Counting Cars

October Scores Highest (non-Clunker) SAAR in 2 years

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October daily sales for all but two automakers outperformed year-ago, as industry light vehicle sales tracked 17.5% higher than like-2009. The resultant seasonally adjusted annual rate was the second highest in 25-months, behind only August 2009’s Cash-for-Clunker spiked SAAR of 14.2 million.

Company by company U.S. sales results: U.S. Sales Summary Table.

U.S. Light Vehicle sales totaled 947,119 units, bringing the year-to-date tally to 9,545,290, up 10.6% over year-ago.

October's daily sales rate (DSR) was 17.5% above a year-ago month still depressed by payback for August's Cash-for-Clunkers program.

October's seasonally adjusted annual rate of 12.2 million units was the second highest monthly SAAR since September 2008, and was directly in line with with Ward's earlier sales forecast .

General Motors dailys sales were up 8.1%, with fleet sales accounting for just 24% of their total - below their year-to-date level. Ford saw its daily sales rise 23.6%, while Chrysler Group - which had an abysmall fall in 2009, with little new product to offer - is up 42.1% over year-ago.

Collectively, Detroit auto makers outpaced the industry with a 19.5% increase over like-2009, good for a 45.3% share of the market.

Toyota (-0.9%) and Zhejiang Geely's Volvo (-6.6%) were the only auto makers to report year-over-year declines in DSR .

Honda easily bested Chrysler as the number four automaker this month - after giving up that position to the Pentastar group last month - selling 98,811 vehicles, a 19.8% yr-to-yr gain. Hyundai Group registered sales up 43.2% over year-ago, displacing rival Nissan from the six spot on the leader board. Together, Asia automakers tracked 15.8% over year-ago for the month.

Sales by Europe automakers are up 16.6% on the whole. BMW was about average with its regional mates, up 16.8%, SAAB Spyker - which was barely selling cars last year as GM looked to move the brand to another OEM, is up 66.5%. Volkswagen of America, including Audi Brand, is up a healthy 19.9%. Dailmler's Mercedes and Smart lagged a little - up just 6.8% versus year-ago.

October's results bring year-to-date light vehilce sales in the U.S. to 9,545,290 - 10.6% above like-2009.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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