October sales up 6%, tracking toward 16.4 million for the year
A strong October showed again that auto sales seem unstoppable, as U.S. sales rose 6 percent from a year ago to a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.4 million. October was the seventh month this year with a monthly SAAR in the range of 16 to 16.9 million, according to NADA economists.
October was another strong month for the automotive sector, driven by a combination of low fuel prices, available credit and the ongoing pent-up demand factor, said Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book.
Chrysler Group, Nissan, Toyota, Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Volkswagen, Kia, GM, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Subaru all reported sales gains. Chrysler jumped 21.7 percent, GM edged up 0.2 percent and Ford fell 1.7 percent.
In October year-to-date sales, cars held a market share of 47.3 percent and light trucks 52.7 percent, said NADA. Washington area sales are typically more weighted toward cars, as shown by the R.L. Polk quarterly report.
October vehicle sales were the best for the month in 10 years as an improving economy and lower gas prices drove strong SUV sales, said Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager.
The average new-vehicle loan in October was 67 months, the second longest on record, according to Edmunds.com. The average transaction price, at $32,957, was up 2.4 percent from a year ago, reported TrueCar. Transaction price gains in October continued to outstrip incentive spending, said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar.Download Bulletin PDF