U.S. Auto Sales showed positive growth in October led by two automakers who have been no strangers to double-digit gains in 2014.
Overall, industry sales rose 6 percent in October, compared to the same month a year ago, bumping the seasonally adjusted annual sales rates (S.A.A.R.) above projections to 16.5 million.
Chrysler Group and Nissan Motor Corp. highlighted the monthly sales with gains of 22 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Nissan’s October growth is on pace with its gains thus far in 2014 – also 13 percent. Chrysler, which has been fueled primarily by Jeep and Ram trucks, especially this past month, is up 15 percent on the year.
Chrysler Group’s main Detroit competitors realized either a slight dip or flat sales last month. General Motors practically even, selling only 417 more cars than it did last October. While Ford Motor Co. slipped 2 percent, the Lincoln brand – gaining attention recently for its ads with Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey – grew 25 percent in October, raising its overall annual growth to 15 percent.
Meanwhile, American Honda Motor Co. and Toyota – Nissan’s major competitors – saw moderate gains of 6 and 7 percent, respectively. On the year, Toyota is up 6 percent, while Honda is up just 1 percent.
Volkswagen Group was one of the most interesting performers in October, with gains of 10 percent for the month. Audi led the way for the group with 17 percent growth, good for its 46th straight month of U.S. record sales and 15 percent growth for the year. The VW brand, which is down 12 percent on the year, actually showed gains of 8 percent in October – a positive sign for the brand.
VW’s German automaker rivals, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, actually had opposite trajectories for the month. BMW saw 11 percent in gains, keeping right with its 11 percent in gains on the year. Mercedes-Benz saw a dip of 4 percent, but it is still up 8 percent on the year.
Subaru was once again a big winner thanks to its 35th consecutive month of year-over-year growth, finishing with 25 percent gains. The company, which is up 20 percent on the year, is on pace to break its annual U.S. sales record for the sixth consecutive year.
Other notable numbers for October include gains from Mitsubishi and Kia and slips from Mazda and Hyundai. Mitsubishi remained in line with its overall annual sales growth with 30 percent growth in October. Kia saw 12 percent growth in October, to go along with being up 7 percent on the year. Meanwhile, fellow group member Hyundai saw a loss of 7 percent. Mazda also showed a loss of 5 percent, but is still up 8 percent on the year.