Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: October 2013

Toyota_Corolla_14

As experts largely predicted, car shoppers shook off any hesitation from the federal government shutdown and bought enough new cars in the second half of October to drive the auto industry up about 11 percent by Halloween, judging by numbers from the largest seven automakers.

The Detroit Three led the pack, with sales up 13.9 percent. Nissan, Toyota and Honda gained 9.5 percent, while Hyundai-Kia were nearly flat with a 0.6 percent increase.

"Consumers showed resiliency in October with steady auto sales despite headwinds caused by the government shutdown," Toyota division GM Bill Fay said in a statement. Sales for the automaker's best-selling Camry ebbed, but a redesigned Corolla lifted Toyota's numbers. Honda saw a larger boom in the Civic, while shoppers shied away from the Accord; both cars had a strong October 2012. Nissan's popular Altima, meanwhile, fell 11.5 percent.

If Japanese family sedans faltered, it's because shoppers preferred their Detroit counterparts. Sales flew to 71.3 percent for the Ford Fusion, while the Chevy Malibu added 63.5 percent, despite both cars having stable or lower incentives versus year-ago levels.

Their compact siblings had different fortunes. The Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze combined to fall 16.7 percent despite higher incentives on both. Both cars had a stellar October 2012, and gas prices fell 40.2 cents in the past year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Without the sting at the pump, fewer shoppers saw the need for Detroit's high-mpg compacts, but they still headed for redesigned or updated competitors from Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

GM sales vice president Kurt McNeil noted an uptick after the shutdown ended, which culminated in GM sales increasing 15.7 percent. Crosstown rival Ford gained 14 percent. Chrysler had a "choppy start" to the month, sales chief Reid Bigland said in a statement, but thanks to its best-selling Ram pickup climbing 18.3 percent, plus an 11.6 percent gain for the Dodge brand as a whole, the Detroit automaker ended the month up 11 percent. (Chrysler's U.S. sales encompass the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat brands.)

Pickup trucks keep rolling, too. Detroit's trucks and an updated Toyota Tundra brought full-size pickup sales up 11.7 percent, and that was versus a pretty good October 2012.

Overall total incentives jumped more than $700 per car between early October and the full year-ago month, CNW Marketing Research says. But rising MSRPs continued to raise transaction prices, and the average new car sold for $32,921 during the first half of the month. That's up $622, or 1.9 percent, versus October 2012's average, the firm says. Used-car prices have spent the past season on the upswing, and consumers no doubt feel the squeeze – but some relief comes at the gas pump, in ebbing unemployment and an improving stock market.

Here are October's top 10 best-selling cars:

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Related
Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: September 2013
How Much Will the Shutdown Affect Auto Sales?
More Industry News

Comments 

Robert

The ford f series is garbage. I feel sorry for anyone who fell, hit their head and accidentally bought one. I'm glad to see overall growth in the new car market. The auto industry is the tell tale sign of a strong America. Economy, too bad it can't stop inflation on car prices and the weak overall dollar. That's a problem that's going to kill the car market. It's reached a point where very soon average people won't be able to afford anything until wages grow with the same pace as inflation. ( in other words, never happening)

Ike G,

Robert, your outlook is way too pessimistic. Things may be bad for some but others are doing quite well.

Well enough to buy new cars and trucks.

There are opportunities everywhere to get ahead.

I own several F-series pickup trucks for my ranching business and while they're not perfect, they're the best on the market, as far as work trucks go.

I drive a 2012 Tundra CrewMax 4x4 5.7 for play. They're not cheap, but you get what you pay for in life.

Tony

My coworker took me to lunch in his Tundra - I am not impressed. More I get into pickup trucks, more I think, why do you want to buy one unless you need it for work?
If you would say, "I have a Range Rover to play", or, "I have GT-R to play", I would understand. "I play with Tundra"... Bleh

Lance

@Tony
You don't live on a ranch. A fancy truck is a great play vehicle in that situation.

Ike G,

Tony,

FYI, my wife drives a 2009 LS460 and we keep a 2006 Mustang 4.6GT in the garage for when we get a wild hair.

I also own a 2005 Wrangler in case I need a light 4wd vehicle to go where other vehicles fear to tread.

The trucks are great and the most versatile vehicles we own.

You haven't seen the interior of my Tundra Limited with wall-to-wall cushion-soft leather.

Brandon

I agree completely, Tony.

Grimber

Didnt know Honda was still alive...

Phil Bickel

For those bemoaning the rise of car prices, realize that the best selling car for nearly 16 years now is the Toyota Camry. A popularly equipped Camry LE sold for $23,500 in 1997 when I started selling cars. Today the same trim level is $24,200. I defy anyone to tell me a product that has only gone up 4% in 16 years. And they've added ABS VSC Hands free Calling, Streaming Audio, 10 air bags, 17" vs 14" wheels, Halogen headlights, telescopic steering wheel, improved suspension and it gets 35 mpg. Plus you can still lease it for $199 a month.

Oh and its nearly 6 inches longer and 2 inches wider.

Ryan

@Robert
It is unfortunate that your personal financial situation doesn't allow you understand that with a change in vehicle prices (inflation) in theory, should provide buyers (will make banks)with lower interest rates in order to mitigate from recession. F Series has been the top selling vehicle in the truck market for over 25 years. You don't sell more trucks for that consecutive amount of time against GM, Dodge, and imports if your vehicle (Ford Trucks) is as you stated "garbage"

Gilberto Rodriguez

Chevy silverado rocks , f seris sucks balls .

Karl

Well said Gilberto Rodriguez

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