Combined U.S. sales by the Detroit 3 rose 14% last month, helped by strong demand for sedans and pickups and an increase in showroom traffic after the partial government shutdown ended.
Automotive News reported that General Motors posted a 16% gain after losing market share in August and September. Sales increased 9% for Toyota Motor Corp., 14% for Ford Motor Co. and 11% for Chrysler Group. Nissan North America and Hyundai Motor America each set October records, while Volkswagen said sales of its namesake brand fell 18% during the month.
“Consumers showed resiliency in October with steady auto sales despite headwinds caused by the government shutdown,” Bill Fay, Toyota Motor Sales USA general manager and group vice president, said in a statement. “The growth in the auto industry continues to play a leading role in the economic recovery, and Toyota is on track for a strong close to the year.”
The results from automakers that have released so far are in line with analysts’ forecasts of a 12% gain in October. Executives and analysts had said the closure of government offices curbed traffic at many dealers in the first half of October before rebounding in the second half of the month.
General Motors led the Detroit 3 as all four of its brands posted double-digit increases, including a 31% gain for Buick. Sales rose 16 % for GMC, 15% for Chevrolet and 10% for Cadillac.
“Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC all performed well in the month, and the sales tempo really picked up after the government shutdown ended,” Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations, said in a statement. “We are particularly pleased with our truck momentum. Chevrolet and GMC have the newest and best light-duty trucks, sales are accelerating and we are gearing up for the second, third and fourth phases of our strategic truck plan.”
Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra rose 11% from a year ago. GM said the redesigned versions of the trucks accounted for 76% of its light-duty pickup sales and that sales of the 2014 models increased 62% from September.
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