CHRYSLER GROUP +11%
Chrysler remained solidly in fourth place, with four of its five divisions posting increases. Best was Ram, as the big Ram pickup jumped 18% and actually overtook the Toyota Camry to become the third-bestselling nameplate, after the Ford and Chevy pickups.
The Town & Country (+28%) kept the Chrysler division in the black, offsetting losses for the 200 (-5%) and the 300 (-12%).
After a big increase last month, the Dart (+3%) leveled off. Instead, it was the Charger's turn to jump (+60%), along with the Durango (+59%). The Avenger (-29%) suffered the brand's only significant decline.
Finally, finally, finally, the new Jeep Cherokee made its much-belated appearance in showrooms in October -- but not yet in meaningful quantities. Instead, credit the Compass (+68%), the Patriot (+33%), and the Grand Cherokee (+20%) with moving Jeep ahead in October.
Like Jeep, the Ram division also welcomed a new entry last month: the ProMaster cargo van. Its volume, though, is still small.
With the 500 down by more than one-third (-36%), the 500L kept things (almost) at an even keel.
AMERICAN HONDA +7%
Honda division was up slightly, while Acura was up more. The Civic looked strong, and the CR-V passed the Ford Escape to take the bestselling SUV crown. Overall, though, Honda lagged the market.
The Civic popped but the Accord dropped, so the smaller Honda passed its larger brother, and became the number two passenger car while the Accord slipped to number three. Sudden Insight: Honda's fuel-sippin' hybrid was up by 85%, but still sold only 463 units.
Acura was able to reverse its fortunes in October. The ILX swung from negative to positive (+31%), and the new RLX found more than twice as many buyers as in September. The brand's two biggest sellers, the RDX and MDX SUVs, were up by a quarter and a half, respectively. Not all the badness was wiped away though: the TL fell hard again (-49%), as did the TSX (-23%). Both of those aging sedans will converge next year to become the new TLX.
HYUNDAI - KIA +1%
The Koreans were just barely able to beat their October 2012 total, in a market that was up by 10%. Actually, Kia was down but Hyundai -- which claimed its best-ever October -- was up just enough to compensate.
The new Santa Fe did well (+36%), as did the revised Sonata (+19%) and Equus (+14%). On the down side we find the Tucson (-42%), the Azera (-39%), and the Veloster (-12%).
The new Cadenza outsold its sibling rival, the Hyundai Azera, 2 to 1. But that wasn't enough to keep Kia from sinking in October, weighed down by the aged Sedona (-41%), the Forte (-20%), and the Sorento (-15%).
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA -6%
Nissan outpaced the market in October, on the strength of volume models like the Rogue, the Sentra, and the Pathfinder.
The new Pathfinder nearly doubled, and the new Sentra -- backed by a major ad campaign -- was up by half. So, too, was the Rogue, as Nissan announced that it will sell the old version alongside the new one. The Frontier (+72%) was able to capitalize on booming demand for pickups, but the Titan (-38%) was not.
Despite some well-publicized problems, the new Q50 became the top-selling Infiniti in October. The JX was basically flat, but all other models were down by 10% or more.