Vehicle sales in the United States surged 10 percent in October 2013 to a seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate of 15.2 million units. The surge came despite a US government shutdown that negatively affected showroom traffic in the first half of October. Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book, told Automotive News that the first two weeks of October “were some of the slower weeks of the year," noting that after the end of the government shutdown, “the last couple of weeks were quite strong, so the overall effect was that there really was no effect."
The auto industry now has gained 8 percent for the first 10 months of 2013. October also marked significant US gains for Detroit 3, led by General Motors with a 16-percent hike. Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group posted gains of 14 percent and 11 percent respectively.
Nissan North America and Hyundai Motor America each set October records. On the other hand, Volkswagen Group of America posted its biggest drop this year. Volkswagen, Kia, Volvo and Mini all logged lower sales year-over-year in October. Sales for Jaguar-Land Rover rose 52 percent in October, while Lincoln and Subaru surged 38 percent and 32 percent respectively.
All of GM’s four brands logged double-digit gains, including a 31-percent jump for Buick. Accounting for bulk of the sale jumps in October are SUVs, crossovers and pickups – basically thanks to lower gasoline prices through the month. Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of sales operations, said during a conference call that fuel prices, low interest rates, housing, autos, and the availability of consumer credit have been driving the economy.