- REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
- US auto sales rose more than expected in October. Ford, among the major manufacturers that topped forecasts, was supported by strong truck sales. September was the strongest month of this year for the auto companies. They benefitted as people replaced cars that were salvaged by recent hurricanes. This bump could persist for a few more months. Also, end-of-year incentives for buyers could boost sales in November and December.
US auto sales rose more than expected in October, following the strongest month of 2017.
Sales increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 18.1 million, according to Autodata’s estimate. Analysts had forecast an increase by 17.50 million in October, down 2% year-on-year, according to Bloomberg.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- Fiat Chrysler: -13% (-12% expected)Ford: 6.4% (1.4% expected)GM: -2.2% (-1.5% expected)Nissan: 8.4% (-5.7% expected)Toyota: 1.1% (4% expected)Honda: 0.9% (-2.2% expected) Volkswagen: 11.9% Mazda: -8.4%
The two hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida salvaged many cars and created the need to replace them. This bump is likely to remain through the end of the year, adding 200,000-500,000 vehicle sales per month, according to Evercore ISI.
Outside of this one-time boost, carmakers have benefitted from a shift in consumers’ preference towards more profitable pickups and crossovers instead of cheaper sedans. Ford reported an 11% rise in truck sales, which helped offset a slowdown in cars.
Carmakers could get a seasonal boost from year-end product launches and promotions around Black Friday, Christmas and the new year.