October sales miss expectations at Chrysler, Ford

Bernie Woodall and Ben Klayman
Shopper looks at a Mustang at a Ford AutoNation dealership in Miami
Getty Images

U.S. October auto sales for the three Detroit-based automakers rose by double-digits from a year earlier, but results at Ford and Chrysler narrowly missed analysts' expectations.

Automakers reporting monthly sales on Friday were expected by analysts to show a gain of 12 percent to about 1.22 million vehicles, or 15.4 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis.

General Motors said October sales climbed nearly 16 percent to 226,402 from 195,764 a year ago, beating expectations. All four GM brands reported year-to-year increases, with Buick up 31 percent. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected GM sales of 211,563.

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Ford said October sales increased 14 percent to 191,985, from 168,456 a year earlier. Ford and Lincoln brand sales both were up during the month. Analysts expected 194,301.

Chrysler reported October sales of 140,083, up 11 percent from 126,185 a year ago. Analysts expected 143,536.

Sales of full-size pickups continued to show strength in October, although their torrid year-long pace slowed a bit.

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Ford's F-series was up 13 percent for the month and 20 percent for the year to date, while Chrysler's Ram was up 18 percent for the month and 23 percent for the year to date. The Chevrolet Silverado was up 10 percent for the month and 20 percent for the year.

Volkswagen's U.S. subsidiary said VW brand sales fell 18 percent to 28,129.

Hyundai Motor said its U.S. sales climbed 7 percent to 53,555 vehicles.

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The 16-day shutdown of most of the federal government in early October did not keep auto sales down, several analysts said.

"The expectations were that car buyers would wait on the sidelines,'' said Alec Gutierrez of Kelley Blue Book, but pent-up demand and credit availability helped propel sales.

—By Reuters.