Auto Sales Up in October – Despite Shutdown

Detroit Free Press

Chrysler reports 11 per­cent rise in Octo­ber sales, and all esti­mates indi­cate auto indus­try sales rose over­all in Octo­ber at about 13 per­cent – not all com­pa­nies have report­ed as of pub­li­ca­tion.

Get more details on Chrysler Group sales in the month of Octo­ber.

Chrysler’s car and truck sales rose 11% in Octo­ber, just about meet­ing over­all expec­ta­tions for the U.S. auto indus­try for the month.

U.S. indus­try sales increased in Octo­ber about 13%, despite a two-week U.S. gov­ern­ment shut­down that slowed sales for the first half of the month, accord­ing to an aver­age of three auto­mo­tive fore­cast­ing com­pa­nies.

Chrysler said it sold 140,083 new cars and trucks in Octo­ber as it record­ed its 43rd con­sec­u­tive month-over-month sales increase.

Sales at Chrysler increased 22% for the Ram, 12% for Dodge, 7% for Jeep and 6% for Chrysler. Sales declined 1% for Fiat.

“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,” said Reid Bigland, Chrysler’s head of U.S. sales.

Oth­er automak­ers are expect­ed to report sales through­out today.

Indus­try ana­lysts say indus­try sales were slug­gish dur­ing the first half of the month dur­ing the 16-day U.S. gov­ern­ment shut­down, but rebound­ed dur­ing the sec­ond half of the month.

“The week-by-week data sug­gests that con­sumers start­ed to get jit­tery by the mid­dle of the month,” Jes­si­ca Cald­well, senior sales ana­lyst for Edmunds.com said in a report.

LMC Auto­mo­tive said retail sales for the indus­try rose only 1.6% dur­ing the first two weeks of Octo­ber. That pace accel­er­at­ed to a 7.7% increase dur­ing the third week of Octo­ber.

“The gov­ern­ment shut­down clear­ly had an impact on retail sales through gov­ern­ment employ­ees direct­ly affect­ed by the shut­down, vehi­cle shop­pers involved in busi­ness­es impact­ed by the shut­down and its impact on con­sumer con­fi­dence,” John Humphrey, senior vice pres­i­dent of the glob­al auto­mo­tive prac­tice at J.D. Pow­er said in a recent report. “How­ev­er, sales in the third week of the month strength­ened.”

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