October 2017 Auto Sales: Trucks, SUVs Make for a Decent Month


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October was a strong month for most mainstream automakers, especially those with truck and SUV offerings. Ford reported its best month for F-Series sales in 13 years, while the Ram pickup celebrated its best October ever and GM pickup sales were up 9 percent thanks to the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra. Toyota’s light truck division also posted its best October ever, and sales of the Nissan Titan increased 29 percent. Though light trucks did much of the heavy lifting in October, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for cars. Honda car sales were up thanks to strong performances from the Accord and Civic.

See this month’s winners and losers, plus other highlights, below.

Ford (200,436 units, +6.2 percent)

Winner: F-Series (75,974 units, +15.9 percent)

Ford’s F-Series trucks are always hot sellers, but in October they were quite a bit hotter. Ford moved 75,974 F-Series pickups for a gain of 15.9 percent over the same month last year. The significantly slower-selling Ford Flex saw a huge 91.6-percent jump with 2,042 units sold, while the Edge sold 36.9 percent more than last year at 11,036 units.

Loser: Lincoln Continental (996 units, -18.5 percent)

Lincoln found fewer homes for the Continental sedan last month than it did in October 2016, when the model was brand-new. The Ford Expedition full-size SUV was also down for the month—46.7 percent with 2,074 copies sold—but that could be due to a winding down of the current model ahead of the new 2018 Expedition’s release.

GM (252,813 units, -2.2 percent)

Winner: GMC Sierra (18,895 units, +25.5 percent)

The Sierra saw the biggest year-over-year gain of GM’s trucks, but its Chevrolet Silverado twin was the breadwinner in terms of volume. A total of 53,157 Silverados were sold last month for a 6.8-percent gain. The Equinox, which is new for 2018, was another solid performer with 25,272 units sold—enough for a 28.5-percent increase over October 2016.

Loser: Chevrolet Sonic (1,576 units, -66.4 percent)

Despite a refresh for 2017, GM’s B-segment entry isn’t doing so hot. It’s not alone though, as the entire small car category continues to slump in the wake of shifting consumer preferences. The Cruze was also down 35 percent and the Spark dropped 6.1 percent. Meanwhile, the Volt plug-in hybrid was down 37.8 percent with only 1,362 sales for the month, and the Corvette sports car was down 48.8 percent with 1,345 units sold.

FCA (153,373 units, -13 percent)

Winner: Jeep Compass (11,207 units, +81 percent)

The Ram pickup may have been FCA’s volume leader with 44,201 units sold in October, but its sales are nearly flat year-over-year. The new Jeep Compass, on the other hand, is up 81 percent. That’s not terribly surprising though, as the model replaces both the Compass and the Patriot. Meanwhile, the slightly larger Cherokee saw a 19-percent sales boost at 16,138 units sold.

Loser: Dodge Journey (4,719 units, -60 percent)

The Dodge Journey has largely been left alone since its last refresh in 2012, and buyers clearly weren’t impressed with Dodge’s three-row crossover offering in October. The Fiat 500 was another unpopular FCA product last month, with just 801 units sold—a decline of 37 percent.

Toyota (188,434 units, +1.1 percent)

Winner: Toyota RAV4 (34,086 units, +29 percent)

Once again the RAV4 is Toyota’s single best-selling vehicle for the month. The 4Runner was another strong seller with 11,153 units sold—a gain of 30.6 percent. In total, Toyota’s truck division sold 100,676 units, up 15.5 percent from the same period last year.

Loser: Lexus GS (558 units, -59.8 percent)

The GS got a refresh for the 2016 model year, but the midsize luxury competition has stiffened with the addition of a new BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. And the GS isn’t the only Lexus to take a hit. Every model in Lexus’ lineup saw a decline, and the brand as a whole was down 14.5 percent for the month.

Honda (127,353 units, +0.9 percent)

Winner: Honda Civic (30,319 units, +15 percent)

The Civic led sales volume for Honda in October, but the Accord and CR-V weren’t far behind with 26,740 units and 27,773 units, respectively. October was the first month on sale for the new 2018 Accord, which contributed to a 4.7-percent gain.

Loser: Honda Fit (3,172 units, -31.7 percent)

The Fit’s continual poor sales performance is just more evidence that interest in small cars is waning. The Ridgeline pickup truck was another slow seller at 2,709 units sold, down 19.6 percent from last October.

Nissan (123,012 units, +8.4 percent)

Winner: Nissan Rogue (30,286 units, +43 percent)

Last month was the Rogue’s best October ever, and the model continues to be Nissan’s best-seller. Year to date, it’s neck and neck with Nissan’s former breadwinner, the Altima sedan, with 262,578 Altimas and 262,798 Rogues sold through October.

Loser: Nissan Murano (5,714 units, -46.6 percent)

The Murano saw a big drop in October. Another less bright spot in Nissan’s sales report is the aging but still funky Juke compact crossover, which sold 461 units for a 46.3-percent loss.

Source: The Automakers

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