October Auto Sales Keep Pace Despite Threat from Government Shutdown, Says Edmunds.com

October Auto Sales Keep Pace Despite Threat from Government Shutdown, Says Edmunds.com

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 24, 2013 — Edmunds.com, the premier resource for car shopping and automotive information, forecasts that 1,229,860 new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. in October for an estimated Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) of 15.5 million. The projected sales will be an 8.2 percent increase from September 2013, and a 12.7 percent increase from October 2012.

The overall sales projections suggest that the government shutdown earlier this month had minimal effect on auto sales. But, says Edmunds.com, a longer shutdown could have left an ugly mark on what has been otherwise a glowing year for the automotive industry.

"It looks like the government shutdown ended just in the nick of time," says Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Jessica Caldwell. "The week-by-week data suggests that consumers started to get jittery by the middle of the month. But with the government back to work, most lost sales should be made up in the latter half of the month, and the industry's momentum will continue the pace it enjoyed before the disruption in Washington."

Sales Volume Oct-13 Forecast Oct-12 Sep-13 Change from Oct 2012* Change from Sep 2013*
GM 215,274 195,764 187,195 10.0% 15.0%
Ford 193,988 167,947 184,452 15.5% 5.2%
Toyota 178,828 155,242 164,457 15.2% 8.7%
Chrysler Group 139,848 126,185 143,017 10.8% -2.2%
Honda 120,484 106,973 105,563 12.6% 14.1%
Hyundai/Kia 95,786 92,723 93,105 3.3% 2.9%
Nissan 94,492 79,685 86,868 18.6% 8.8%
VW/Audi 46,798 46,019 44,985 1.7% 4.0%
Industry 1,229,860 1,091,546 1,136,218 12.7% 8.2%
*NOTE: October 2013 had 27 selling days, October 2012 had 26 and September 2013 had 23.

Edmunds.com estimates that retail SAAR will come in at 13.0 million vehicles in October, with fleet transactions accounting for 16.0 percent of total sales. An estimated 3.06 million used cars will be sold in October, for a SAAR of 35.6 million (compared to 3.02 million — or a SAAR of 36.3 million — used car sales in September).

While most major automakers are expected to easily clear September's sales totals, Edmunds.com projects that Chrysler sales will fall 2.2 percent month to month. As a result, Edmunds.com expects that the company's market share will recede 1.2 percentage points in October, just one month after it hit its highest share in over five years.

Market Share Oct-13 Forecast Oct-12 Sep-13 Change from October 2012 (Percentage pts.) Change from September 2013 (Percentage pts.)
GM 17.5% 17.9% 16.5% -0.4% 1.0%
Ford 15.8% 15.4% 16.2% 0.4% -0.5%
Toyota 14.5% 14.2% 14.5% 0.3% 0.1%
Chrysler Group 11.4% 11.6% 12.6% -0.2% -1.2%
Honda 9.8% 9.8% 9.3% 0.0% 0.5%
Hyundai/Kia 7.8% 8.5% 8.2% -0.7% -0.4%
Nissan 7.7% 7.3% 7.6% 0.4% 0.0%
VW/Audi 3.8% 4.2% 4.0% -0.4% -0.2%

General Motors, meanwhile, is expected to create a little breathing room at the top of the sales standings. Edmunds.com projects that GM sales will increase 15 percent from September to October, outpacing top rival Ford's growth of 5.2 percent. In September, Ford finished within almost 3,000 sales of GM's total, and nearly claimed its first head-to-head victory since March 2011.

More insight into recent auto industry trends can be found in Edmunds.com's Industry Center.

About Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com is a car-shopping Web site committed to helping people find the car that meets their every need. Almost 18 million visitors use our research, shopping and buying tools every month to make an easy and informed decision on their next new or used car. Whether you're at the dealership or on the go, we're always by your side with our five-star Edmunds.com iPhone and iPad apps and our Edmunds.com Android App. Our comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories offer a friendly and authentic approach to the automotive world. We're based in Santa Monica, Calif., but you can connect with us from anywhere by following @Edmunds on Twitter or by becoming a fan of Edmunds.com on Facebook.

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