U.S. auto dealers sold approximately 1.36 million vehicles in October, which represented a marginal increase of 0.4%, according to data from Automotive News. The result is above the 1.33 million units forecasted by Cox Automotive and also higher than the 1.32 million that Edmunds expected.
The seasonally adjusted, annual rate (SAAR) for October totaled 17.59 million, the highest of the year, and well above Cox and Edmunds forecast of 17.1 million. October marked the eighth month in 2018 the SAAR has topped 17 million.
Sales from January through October have now risen 0.5% “but analysts still expect the second-half slowdown to continue,” Automotive News reported.
Among the Detroit Big 3, it was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) who performed best with a 16% hike on strong demand of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickups. On the other hand, Ford sales dropped 4% due a second-straight decline of its F-series light trucks.
General Motors no longer reports monthly results, but on a quarterly basis instead. However, Automotive News Data Center estimates GM's sales dropped 5.3% in October and 1.6% in a year-to-date basis.
Among the Big 3 from Japan, Toyota saw its sales increase 1.4% also on strong light-truck volume. Nissan posted an 11% decline while Honda’s sales dropped 4.1%.
Hyundai sales rose 2.8% while its sister brand KIA improved by 1.6%. Volkswagen posted a 4.6% gain while Mazda deliveries dropped 10%.
Among premium automakers, Audi sales fell 17%, which marked the end of 107 consecutive months of delivery increases.
Land Rover sales skyrocketed 43%, while Volvo and BMW deliveries went up 4.6% and 0.2% respectively. Mercedes-Benz sales decreased 4.9% although the German automaker still leads the luxury segment.
The United States represents the biggest market for Mexico automotive exports. In the first ten months of 2018 more than 2,115,000 Mexico-made vehicles were shipped to the U.S., which accounts for 73.5% of total Mexican light vehicle exports.