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October Shows Auto Rebound Will Be Slow

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If you want to get a sense of just how unclear the auto industry is about how much sales will rebound, ask the different sales chiefs at the automakers.

The folks in charge of determining where the market is headed and how to spur greater sales all think the 2010 sales pace will be close to 11 million vehicles.

But almost all of them admit there are so many variables that it's hard to say for sure.

One thing is clear from October sales. Base demand for new vehicles is slowly building.

Here's how the automakers did last month:

  • GM (up) 4 %
  • Ford (down) 0.6%
  • Toyota (down) 3.5%
  • Honda (down) 4%
  • Chrysler (down) 32.3 %
  • Nissan (up) 5.6%

Ford sales chief George Pipas expects the fourth quarter pace of auto sales to come in at 10.4 or 10.5 million - a healthy one million vehicle increase from the second quarter pace of 9.5 million.

Because of Cash for Clunkers you have to throw out the third quarter rate. It's not indicative of the base demand in the market.

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- Ford Motor

- Toyota Motor

- Nissan

- Honda Motor

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Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com

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