Adjusted for selling days, light vehicle sales in the US last month fell 3.4% year on year to 835,925 units and General Motors posted its first monthly year on year gain since January 2008 - up 0.9% to 176,662 units.

Year to date industry sales were down 25.3% to 8,631,217

"We're very pleased with consumer acceptance to our newest cars, crossovers and trucks," said GM's US sales head Susan Docherty. "While we have more work to do, we are making progress."

Ford sales were up 0.5% to 134,838 but Chrysler, reflecting a dearth of new products, expected to be addressed in a new five-year plan to be detailed later today, was down 32.8% to 65,511.

"Consumer demand for our new high-quality, fuel-efficient products is driving Ford's market share gains," said Ford sales head Ken Czubay. "Ford vehicles are among the 'freshest' available by any automaker - with more than 80% of our sales in October coming from our new 2010 models."

Ford estimated its total market share in October was over 15% - higher than a year ago and higher than its share in the first nine months of 2009; WardsAuto said it was 16.1% in October, adjusted for selling days.

"The Ford plan is working, led by the strength of our product lineup and customer demand for our new cars, utilities and trucks," added Czubay.

"The industry showed signs of improvement this month with increasing sales, which is a trend we expect to continue for the remainder of the year," said Chrysler's Fred Diaz. "Chrysler Group expects to get its fair share of the increases as November and December traditionally are two of the best months for SUV sales, and the Jeep brand offers customers the best SUVs in the marketplace."

Hyundai, Kia and Subaru again led the import brands' rises with Hyundai up 43.6% to 31,005, affiliate Kia rising 40.1% to 22,490 and Subaru up 35.6% to 18,169.

"We've done a good job of selling down our 2009 model year inventory over the last few months, with about two-thirds of Hyundai car sales in October being fresh, 2010 model year vehicles," said Dave Zuchowski, vice president of sales. "With the recent encouraging economic news of a 3.5% GDP growth during the third quarter, the best in two years, we are looking forward to the final two months of the year.  We have our all-new Tucson launching at the end of this year and the 2011 Sonata coming early next year, so we are excited about the terrific new products we'll be filling our dealerships with."

Major players Toyota (-3.5%; 152,165) and Honda (-4%; 85,502) were down slightly though Nissan sneaked up 1.8% to 60,115.

European results were a mixed bag: BMW off 22% to 20,619; Porsche up 11% to 1,642; Daimler up 5.7% to 18,900 and segment leader VW up just 0.8% to 24,395.