Ford, GM, Chrysler Ask 'Shutdown, What Shutdown?' as Sales Rise

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- The Detroit Three automakers, led by GM ( GM), all shrugged off any impact from the government shutdown and reported double-digit sales gains in October.

GM said sales rose 16% to 226,402 units. Ford ( F) said sales rose 14% to 191,985 units. Chrysler said sales rose 11% to 140,083 units, its best October sales since 2007.

"After a choppy start to the beginning of the month, Chrysler Group sales accelerated in the second half of the month with renewed consumer confidence and the launch of our all-new Jeep Cherokee," said Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of U.S. sales.

Chrysler projected the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate in October at 15.7 million units.

GM said retail sales rose 16% while fleet sales rose 14%. "Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC all performed well in the month, and the sales tempo really picked up after the government shutdown ended," said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations. "We are particularly pleased with our truck momentum."

Buick sales rose 31%, Cadillac sales rose 10%, GMC sales rose 16% and Chevrolet sales rose 15%. Retail sales of Chevrolet cars rose 32%. Silverado sales rose 10%. GM said Chevrolet and GMC have a 30% share of light-duty pickup trucks priced at $40,000 or higher, a five-point share gain since 2012.

Ford said retail sales rose 15% to 142,487, its highest October retail sales since 2004. Passenger car sales rose 19%, truck sales rose 14% and sales of utility vehicles rose 9%. Fusion sales rose 71% to 21,740, with retail sales up 77% in the west. F-Series sales rose 13% to 63,803, marking the sixth consecutive month with sales above 60,000 vehicles. Ford said industry sales rose 12% for the month.

At Chrysler, Ram pickup truck sales gained 18% to 29,848 units; Dodge sales gained 12% to 45,314; Jeep sales gained 7% to 36,379 and Chrysler brand sales were up 6% to 23,452.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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