The U.S. auto industry realized a 10-percent year-over-year increase in October thanks in part to double-digit gains from Detroit’s Big Three and record-setting months from Nissan and Subaru. Automakers were quick to bounce back from a slow September despite the multi-day government shutdown. However, 2013 industry sales projections dropped to 15.22 million, down from as high as 15.7 million a couple of months back.
General Motors led a solid output from Detroit’s Big Three with a 16-percent gain in October. Ford Motor Co. was not far behind with a 14-percent gain, while Chrysler Group sales grew 11 percent. All GM brands posted double-digit gains, highlighted by a 31-percent growth in Buick and 15 percent in Chevrolet. A 38-percent increase in the Lincoln brand sparked Ford’s growth in October, which also marked the best October results for the automaker since 2004.
Nissan set an October record, selling 91,018 units for a year-over-year sales growth of 14 percent. The Japanese automaker’s record-setting month was fueled by increased demand for SUVs and crossovers – Rogue sales increased 53 percent and Pathfinder sales grew 90 percent.
Speaking of records, Subaru posted new annual sales record for the fifth consecutive year despite there still being two months left in the year. Subaru sales grew 32 percent in October, for a year-to-date sales total of 347,890 units sold. The brand is up 28 percent overall in 2013.
Other notable gainers in October include Toyota with 9 percent, Mazda with 6 percent, Hyundai with 7 percent and Mitsubishi with 19 percent. In the luxury vehicle segment, BMW grew 4 percent while Mercedes-Benz grew 25 percent, outselling its German counterpart with 32,107 units compared to 27,574. Also notable was the 52-percent growth of Jaguar Land Rover, fueled by 117-percent increase in the Jaguar brand, which sold 1,515 units last month, up from 699 in 2012.
The most notable loss in October came from the Volkswagen group, which saw a 9-percent drop in October, despite gains in Audi (11 percent), Porsche (11 percent) and Bentley (53 percent). The VW brand saw an 18-percent slide in October and is down 4 percent on the year. However, overall, the Volkswagen group is up two percent so far in 2013.
Also seeing a sales drop was Kia, which slid 6 percent. The Korean brand is down 4 percent overall on the year.