Automakers are reporting their October sales numbers throughout the day.
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General Motors reported October vehicle sales rose 16%, beating the Kelley Blue Book estimate for an increase of 10.2%. GM’s September sales rose by 12%. GM says it sold 183,464 Chevrolet vehicles,up 17.6%
Ford Motor reported October vehicle sales rose 13%, that fell short of the Kelley Blue Book estimate for an increase of 16.6%. Ford’s September sales increased 23%. Sales of Ford's F-Series pickups increased12%.
(The following is the original car sales story published by Dow Jones Newswires)
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday posted a 15% leap in October U.S. auto sales, propelled by the month having five weekends and searing demand for the auto maker's Jeep brand.
Car sales are on track to reach their highest October sales volume since 2001.
Fiat Chrysler--which recorded its best sales for the month since that year--sold 195,545 vehicles, compared with 170,480 for the month last year, extending the Italian-U.S. company's sales-gains streak to 67 months. Jeep brand sales spiked 33%. Eight Fiat-Chrysler vehicles posted their best October ever: Dodge Charger, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler and Ram ProMaster.
Car researching firm Edmunds.com had projected a 14% sales jump for Chrysler.
Car shoppers continue to drive away in larger, pricier vehicles amid low interest rates, cheap fuel and a stronger economy. The October numbers also were helped by another weekend in the month versus last year.
Overall, U.S. auto sales are expected to increase 12% year-over-year to 1.43 million vehicles, according to Kelley Blue Book. Compact utilities are expected to hit their third month as the top segment with 40% growth. "Exploding popularity" of small utility vehicles means small and midsize cars are losing market share, Kelley Blue Book says. The firm estimates market share for both smaller-car segments will drop more than a full percentage point.
The average new vehicle transaction price is expected to hit $34,023, a $458 or 1.4% climb from a year earlier.
WardsAuto is calling for U.S. light vehicle sales to reach a 17.5 million-unit seasonally adjusted annual rate, higher than the 17.2 million recorded year-to-date through September and an 11-year peak for the month. It also would make October the sixth consecutive month above the 17 million mark.
As many auto makers are expected to roll out double-digit sales gains, Volkswagen is widely seen as a black mark on the month following fallout from its emissions scandal. Edmunds.com forecasts Audi will buoy the auto maker's growth as its Volkswagen brand sales-- which rose less than 1% in September--remain flat.
October could be the last month Volkswagen's Audi sales remain untainted. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency slapped additional Clean Air Act violations on the German auto maker, widening the scandal to thousands of more diesel-powered vehicles, including multiple Audi models.
"In this year of booming auto sales, no auto maker should be relieved to see flat year-over-year performance, but this may be the best that Volkswagen can hope for this month," said Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell. "Until VW starts down a road to recovery by informing owners of a specific fix to their diesel vehicles, the company is likely to make far fewer sales than this surging market would otherwise deliver to them."
Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com