For the year, auto sales are at 11,750,807. Essentially we need Q4 sales to be at just 3.75 million to hit the 15.5 million mark that is the baseline of expectations. It is quite possible that we could see 2013 auto sales come in near 15.7 million units.
It is my belief that the Q3 subscriber number has a chance to rival the number put up in Q2 despite a poor September performance. For that to happen we need to see steady churn, and good traction from the used car channel. My low end estimate for Q3 subscribers would be 665,000. My high end estimate would be 705,000. If I had to narrow down the gap I would estimate that we will see the company announce between 678,000 and 690,000.
There are some additional dynamics that serious investors will want to consider. Discussion of these dynamics, as well as a chart on sales is available to members of SiriusBuzz Premium. SiriusBuzz premium gives investors regular technical analysis, and deeper research that simply is not available anywhere else on the web. Members get to see the technical issues that move the price as well as the fundamental analysis that keeps you on top of what metrics will move the needle. SiriusBuzz Premium is drama free, simple, and most of all, timely. There is no risk to try SiriusBuzz Premium, so consider giving it a try and seeing the dynamics in the auto sector that you need to be aware of as we enter Q4 of 2013.