U.S. Auto Sales Relatively Healthy, Despite Hurricane Sandy's Toll
- Most automakers are reporting relatively healthy October sales, despite Hurricane Sandy's toll.
- Chrysler said Thursday that October car sales were the best in five years, while General Motors reported its highest October sales in the U.S. since 2007.
- Nissan said October sales ended on a "down note with Hurricane Sandy."
DETROIT — Automakers are reporting relatively healthy October sales, despite Hurricane Sandy's toll.
"October had been on track to be another strong month and was still a reasonably healthy month considering the punch Sandy packed," said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds.com senior analyst.
Before the storm, U.S. auto sales were expected to rise 11-12 percent for October, according to economists.
Chrysler said Thursday that October car sales were the best in five years, while General Motors reported its highest October sales in the U.S. since 2007. Chevrolet dealers delivered a record 2,961 Chevrolet Volts in October.
Chrysler reported October sales of 126,185, up 10 percent from 114,512 a year ago.
"In spite of Hurricane Sandy, Chrysler Group posted its best October sales since 2007 and we achieved our 31st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth," said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Dodge brand and head of U.S. sales, in a statement. The Fiat 500 set a sales record for the month of October.
Nissan reported October U.S. sales of 79,685 units versus 82,346 a year ago, down 3.2 percent.
"Unfortunately, October ended on a down note with Hurricane Sandy causing major disruption throughout the Northeast, which is our strongest performing region with more than 225 area dealers," said Al Castignetti, Nissan Division vice president, in a statement on Thursday.
Ford's October sales were mostly flat, with no stellar performances. Ford said it sold 3,182 2013 C-Max vehicles in the car's first full month of sales.
"The Fusion, which accounts for a big chunk of Ford's total sales, was down 30 percent as the new model waits to be launched into the market," said Krebs.
Volkswagen said its U.S. sales rose 22 percent last month.
"Volkswagen is destined for its best sales year since 1973," said Krebs.
Volkswagen said in a statement that over 25 percent of its U.S. dealerships were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Toyota reported monthly sales of 155,242 in October, up 16 percent. Audi today reported record-setting October sales of 11,708 new vehicles, representing a 14.5 percent increase above the previous record set in October of last year.
Edmunds says: Disruptions from Hurricane Sandy cut into vehicle sales, but that demand is likely to bounce back in November.