Smart Borrower Blog

October Auto Sales Show Surprise Upswing

Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 7:21 PM by Amber Nelson

Having been hampered for many months by a down economy and limited lending credit for buyers, the auto industry has seen some hard times in 2010. Yet October’s U.S. car and truck sales figures boasted a 13.4 percent increase over last year, with 950,000 vehicles sold, the best showing in more than two years. At this rate the car industry is on track to sell about 12 million cars and trucks this year.

“Pent-up industry demand is a big factor right now,” analyst Jesse Toprak said as quoted in a Marketwatch article. “Consumers are learning to live with economic uncertainty and they are the ones that carried the strong numbers last month, not the fleet customers.”

Here’s how things panned out by company: Ford Motor Co. saw its sales increase by 19.2 percent, GM sales rose by 3.5 percent, and Chrysler’s sales skyrocketed up 37 percent from a year ago. Among Asian automakers, Hyundai experienced the biggest jump with a 38 percent sales increase, Honda sales were up 19.8 percent, and Nissan had a16.1 percent uptick. Only Toyota posted a decline, with a 4.4 percent loss in sales from October 2009. Toyota is still suffering the ill effects of some massive recalls a few months ago.

Overall, the rise in sales is due to American consumers simply getting back in the market. For the majority of this year, sales increases have been spurred by sales for commercial fleets and rental car companies, but October marked the first month where retail sales to regular consumers were the driving factor. That is hopefully a sign that more of those who are looking to buy are able to secure financing and that auto lending standards have loosened up a bit.

At the very least, we can hope that Don Johnson, GM vice president of sales is right when he said,

“In a nutshell, we see an economy that is a little brighter.”

About Amber Nelson
Amber Nelson is a seasoned mortgage industry writer and a regular contributor to and

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