Americans are in love with trucks again, thanks to falling gas prices. U.S. auto sales rose robustly in October as Chrysler, Nissan, Honda, Volkswagen/Audi and General Motors all reported sales increases for the month.
Preliminary results suggest the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales hit 16.9 million units last month and analysts are expecting overall sales to jump 6 percent. Early returns suggest they’ll be correct. Not only did trucks perform well, but smaller cars, such as the Chevy Cruze, Nissan Versa and others also saw impressive returns. Chrysler Group reported a 22 percent increase compared with sales in October 2013 of 170,480 units, the group’s best October sales since 2001. General Motors reported its sales were essentially flat, climbing only 0.2 percent, but it was still the company’s best October in seven years. Ford reported a 1.7 percent decline from a year ago. Nissan Division also set an October record with 94,072 sales in the month, a year-over-year increase of 14.9 percent. Volkswagen, after a long sales slide, was able to report a 7.8 percent sales increase last month thanks to strong sales of the Golf models and the revamped Jetta. Audi also reported a 16.5 percent sales increase for the month. It was the 46th consecutive months Audi sales have increased. Honda’s sales rose 5.8 percent in October.
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-- Joseph Szczesny, The Detroit Bureau