General Motors Co.’s sales in the US rose by 4%, beating analysts’ predictions of a 3% decline from last October. GM’s results as well as the strong performance shown by several smaller automakers strengthen forecasts that October would reflect the industry's gradual recovery from last year's economic downturn.
On a seasonally adjusted annual selling rate basis, analysts had forecast that October volume will be the strongest since August 2009. Bloomberg gathered the average of estimates from nine analysts and came up with a SAAR of 11.9 million.
According to Autodata Corp., this is slightly above September's 11.8 million pace. When we exclude the August 2009 sales boost due to the federal government's $3 billion cash-for-clunkers incentive program, this 11.9 million would stand to be the strongest month since September 2008.
Since auto sales reports were due on the day of the US elections, the reports were spread over two days.
The Automotive News Data Center said that 10 carmakers (including Hyundai-Kia, Subaru and BMW) that filed their reports last Tuesday were a combined 28% higher in October.
The next day, the first two automakers posted higher figures but only by smaller margins. Daimler AG revealed that October sales of Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Maybach brands increased by a combined 3%. Meanwhile, GM volume for current and discontinued brands climbed to 183,543 units. TrueCar.com analysts had expected a 3% decline.