The 16-day U.S. government shutdown in early October appeared to slow deliveries, with seven of the top eight automakers reporting monthly sales missing analysts’ estimates. Still, they all saw growing numbers.
Industry sales in October went up 10.6 % to 1,208,036 units, according to industry research firm Autodata. Analysts were forecasting a 12% increase. Anyway, sales for the three Detroit-based automakers, thanks in part to steady demand for full-size pickup trucks, jumped to double digit figures.
October sales slowed to an annual rate of 15.23 million vehicles, according to Autodata, the lowest since April. The weaker-than-expected sales rate “was primarily driven by the government shutdown impacting consumer sentiment through the first half of the month,” according to an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
GM said October sales jumped nearly 16 % to 226,402 vehicles from 195,764 a year ago, while results at Ford and Chrysler narrowly missed analysts’ expectations, as did those at Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Ford said October U.S. sales rose 14 % to 191,985 vehicles, from 168,456 a year earlier. Chrysler reported October sales of 140,083, an increase of 11 % from 126,185 a year ago.
“The market seemed to respond pretty quickly and the cadence (of sales) seemed to improve,” said Itay Michaeli, analyst at Citi Research. “That, I think, is a testament to some of the pent-up demand out there.”
Toyota sales went up 8.8 % to 168,976 vehicles, while Honda increased by 7.1 % to 114,538 and Nissan was up 14.2 % to 91,018. Analysts expected 176,815 at Toyota, 119,823 at Honda and 93,632 at Nissan. Hyundai Motor Co said group sales in the United States rose 0.6 % to 93,309. Hyundai brand sales climbed 6.5 % to 53,555 while Kia sales dropped 6.4 % to 39,754.