GM’s sales up 0.2%; Chrysler up 21.7%; Ford falls 1.7% – The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co.’s October sales fell 1.7 percent as the automaker controls inventory and prepares for the launch of the new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup.
Ford sold 188,654 vehicles last month, and those sales were driven by the Fusion’s 5 percent increase, an October record.
F-series sales were down 0.6 percent as Ford prepares for the changeover to the new truck, which will go on sale later this year.
Sales of the automaker’s Lincoln luxury brand were up 24.6 percent thanks to the newly released MKC crossover and a refreshed Navigator.
“Fusion is an outstanding success story with October marking six straight months of record sales,” John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, said in a statement. “Fusion is on pace to break the 300,000-vehicle mark this year for the first time ever. Plus, based on the strong sales of the all-new MKC, Lincoln produced its best sales results in October since 2007.”
Ford’s daily rental sales declined 13 percent, part of a calculated drop in that part of the business. Government and commercial sales were up 4 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
General Motors Co.’s October sales increased 0.2 percent compared to the same month last year, the automaker said Monday.
GM sold 222,819 vehicles in the U.S. last month, its best October sales numbers since 2007.
“The U.S. economy has steadily improved all year and now we are poised for a stronger expansion backed by an improved job market, higher consumer confidence and lower fuel prices,” Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement. “We have a strong hand to play, with the industry’s newest and most complete line-up of pickups and SUVs, class-leading crossovers like the Buick Encore and a wealth of new products in the pipeline.”
Encore sales were up 32.7 percent last month, leading the Buick brand to a 6.5 percent sales increase. Cadillac sales were down 8 percent, but the Escalade and CTS sold well, up 30 percent and 49.3 percent, respectively.
Sales of GM’s Chevrolet brand increased 0.5 percent, driven by a 51 percent increase in sales of its Cruze compact car and a 24 percent increase for the Traverse SUV.
GM’s average transaction price reached a record $34,700 in October, up $2,200 year-over-year, according to estimates.
Chrysler Group LLC’s October sales rose 21.7 percent, driven by sales of its Jeep and Ram brands, the automaker said Monday.
Chrysler sold 170,480 cars and trucks last month, the automaker’s best October sales since 2001.
Jeep sales increased 51.7 percent over the same month last year, and Ram truck sales increased 35.9 percent.
Overall, nine Chrysler Group vehicles posted best-ever October numbers.
“Chrysler Group sales increased 22 percent in October, our eighth month of double-digit growth this year and our 55th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains,” Reid Bigland, head of U.S. sales, said in a statement. “Chrysler Group is the industry’s fastest-growing automaker driven in part by sales of our all-new Jeep Cherokee and Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, and by the strong consumer demand for our award-winning Ram pickup trucks.”
Among Jeep vehicles, the Wrangler, Patriot and new Cherokee posted their best-ever October sales. The Cherokee was the brand’s highest-volume seller for the second-straight month.
Every Chrysler, Jeep and Ram vehicle saw year-over-year sales growth in October.
Nissan Motor Co.’s October sales increased 13.3 percent over last year to a record 103,117, driven by the popularity of utilities and small cars like the Rouge and Versa, the automaker said Monday.
Honda Motor Co. on Monday reported a 5.8 percent October sales increase over the same month last year. The automaker’s Honda brand was paced by the new 2015 CR-V and Honda Fit, which set October sales records.
The automaker’s Acura brand was driven by sales of the TLX luxury vehicle.
Industry analysts expect better numbers for most automakers than this time a year ago.
California-based Edmunds.com predicts the annual rate of sales will reach 16.3 million, and that October sales will increase 6.4 percent over the same period a year ago. Kelley Blue Book, LMC Automotive and TrueCar expect similar gains as truck and compact SUV sales continue to drive the market.
“Car and truck sales have settled into a groove,” Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said in a statement. “Dealers are welcoming a consistent flow of shoppers into their showrooms, and the pace will likely remain steady through the end of the year. With declining gas prices and strong truck and SUV sales, the industry is poised for a very busy holiday season.”
Barclays expects the annualized rate of sales will hit 16.4 million, but that October auto sales won’t be strong in the final few days of the month. It expects things to pick up again when the holiday season starts next month.
Analysts predict Ford sales will be down compared to last year, as the automaker continues to manage truck inventory in anticipation of the launch of its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup later this year.
Edmunds.com predicts sales increases for GM and Chrysler, and Barclays said GM should gain share in the large pickup market as Ford changes over to the new truck.
Most forecasters predict the strong sales should continue through the remainder of 2014.
“The current environment of the auto industry is one of strength and stability, with the second half of the year at a 16.6 million-unit pace, more than making up for the 16.1 million unit level in the first half of 2014,” Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting at LMC Automotive, said in a statement. “The market is clearly seeing a second wave of SUV popularity — with a wide variety of choices across the size spectrum — that will likely dominate market share for the foreseeable future.”