Hurricanes, high gas prices, and the end of heavy discounts caused auto sales to fall in October as General Motors, and reported big declines. However, and posted numbers on the side while DaimlerChrysler's sales were flat.
Vehicle sales across the industry weakened to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 14.7 million units, well below the 16.9 million rate in October 2004 and the lowest since August 1998.
Among automakers reporting October sales:
- General Motors said its sales fell 22.7 percent in October from a year ago as sales of trucks and SUVs plunged by 30.3 percent while car sales fell 10.6 percent for the month.
- Ford's sales in October fell 23 percent from a year ago as sales of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury trucks and SUVs fell 30 percent, while car sales edged downward by 3.7 percent.
- Chrysler Group's car sales, on the other hand, zoomed up by 37 percent, but its truck and SUV sales fell 9.5 percent, making for a flat month overall.
- Toyota bucked the industry trend, reporting an overall rise of 5.2 percent in October as car sales rose by 12.6 percent, offsetting a four percent decline in truck and SUV sales.
- Nissan said its sales were down 19 percent, depressed by a 23 percent decline in car sales.
- Honda reported an increase of 4 percent on the strength of strong sales of its redesigned Civic and new Ridgeline pickup.
- reported October sales of 9,292 units — a 1 percent increase from October 2004 and a 3 percent increase from last month's sales volume.
- Mercedes-Benz reported sales of 18,349 new vehicles in October, up slightly from October 2004, bringing the year-to-date total sales to 174,593.
- Group (BMW and Mini brands combined) reported October sales of 25,585 vehicles, nearly the same as the 25,807 vehicles sold the same month last year. The BMW Group also reported year-to-date sales of 251,226 vehicles, up 3.5 percent over the 242,724 vehicles sold in the first ten months of 2004.
- announced that its October sales totaled 2,588 cars, a decrease of 14 percent compared to the same period last year. Total year-to-date sales were 26,397 cars compared to 26,353 for the first ten months of last year.
- Hyundai said it sold 29,413 units during the month of October. Year-to-date sales of Hyundai vehicles are up 7.6 percent over the same period, 2004.
- Kia said its October sales were below the same month in 2004. Year-to-date sales of 236,993 are up 4.6 percent, while October sales totaled 20,631 versus 22,973 units sold during the same period in 2004.
- Suzuki announced a 10 percent increase in sales through the first 10 months of the year.