Big Three Automakers Report October Sales: Ford Up, GM and FCA Down

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Ford Motor Co. reported a 6.2 percent increase in U.S. sales last month, with 200,436 vehicles sold. Retail performance also increased 3.5 percent versus 2016, with sales of 148,105 vehicles, while fleet sales increased 14.6 percent as expected due to order timing, with 52,331 vehicles sold.

Specifically, F-Series sales totaled 75,974 trucks for October, a 15.9 percent gain and the brand’s best October since 2004. Overall F-Series average transaction prices increased $4,000 versus 2016 to $47,300, with a new F-150 high series demand and continued demand for high series Super Duty.

“F-Series produced another big sales gain for us in October. Strong customer demand for high series Super Duty continues, and now we’re seeing the same for the new 2018 F-150,” says Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service. “With sales up 15.9 percent, F-Series drove our overall truck sales to an 11.4 percent gain for the month.”

Ford brand SUV sales also totaled 57,637 vehicles, a 4.6 percent gain and 9 percent increase at retail compared to 2016. Specifically, the Ford Explorer saw retail sales increase 13.1 percent in October, and the strongest retail increases came from the central and southeastern regions of the U.S., where retail sales increased 31.1 and 34 percent respectively.

Lincoln SUV sales also gained 13.1 percent and the MKC, MKX, and Navigator models also saw sales increases. The Edge also increased sales 36.9 percent, with overall sales of 11,036 vehicles, its best October performance since its launch in 2007. Focus sales increased 7.8 percent in October, the fourth consecutive month of gains, and performance models Focus ST and RS were up 42.3 percent.

Detroit’s General Motors Co. reported 252,813 deliveries throughout the U.S. during October. Pickup deliveries totaled 84,902 units, a 9 percent increase compared to 2016, driven by the sales increases of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Crossover deliveries also totaled 82,235 units, a 12 percent year over year increase, attributed to the highest October sales ever for the Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Encore and Enclave. Additionally, Cadillac SRX and XT5 sales increased 17 percent, the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Buick Encore had their best months on record, and combined commercial and government deliveries increased 10 percent year over year.

Selling-day adjusted sales were up 2 percent, but total sales were down 2 percent, reflecting lower passenger cars deliveries and one fewer selling day year over year. Strong crossover deliveries at Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac helped GM achieve an estimated retail market share of 17 percent or more for the third consecutive month, which hasn’t happened since July-Sept. 2011.

“We are heading into the fourth quarter with good momentum, thanks to a strong U.S. economy and very strong pickup and crossover sales. In fact, Chevrolet and GMC have some of the fastest-turning crossovers in the industry,” says Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations. “The all-new Chevrolet Equinox is off to a great start and we could have sold even more if we had more available. We also see tremendous upside with the launches of the 2018 GMC Terrain, Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.

They are arriving in showrooms at the same time consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000. Small business optimism has also stayed very high since last fall, and that bodes well for pickup and van sales.”

Auburn Hills-based FCA US also reported sales of 153,373 units, a 13 percent decrease compared to Oct. 2016 (176,609 units). Retail sales of 130,153 units were also down 4 year over year, representing 85 percent of total sales. In line with the company’s strategy to reduce sales to the daily rental segment, fleet sales of 23,220 units were down (as expected) 43 percent year over year.

Specifically, the upgraded Jeep Compass recorded its best October sales ever, with sales increasing 81 percent compared to Oct. 2016. The Jeep Cherokee reported a 19 percent increase and its best sales month so far and Jeep brand retail sales increased 3 percent year over year.

Ram Truck Brand sales also increased 1 percent in October, compared to the same time last year, for the pickup’s best October sales ever. Sales of the Dodge Charger also increased 19 percent, while the Dodge Durango SUV sales increased 11 percent, compared to Oct. 2016. Sales for the Fiat 500L also increased 34 percent for its best October since 2015, following a redesign featuring an updated look, new front and rear fascia design, body side molding, and updated wheel designs. 

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