US: Early reports show strong October sales

By Bill Cawthon | 3 November 2010

The new Jetta gave VW a boost in the US last month

The new Jetta gave VW a boost in the US last month

Today, Wednesday 3 November, is the day automakers are scheduled to release their October sales figures, but a number of them jumped the gun and posted their results on Tuesday, mid-term election day.

The early results were generally good with Audi, Hyundai, Kia and Subaru setting new monthly sales records. Even Suzuki had good news for the first time in 27 months and Mitsubishi sales rose 32%.

The European car companies reporting on Tuesday finished in the black with the exceptions of Mini, where a plunge in Clubman sales wiped out gains in the hatchback and cabrio, and Smart, which has been languishing for some time.

The new Golf and Jetta gave Volkswagen a 17% increase while BMW (up 17.2%) edged past Mercedes (up 0.9%) for the month. But Mercedes is still a bit over 1,900 sales ahead of BMW for the year.

Porsche sales rocketed over 60% as Cayenne turnover nearly tripled and Panamera sales more than doubled.

Chrysler, Ford and GM also released Canadian market results. Ford took the top spot there with an 8% gain while GM sales actually dropped 6.1% due to discontinued brands overwhelming a 5.6% improvement in core brand sales. Chrysler Canada sales came in 6% ahead of October 2009.

Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota will report sales on Wednesday as will Jaguar, Land Rover, Saab and Volvo. The Detroit automakers will also report their US market results.

Analysts are predicting an October SAAR of 11.9m units in the US which would be one of the strongest showings this year.