October proved to be a strong month for the Big Three. Chrysler Group reported its best October sales since 2007 with an 11 percent increase in sales, while Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. saw year-over-year gains of 14 and 16 percent, respectively.
Chrysler reported U.S. sales of 140,083 units in October, extending its streak of year-over-year sales gains to 43-consecutive months.
“After a choppy start to the beginning of the month, Chrysler Group sales accelerated in the second half of the month with renewed consumer confidence and the launch of our all-new Jeep Cherokee,” says Reid Bigland, head of U.S. Sales, noting the 2014 Ram ProMaster also went on sale in October.
Six of the automaker’s vehicles set records for October sales, including the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Patriot, Dodge Journey crossover, Dodge Dart compact car, Dodge Challenger, and the Ram Cargo Van. It was the Wrangler’s seventh sales record this year.
Ford’s sold 191,985 vehicles last month, a 14 percent increase over sales in October 2012. Retail sales were up 15 percent, marking the company’s best October retail sales performance since 2004.
John Felice, a spokesman for Ford, attributes the increase in sales to newly designed products such as the Fusion (up 71 percent) and Escape (up 9 percent). “October was simply an outstanding retail performance,” Felice says. Meanwhile, Lincoln MKZ sales increased 80 percent over a year ago, leading the Lincoln brand to an overall year-over-year increase of 38 percent.
The month also proved to be strong for the F-Series, which sold 63,803 trucks. This makes October the sixth-straight month above the 60,000-vehicle mark for the F-Series. The last time Ford sold more than 60,000 trucks for six consecutive months was 2006.
In October, General Motors sold 226,402 vehicles, up 16 percent versus a year ago. Fleet sales were up 14 percent.
“Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick-GMC all performed well in the month, and the sales tempo really picked up after the government shutdown ended,” says Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We are particularly pleased with our truck momentum.”
Among some of the automaker’s more notable gains, Buick Regal sales saw a 47 percent year-over-year increase, Impala sales nearly doubled, and Malibu sales increased 58 percent. The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Cruze both had their best ever October retail sale, and the Cadillac SRX is on track for its best year ever.
Since September, sales of the new 2014 light duty Silverado and Sierra increased 62 percent and accounted for about 76 percent of GM’s light duty deliveries.
Earlier this month, the three automakers released their third-quarter net incomes. General Motors reported $700 million, down from $1.5 a year ago; Chrysler reported $464 million, up 22 percent from last year; and Ford reported $1.3 billion, down $359 million from last year.