Sales of new vehicles once again showed considerable strength during October after a slow summer that had many worrying the industry – along with the overall U.S. economy – might be heading into a double-dip recession.
With collective sales coming in at an annualized rate of about 13.3 million, October was the best month since August 2009, at the end of the Cash-for-Clunkers program, according to J.D. Power and Associates. But the question nagging industry leaders and analysts alike is whether October’s strong performance was merely an aberration or the beginning of a long-desired upward trend in a market still recovering from its worst downturn since the Great Depression.
Several manufacturers, including Audi, reported records for October, while Honda broke out of a long slump and, with Chrysler leading the way, Detroit’s automakers continued to report better sales.
However, Toyota suffered another setback last month as overall sales dropped 4.3% despite larger inventories and rising incentives as well as what Toyota executives described as a strong start for sales of the new Camry.