Carmakers in the United States managed to post a 6-percent jump in light vehicles sales in October to 1,281,132 units, for a seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate (SAAR) of 16.5 million. This marks the best October for industry sales in a decade as well as the ninth straight month of SAAR topping 16 million units.
Bill Fay, Toyota Division general manager, attributed the surge in US light-truck sales to increasing consumer confidence and employment as well as lower gas prices. He added that there could be a strong holiday selling season given the continued economic improvement and the stable interest rates and gas prices.
Growing the fastest among major carmakers in October is Fiat Chrysler (22 percent), followed by Nissan North America (13 percent). All the major carmakers – save for Ford Motor – logged sales gains in the month. General Motors only sold 417 units more in October 2014 over the same month in 2013, selling almost 227,000 units.
Ford’s decline in the month (2 percent to 187,897 light vehicles) has been attributed to the closure of one of its F-series assembly sites for retooling. Ford is also the only major carmaker that logged a decline in sales in the first 10 months of 2014, with a dive of 1 percent.
Volkswagen Group of America also posted a drop of 4 percent in sales in the January- October period, although it managed to surge 10 percent last month. The Volkswagen brand exhibited a similar pattern – dropping 12 percent for the first 10 months of the year but climbing 8 percent in October.
On the other hand, Subaru of America posted gains both in October (25 percent) and in the first 10 months of 2014 (20 percent). Jaguar Land Rover, meanwhile, saw both of its brands decline in October, with Land Rover and Jaguar dropping 15 percent and 34 percent, respectively.
That drops resulted to a 20-percent dive for Jaguar Land Rover in October, although the carmaker still managed to eke out a 2-percent surge for year to date.
Sales in the full-size pickup segment leaped 10 percent in October, helped by a sharp decline in retail gasoline prices in the US in the month. This helped the segment logged a 7-percent gain for the first 10 months of the year to 107,690 units.