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October light vehicle sales

by Bill Cawthon on

Audi kicked off the reporting, saying it had its third-best October ever with strong performances by the A5 and Q5. Sales trailed last October by just 1.1 percent. On the year, Audi sales for the first ten months of 2009 are just 8.7% behind 2008. Parent company Volkswagen came in with a 7.2% improvement.

BMW sales dropped 18.6 percent while Mini sales fell by 20.8 percent. Mercedes had its best month of 2009 with a 21.3% gain. Smart car sales were down over 70 percent.

GM announced a 4% sales gain, its first in nearly two years, Ford a 3% gain, while Chrysler saw a whopping 30% drop compared with October 2008. Still, Chrysler’s sales were enough to keep it ahead of Nissan among the top six automakers. The Dodge Caravan was the top-selling minivan for the month.

Toyota reported a gain of 64 vehicles or about 4/100 of a percent; Honda sales were down by 362 vehicles, a loss 4 tenths of a percent; Nissan a 6% increase; and Subaru a 41% increase for its best October ever. Mitsubishi sales plunged 48.2% last month.

The Koreans did very well: Hyundai sales shot up 49% while Kia sales were 45.3% better than last October.

This post will be updated throughout the day as sales reports are released. A recap of the month’s activity will be posted tonight.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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