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Rebounding from a decline in September, U.S. cars and light trucks rose 10.6% in October compared to the same month a year earlier.  Automakers sold 1.21 million units in October 2013 (Table 1) compared to 1.09 million in the same month last year.  On an annualized basis this equals more than 15 million units (Chart 1).  Although October 2012 sales were soft due to Hurricane Sandy, this October could have been much weaker due to the federal government shutdown and impending debt ceiling.  Nevertheless, “the fundamentals of an aging fleet and widely available, relatively cheap credit continue to unleash pent-up demand,” according to Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at[i]

Table 1

Table 1

Three of the top five automakers increased sales in double-digits in October.  “General Motors, the nation’s largest automaker, led the way with sales up 16% to 226,402.”[ii]  Ford sales were also strong, up nearly 14% due to good sales of its F-Series trucks.  GM’s Silverado models were up 10% in October.  And, Chrysler’s 11% gain was to a large extent due to its 18% increase in RAM trucks (Table 1).

Among the top models, the Ford Fusion saw the biggest percentage gain at 71.3%, to 21,740 units (pictured below).  The second largest gain was made by Toyota’s RAV4 with a 60.8% increase.

Utah car and truck sales usually follow national trends.  First half sales of Utah cars and light trucks were at 53,173, up 12.3% from 2012.

[i] Big Gains for Auto Sales Despite a Government Pothole, New York Times, B2, November 2, 2013.

[ii] Ibid

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