Banking & Finance

Car Sales Slip Again from Last Year’s Record Numbers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – October proved to be a mixed bag for American automakers as two of the Big Three posted losses last month. Despite the slip, however, industry analysts project 2017 to have the second-highest sales volume ever, coming behind only last year’s numbers.

General Motors’ sales fell 2.2% to 252,813 as three of its four brands posted year-over-year losses in October. GMC was the only nameplate to post an increase last month – 4.6% – as 44,630 trucks and SUVs were sold.

Chevrolet’s sales volume was down 3.8% to 175,110 and led by the Silverado pickup, of which 53,157 were sold. The Lordstown-built Cruze posted another down month as sales dropped to 11,129, a 35% decline from October 2016.

For GM’s other brands, Cadillac sales held mostly even with last year’s figures as 13,931 were delivered to customers last month, 17 fewer than a year ago. Buick, meanwhile, delivered 19,142 vehicles, a 4.5% drop.

Ford Motor Co. sales rose 6.2% to 200,436 behind a strong month for the F-series truck line. For that model, 75,974 trucks were sold in October, more than 10,500 more than the same period last year. The Ford brand posted a 6.6% sales increase with 191,527 cars sold. Sales of the Lincoln brand slipped 1.8% to 8,909, led by the MKX with 2,684.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s sales were down 13% to 153,373 as none of its American brands saw gains last month. Closest to breaking even were Jeep – down 3% to 67,074 units delivered – and Ram with 47,831 trucks sold, another 3% fall.

The Chrysler brand delivered 11,018 cars, a 22% drop from last year, as all four of its models posted losses. Dodge, meanwhile, was down 41% to 24,476. The company’s two foreign brands showed mixed results as Fiat sales were down to 1,769, a 33% decrease, and Alfa Romeo’s sales rose to 1,205 from 23 a year ago.

In its monthly sales projections, industry analysis site Edmunds projected an overall 3.5% decrease in sales when compared to a year ago but still strong in comparison to other months this year.

“October is expected to be the second highest monthly sales rate of 2017, so despite the year-over-year decline, the industry can still consider it a solid month,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis, in a release. “We expect to see increasingly aggressive incentives offered on outgoing models through the end of the year as automakers look to build on this momentum, so car buyers can likely anticipate some door-buster deals this holiday season.”

General Motor’s sales were projected to decline 7.3%, Fiat Chrysler’s 10.1% and Ford’s sales were estimated to increase 5.1%.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.