Fiat led Brazil car sales for October.

SAO PAULO – Brazil’s passenger car and light truck sales rose 6.1% in October over the previous month, totaling 130,800 units.

Entry-level subcompact car sales represented 68% of total sales in September, falling to 65% in October. Total vehicle sales, including trucks and buses, jumped to 137,800 units, up 6.4% over September and 9.6% more than year-ago.

Total sales in the first 10 months were 1,222,000 units, down 8.4% from the year-ago period based on vehicle license registrations, says the National Federation of Vehicle Distributors, Fenabrave.

Fiat Auto SpA led the market in retail sales. Dealers attributed the overall increase to buyers looking to purchase vehicles before a 2%-6% price hike announced for November.

Auto makers are having trouble keeping costs down as suppliers resist cost-cuts and labor unions threaten to strike. Meanwhile, Fiat temporarily halted production Nov. 1 and General Motors Corp. cut its workweek from 44 hours to 42, reportedly due to a shortage in steel.