OCTOBER U.S. SALES
GM posts 5% gain; Ford, Kia rise as industry shows spark
General Motor Co.’s U.S. sales rose for the first time in 21 months in October and most big automakers also gained, supporting analysts’ forecasts for the strongest month this year not aided by government incentives.
GM advanced 5 percent and Ford Motor Co. 3 percent. Among Asian automakers, Nissan North America climbed 6 percent, Toyota Motor Sales gained less than 1 percent and Kia soared 45 percent. Subaru, Daimler AG and Porsche were all up.
Chrysler Group, meanwhile, plunged 30 percent as it continued to struggle after its bankruptcy. Audi, Mazda and American Honda also declined. Suzuki was down 50 percent, while BMW Group trailed year-earlier sales by 19 percent.
With three automakers left to report, industrywide sales had slipped 2 percent from October 2008. That would be the slimmest decline this year.
The results show automakers benefiting from year-earlier comparisons, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sent the U.S. economy into a deeper tailspin. Industry sales fell 32 percent last October, dragging the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate below 11 million for the first time since 1983.
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