Auto Sales Cruise Ahead in October

On Tuesday major auto manufacturers indicated that their October sales rebounded significantly following a weak September.

The increase to the US annualized sales rate was nearly 20 percent better than September’s measure. Early estimates show the bump adding $5 billion, or roughly 1.5% to October’s retail sales numbers versus September’s readings.

It now appears as though consumers no longer needed cash-for-clunker rebates to commit to new auto acquisitions in October.

GM, Ford and Nissan all reported that their sales are now up from a year ago.

Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at auto industry tracker Edmunds.com said, “We are trending in the right direction,” and “it should be easier for auto companies to report year-over-year growth from this point on.”

Ford — which reported a strong profit on Monday — claims that increased production in October will help to replenish diminished supplies on dealer lots. Further, Ford sales management points to strong restocking demand through the end of 2009.

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