There was little doubt that the government shutdown, which occupied 16 days of an already-short month, put downward pressure on US auto sales during the month of September. If you weren't one of the 800,000 federal employees who were furloughed without pay during the crisis, you may have been one of many people who decided to put off large purchases like a car or truck until the US government got its act together and turned the lights back on. It seems those people and then some came back in October with an eye toward buying a vehicle, though, as a majority of brands are reporting increased sales for last month, especially those in the business of selling trucks, SUVs and crossovers.
US automakers in particular made the biggest gains, with General Motors sales rising nearly 16 percent, Ford Motor Company up 14 percent and Chrysler Group up 11 percent. Not only that, every single individual American brand reported increased sales (not counting Fiat). Surprisingly, Lincoln led the way among American brands with an increase of 38 percent on 7,131 units sold. Chevrolet, however, was the leader among volume brands, with a year-over-year increase of 14.7 percent compared to Ford's 13.2 percent. Among import brands, Subaru continued its aggressive growth trend with October sales up 32 percent over last year on 34,483 units sold, and Mercedes-Benz reported a large gain of 25 percent on sales of 32,107 units.
Among the few brands to report lower sales in October were Kia and Volkswagen. The Korean brand, which we're not used to seeing in the red, reported sales down over 6 percent, while VW posted a much deeper 18-percent drop in sales.
Check all of last month's sales figures in the chart below.
*Brands and companies are displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 27 selling days in September 2013 and 26 selling days in October 2012, so there is a difference between the change in monthly sales volume and the change in average daily sales rate (DSR) for each brand/company. Also, brands are combined and reported as companies only if their sales figures are released jointly.