CHRYSLER GROUP +10%
Chrysler managed to keep the momentum going yet again in October.
Whereas last month it was the 200 that was up, this month it was down (-22%). No matter, the 300 (+40%) and the Town & Country (+31%) stepped up.
The arrival of the Dart was a big factor in Dodge's big increase. Also helping were the Charger (+36%), the Grand Caravan (+49%), and the Journey (+18%).
Swan dives for the Compass (-52%) and the Liberty (-32%) overwhelmed smaller gains for the other models.
The big Ram did very well in a good month for big pickups.
Fiat posted a huge percentage increase, although sales actually weren't quite as good as last month.
AMERICAN HONDA +9%
Like Toyota, Honda's percentage gains over the tsunami-depressed sales of last year are trailing off.
Honda dealers reportedly have been told to aggressively sell down the current Civic ahead of a new version rumored to be revealed at the L.A. auto show later this month. And indeed, Civic sales were up (+28%), but so were those of the Accord (+26%), and the Fit (+34%). Decliners included the Insight, once again, (-49%); the Pilot (-29%); and the CR-Z (-16%).
The TSX was down by nearly half, and was almost outsold by the new ILX. Besides the ILX, the engine of Acura's growth was the new RDX (+63%).
Hyundai suffered a rare decline in October but Kia was able to keep the Koreans in the black.
After a big boost last month, Veloster sales collapsed in October (-34%). The Accent (-30%) wasn't much better. On the plus side were the new Santa Fe (+16%), the Elantra (+12%), and the Equus (+12%).
Kia's increase was done without any help from the SUV side; witness the Sportage (-37%) and the Sedona (-26%). Instead, cars such as the Optima (+50%), the Rio (+31%), and the Forte (+25%) powered the division ahead.
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA -3%
Nissan was the only major manufacturer to suffer a sales decline in October -- a small decline, granted, but a decline nonetheless.
The new Altima enjoyed another good month (+13%) but it was still only good enough for third place, behind the Camry and the Accord. The Sentra slipped during its model changeover (-33%) but the Cube staged a surprising comeback (+140%), as did the Leaf (+86%). The new Pathfinder did well (+47%), as did the not-so-new Quest (+39%) but all other Nissan trucks and SUVs declined.
The new JX didn't account for all of Infiniti's increase, but certainly the majority of it. The M (+11%), the QX (+18%), and the FX (+19%) all kicked in too.
Big gains for Mercedes-Benz's sports cars, and modest increases for most of the higher-volume models, failed to keep Mercedes ahead of BMW in October -- although it's still out in front for the year.
The ForTwo slipped (just) below 1000 units, but still did way better than last year.
Three were sold.