Chrysler had its best October in five years as sales for the month rose 10% despite the loss of three days of business on the East Coast from the storm.
The company said Thursday (Nov. 1) that it sold 126,000 cars and trucks for the month, led by the Ram pickup, which was up 20%, and the Dodge Caravan minivan, which saw sales rise 49%.
At Ford, sales were up only 0.4% to 168,000 cars and trucks. But the company said F-Series pickup trucks, the most popular vehicle in the nation, had their best October in eight years with sales up 8% to just over 56,000.
Sales at General Motors were up 4.7% for the month, and Toyota sales rose 15.8%.
The results showed that Americans continue to buy new cars and trucks at a strong pace. The company predicted an annual sales rate of 14.7 million for the overall industry in the United States in October, making it one of the year’s strongest months. Auto sales ran at an annual rate of 14.3 million through September.
Hurricane Sandy could cut sales by 1% to 3%, or about 20,000 vehicles, said Jeff Schuster, senior vice president of forecasting for LMC Automotive, an industry consulting firm. Schuster said any lost sales would probably shift to November, increasing totals for that month.
Sales have been recovering from a 30-year low of 10.4 million in 2009, when credit froze, unemployment leapt and few people were buying cars. But the numbers are still far short of the recent peak of around 17 million in 2005. Analysts predict the country could reach 15 million in sales next year, which they consider about normal.