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Ford Motor Co. was the lone Detroit competitor posting an October gain, reporting a 6.4% increase compared with the same month in 2016, selling 199,698 light vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp. , Honda Motor Co., and Nissan Motor Co. also recorded year-over-year gains despite having one fewer selling day last month versus the prior October.
General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, however, reported declines. GM said sales fell 2% in October to 252,813 vehicles because of a decline in sales of passenger cars, reflecting a preference for trucks and sport-utility vehicles. Fiat Chrysler reported a 13% drop in sales to 153,373 vehicles in October, a decline driven by a modest fall in retail sales and a reduction in sales to fleet buyers, such as rental-car companies.
WardsAuto.com estimates overall sales fell slightly because of the disparity in reporting days, but the closely watched seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales is expected to be a robust 18.1 million, outpacing the prior October’s 17.8 million and initial expectations for a 17.5 million SAAR. Full-year auto sales through 10 months are holding close to the pace set a year ago.
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