Hurricane Sandy is taking the steam out of what was on track to be a strong October for U.S. car sales.
The still-massive storm shut dealerships across New England and the mid-Atlantic states, including major metropolitan areas such as New York, Washington D.C. Baltimore and Philadelphia. And heavy winds, rain and storm continue impacting business as far west as Ohio, Michigan and beyond.
Prior to the wicked and deadly storm, analysts had expected October sales to increase by roughly 11.5 % from October 2011. Before the storm warnings went up, True Car.com, a source of pricing information for new car buyers, estimated October 2012 would see a Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Rate, or SAAR, of 14.9 million new vehicles, up from 13.3 million in October 2011 — though down very slightly from the 14.94-million-unit SAAR of September 2012.