Fresh on the heels of of a much weaker than expected ISM reading that caught economists by surprise comes news that motor vehicle sales for August are not living up to expectations.

Is this is just another anomaly, sure to go away?

Last month domestic auto sales hit 14.3 million. We will not have final sales until later today but Econoday sees things this way as of now.

“The bulk of August’s sales data is out and vehicle sales are running below July, roughly in the low 13 million annualized area for North American-made models vs 14.3 million in July. Though sales levels remain solid, the decline from July points to trouble for the August retail sales report. Final sales totals will be posted at day’s end.”

Ford Misses Estimates

The Street Insider reports Ford Motor (F) U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Fell 8.8% in August, Missing Estimates.

Lincoln sales rose 7 percent in the U.S. in August versus a year ago with 9,243 vehicles sold, while Ford Motor Company vans reached best-ever August sales with 20,355 vehicles sold. Overall U.S. company sales totaled 214,482 vehicles, an 8 percent decline.

Retail sales totaled 168,543 vehicles for the month – an 8 percent decrease. Fleet sales of 45,939 vehicles, including daily rental, commercial and government segments, were down 10 percent.

Total truck sales were down 2 percent, with 88,372 vehicles sold. Ford F-Series sales of 66,946 trucks mark a 6 percent decline – and F-Series’ best retail month of the year.

Record Year Not Expected

Fortune reports GM, Ford Expect Auto Sales Won’t Match Record 2015.

U.S. auto sales fell in August prompting some major automakers on Thursday to forecast that a long-expected sales decline has begun or, at best, industry sales have hit a plateau that could spark a shift to juicer customer incentives, slowed production, or more fleet sales.

General Motors Co said August U.S. sales fell 5.2 percent to 256,429 vehicles, and Ford Motor Co sold 214,482 vehicles in the month, down 8.4 percent. Both were in line with analysts’ expectations.

Ford Chief Economist Bryan Bezold said sales have hit a plateau after steadily rising following the 2008-2009 recession.

Diving Further Into the ISM “Anomaly”

Earlier today I noted ISM Dips Into Negative Territory; It’s “An Anomaly, Just a Pause”.

ISM anomaly

Second Anomaly Sighting

It appears auto sales are a second “anomaly”.

A few moments ago, Pater Tenebrarum at the Acting Man Blog pinged me with a chart he posted on August 8 in US Economy – Something is Not Right.

ISM anomaly2

The source of the chart is a mutual friend Michael Pollaro.

Today, I am pleased to report that Pater and I launched a new service, free of charge of course: It’s called “Anomaly Spotters Anonymous“.

We are both expecting more “anomalies”. Stay tuned.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock