US: October sales gain is the best in years image

Even as last month is usually seen as a weak auto sales month, the fledging recovery of the American automotive industry proved stronger, lifting automakers to their best sales results in years for October.

Analysts expectations of an overall growth of 6% was matched by the sales figures, as six of the largest US carmakers reported strong growth – supported especially by the falling gasoline prices that brought back the craving for SUVs and pickup trucks. Ford, for example, said its utility vehicles and trucks were responsible for 72% of its sales mix, rising from 68.5% in 2013.

According to the travel and safety organization AAA, the average price for a gallon of gasoline across the country dropped to $2.98 as of Nov. 2 – but SUV sales have been continuously surging even before that. Industry observers expect the trend to keep the pace, after gasoline fell to its lowest level in almost four years (December 2010). The trucks and SUVs have also become increasingly efficient, even reaching ratings of 30 miles (48 kilometers) or more per gallon of highway driving.

Researcher Autodata Corp. says total light-vehicle deliveries climbed 6.1% to 1.28 million units – matching the consensus estimates of analysts polled by Reuters or Bloomberg. The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate is now at 16.5 million autos, up from last year’s 15.4 million vehicles.

Via Bloomberg, Reuters