Automakers will report October U.S. sales on Monday and industry analysts at Edmunds.com expect the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales to reach 16.3 million new cars and light trucks. That represents a gain of 3.1% over September and a gain of 6.4% year-over-year for the month.
The big gainer, once again, is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU), which is expected to post a sales volume gain of 22% year-over-year. FCA is also expected to add 1.7% to its market share, although that marks a decline from 13.7% in September to 13.3% in October. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) forecast FCA sales at 167,000 units in October, up from 140,000 a year ago. The estimate from Edmunds.com comes in at nearly 171,000. The big seller continues to be the new Jeep Cherokee.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) maintains its market share lead with an 18% share (level with September) and new vehicle sales for October of 231,000, according to Edmunds.com, and 236,000 according to KBB. GM is expected to get a boost in pickup truck sales while its chief rival continues to manage inventory ahead of a new model.
Speaking of GM’s big rival, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is expected to post lower year-over-year sales in October. Last year the company sold 191,000 units and this year’s total is expected to be 185,000 (Edmunds.com) to 186,000 (KBB). The new aluminum-body F-150 pickup will begin trickling to dealers late this year and Ford anticipates a big seller. The new pickup had better be — Ford’s market share could drop from 15.9% a year ago to 14.5% in October.
Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) is forecast to sell 179,000 new vehicles in October, according to both KBB and Edmunds.com. The company’s market share will remain flat at 14%, ranking it third behind GM and Ford, and just ahead of FCA.
Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (NYSE: HMC) is figured to sell 120,000 vehicles, according to KBB, and 124,000 units by Edmunds.com. The company’s market share is forecast at 9.7%, up from 9.5% a year ago.
Nissan is expected to sell around 101,000 to 102,000 new vehicles in October. The company’s Rogue compact SUV has been a hot seller, along with Toyota’s RAV4 and the Subaru Forester. The compact SUV/crossover sector is expected to post growth of 13.6% year-over-year, more than double the growth rate of any other segment of the new vehicle market.
Hyundai/Kia are touted to sell 97,000 (Edmunds.com) to 99,000 (KBB) units in October, but drop slightly in market share from 7.7% in October 2013 to 7.6% this year.
Volkswagen, like Ford, is expected to see a drop both in unit sales and market share. Excluding Porsche sales, the company sold nearly 41,000 vehicles in September, and Edmunds.com estimates that unit sales will be down 1%, while KBB has them rising to around 42,500. The company sold 3,600 Porsches last month. VW’s total market share drops from 3.4% a year ago to 3.2% this year, according to Edmunds.com.
The estimate for used car sales in October totals 2.96 million, yielding an SAAR of 35.6 million units, down from a SAAR of 36.3 million in September. Both October 2013 and October 2014 had 27 selling days; September 2014 had 24 selling days.