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October Surprise: US New-Vehicle Sales Continue to Decline

November 05, 2008

DETROIT - U.S. auto sales hit a new low in October, dropping to its lowest level in more than 17 years, according to some sources. Even fuel-efficient vehicles suffered as the credit crisis continues to keep consumers on the sidelines. Here is a rundown of October sales by manufacturer:

Audi:

Audi sales for October totaled 7,443 units, an increase of 0.3 percent from the 7,420 vehicles sold during the year-ago period. This follows on a robust September when the luxury brand attained an all-time record share of the luxury sector.

Strong performances from the A5, A8, R8, and the all-new A4 models contributed to the October increase. Following its late-September release, the all-new 2009 Audi A4 confirmed strong consumer interest in its first full month of sales reporting, with 3,784 units sold.

Year-to-date, Audi’s new vehicle sales are down 3.5 percent.

BMW:

The BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported October sales of 25,475 vehicles, a decrease of 5 percent from the 26,821 vehicles sold in October 2007. The BMW Group also reported a year-to-date sales volume of 261,802 vehicles, down 4.8 percent from the year-ago period.

Sales of BMW brand vehicles decreased 13.9 percent in October for a total of 20,203. For the same period last year, the company reported 23,451 vehicles sold. Year-to-date BMW brand sales were down 10.0 percent from the same period in 2007.

BMW’s automobile sales were down 15.1 percent from the year-ago period. Sales of BMW Sports Activity Vehicles decreased by 8.2 percent from the year-ago period.

MINI USA reported October sales of 5,272 automobiles, up 56.4 percent from the 3,370 cars sold in October 2007. Year to date, the division reported sales of 45,966 automobiles, an increase of 30.2 percent when compared to the 35,306 cars sold in the first ten months of 2007.

Sales of BMW’s Certified Pre-Owned vehicles were down 0.8 percent from the year-ago period. Year to date, CPO sales were up 17.4 percent from the same period in 2007.

Chrysler:

Chrysler LLC sold 94,530 units during the month of October, down 35 percent from 145,316 units sold the same month last year. Total car sales declined 37 percent, while truck sales declined 34 percent.

The company said it will continue the incentive plan introduced in October, which will provide cash rebates of up to $6,000 and discounted APR financing. Chrysler will also offer a Lease Loyalty allowance of up to $750 toward a new retail purchase. For consumers interested in leasing through independent financial institutions, Chrysler offers Bonus Cash of up to $2,000 on select 2008 model year vehicles.

The Chrysler brand reported sales of 19,903, a 51 percent decrease from the 40,440 vehicles sold last October.

The Jeep brand posted sales of 21,360, a 33 percent decrease from 31,856 vehicles sold during the same period last year. Sales of the Jeep Patriot increased 62 percent year to date. October sales of the vehicle grew two percent versus September 2008 sales.

The Dodge brand recorded October sales of 53,267, down 27 percent from 73,020 vehicles sold during the year-ago period. The Dodge Challenger sold 3,014 units in October, marking a 27 percent increase over September 2008 sales.

Ford: Ford Motor Company posted October sales of 132,838 vehicles, down 30.2 percent from 190,195 units sold during the same period last year. Total year-to-date sales reached 1.7 million, down 18.7 percent from 2.1 million sold a year ago.

Total October sales for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury reached 129,121 vehicles, down 29 percent from the 182,434 units sold during the same period last year. Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury car sales reached 40,854, down 26.8 percent from 55,812 units from the year-ago period. SUVs declined 53.9 percent, while trucks declined 29.2 percent.

Total year-to-date sales reached 1.6 million, down 18.3 percent from the 2 million units sold a year ago.

General Motors: General Motors reported sales of 170,585 vehicles in October, down 45 percent compared to the year-ago total of 310,008. GM truck sales were down 51 percent, and car sales were off 34 percent from the 111,738 units sold last year.

Sales of the Chevrolet Malibu reached 10,874 units, up 82 percent from the 5,975 sold during the same period last year. The Pontiac Vibe recorded a 5.6 percent sales increase in October, with 2,945 units sold compared to the 2,788 vehicles sold during the year-ago period.

October 2008 sales for all certified GM brands totaled 33,735, down 15 percent from October 2007. Year-to-date sales were 408,451 vehicles, down 7 percent from the same period last year.

GM sold 1,496 hybrid vehicles in October, increasing the year-to-date total to 10,549 hybrids.

Honda: American Honda Motor Co. Inc. posted October sales of 85,864, a decline of 28 percent compared to record October 2007 results of 114,799. The Japanese automaker’s total car sales for October were 51,400, a 25 percent decline from the 66,015 sold in the year-ago period. Total truck sales were 34,464, a 32 percent decline from the 48,784 units sold during the year-ago period.

American Honda’s year-to-date sales reached 1.2 million units, a 3.6 percent decrease.

Honda Division posted October sales of 75,756, a decline of 28.4 percent from 101,913 units recorded in October 2007. The Fit achieved an October record of 6,478, up 28.1 percent from the 4,868 units sold during the same period last year.

The Acura Division posted sales of 10,108, a decrease of 24.5 percent from the 12,886 units sold in October 2007. The TL, with sales of 4,340, increased 22.2 percent. This was the first full month that the redesigned 2009 model was available. Acura total car sales were up 2.0 percent in October.

Total hybrid sales in October reached 1,622 units, an increase of 38.2 percent from the 2,529 units sold the same month a year ago. Year-to-date sales increased 0.5 percent from 29,168 to 29,145 units.

Hyundai: Sales at Hyundai Motor America reached sales of 20,820 for the month of October, a 31 percent decrease from October 2007. All of the Korean automaker’s vehicles posted declines in October 2008 compared to the year-ago period. Year-to-date sales reached 358,484 units in October, compared to 388,639 units in 2007.

Nissan: Nissan North America Inc. reported October 2008 sales of 56,945 units, a decrease of 33 percent from the 84,947 units sold a year ago. For the first nine months of 2008, total vehicle sales reached 842,643, a 6.2 percent decline from the 898,000 units sold during the same year-ago period.

Nissan Division vehicles had sales of 49,833 units in October compared with October 2007's 74,992 units sold, a 33.5 percent decrease. Maxima sales totaled 4,341 units last month, an increase of 33 percent from the 3,263 units sold in October 2007. Nissan Rogue sales rose 10.8 percent last month to 5,584 vehicles versus the 5,038 units sold in October 2007. Sales of the fuel-efficient Nissan Versa rose 2.7 percent from the same month last year.

Infiniti sales for October were 7,112 units, down from the 9,955 units sold during the year ago period. The Infiniti EX, which went on sale in December 2008, recorded 898 units sold in October 2008.

Toyota: Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc. reported October sales of 152,101 vehicles, a decrease of 25.9 percent from the 197,592 vehicles sold last October. Year-to-date sales reached 1.9 million, down 11.9 percent from 2.2 million vehicles sold in 2007.

Toyota Division passenger cars recorded October sales of 84,904 units, down 14.2 percent from 95,241 units sold the same period last year. Sales were led by the Camry and the Camry Hybrid, which posted combined sales of 30,556 units. Camry Hybrid reported October sales of 2,792 units. Corolla recorded best-ever October sales of 27,386 units, up 2.2 percent over the year-ago month.

Toyota Division light trucks posted October sales of 50,914 units, down 36.5 percent from the 77,232 units sold in October 2007. Sequoia posted sales of 1,829 units for the month, up 16.3 percent from the same period last year.

Scion posted October sales of 6,743 units.

Lexus passenger cars reported August sales of 9,332 units, a decrease of 40.2 percent from 15,017 units sold in October 2007. Passenger-car sales were led by the ES entry luxury sedan, as sales reached 4,141 units.

Lexus Division light trucks recorded October sales of 6,951 units, down 33.7 percent from 10,102 units sold during the year-ago period. The LX 570 reported sales of 567 units, an increase of 370.7 percent over the same period last year.

TMS calendar-year-to-date hybrid sales totaled 216,760 units. TMS posted October sales of 16,310 hybrid vehicles. Toyota Division recorded sales of 15,618 hybrids for the month. The Prius mid-size gas-electric hybrid posted October sales of 11,804 units. The Highlander and Highlander Hybrid posted combined sales of 7,032 units in October. The Highlander Hybrid gas-electric mid-size SUV reported October sales of 1,022 units, up 65.1 percent over the year-ago month. Lexus Division reported October sales of 692 hybrids.

Suzuki: American Suzuki Motor Corp. recorded October sales of 3,482, a decrease of 47 percent from 6,536 units recorded in the year-ago period. The monthly results bring Suzuki’s year-to-date figures to 77,999, a 12 percent decrease from 88,536 units sold during in 2007. Suzuki sales continue to be led by the SX4 model line, which sold 1,839 units in October, an increase of 52 percent over the same period last year.

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