GM, Fiat Chrysler sales fall in October – USA TODAY
General Motors said its U.S. auto sales fell 1.7% in October, compared to a year earlier, but retail sales rose 3% as the company continues to reduce its reliance on less-profitable fleet customers.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted a 10.3% sales decline for the month, as all of its brands except the truck-heavy Ram lineup recorded sales decreases.
Detroit-based GM sold 258,626 vehicles for the month, with a gain of 7.4% for Buick and losses of 0.8% for Chevrolet, 6.2% for GMC and 9.4% for Cadillac.
Despite the decline, the company outpaced Edmunds.com’s projection of a 6.3% decline and Kelley Blue Book’s projection of a 6.1% dropoff.
Fiat Chrysler’s sales included a 6.6% decline for the stalwart Jeep brand, which is usually a bright spot because of its strong lineup of sport-utility vehicles. The company’s car-heavy Chrysler brand plummeted 44.7%, Dodge declined 16.4%, Fiat fell 24.3% and Ram rose 11.5%.
Cross-town rival Ford Motor will not report its October sales on Tuesday after a fire at an electrical substation cut off power to facilities at its headquarters in Dearborn on Monday, preventing dealers from reporting final-day sales figures.
Ford said it did not lose any data because backup power worked as expected. The company will release sales later this week.
Edmunds.com projected Ford sales would fall 10.9%, while Kelley Blue Book predicted a 10.8% decline.
Those same analysts projected an overall industry sales decline of 6.8% and 6.3% for the month.
Even at those levels, the auto industry could hit an all-time record for the full year after selling a high of 17.5 million units in 2015.
GM on Tuesday estimated that industry sales hit an annualized rate of 18 million units in October and 17.4 million for the first 10 months of the year.
“Key fundamentals like job security, rising personal incomes, low fuel prices and low interest rates continue to provide the environment for a very healthy U.S. auto industry,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist, in a statement. “The U.S. auto industry is well positioned for sales to continue at or near record levels for the foreseeable future.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is expected to report auto sales later Tuesday. Analysts at Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book projected declines of 10.6% and 7.9%, respectively.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.