October 2010 Auto Sales

In September, the happy news along automobile row was that the annualized sales rate was the best it had been so far this year, topping the 12-million-unit mark for the first time. In October, things were even a bit better. Two 12-million+ months in a row has auto executives hoping for a strong finish to the year. And Ford's Alan Mulally has gone on record predicting that 2011 could see 13 million new vehicles sold.

For our company-by-company look at October sales, we'll use year-ago comparisons. Overall, the industry was up by 13 percent over last year, which is slight improvement on the year-to-date increase. Anyone who posted a greater than 13 percent gain for October is running ahead of the pack, while those who didn't are lagging behind.

GENERAL MOTORS +13% (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC only)
General Motors saw its sales rise exactly in sync with the market overall. The news might have been happier with a better performance by volume-leader Chevrolet, but a gain is a gain.
Buick +39%
The new Regal is catching up to the faltering Lucerne (-34%), while the LaCrosse (+37%) and Enclave (+53%) continue to vie for the top spot in the Buick lineup.
Cadillac +15%
The CTS (+45%) is finally feeling the affects of the coupe and wagon additions. The SRX (+27%) continues to grow.
Chevrolet +7%
The Aveo had another huge month (+314%) but the biggest-volume cars, Malibu and Impala, were essentially flat, while Camaro (-38%) declined. The Equinox (+62%) continues to be a big winner, while the Silverado (+8%) managed a modest increase; of the trucks, only the Tahoe (-13%) declined.
GMC +32%
There was good news all across the board for GMC, be it new entries (Terrain, +82%), old pickups (Canyon, +101%), or family-size crossovers that are neither new nor old (Acadia, +65%).

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