The opinion of most industry folks was beating the '05 October sales numbers would have less to do with any shift in opinion by buyers and more to do with just showing up — this time last year consumers were just coming off the dizzying merry-go-round that was employee pricing. But, even from here in the wilds of Phoenix (where I'm patiently receiving some first hand time with a truck that thinks it knows how to grade professionally as well as whether "Our Country" has a truck to match) it's obvious these numbers are being touted in Metro Detroit as proof-positive of (pick one):
[ ] A turnaround plan in place.
[ ] A new CEO that's making a bunch of stuff job one.
[ ] The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming! Run for the hills!
But, not only do I not blame them for trying — it can probably be pretty difficult to get a positive message out when you've got the mass media always in a mode of "blame America" automakers first, second and last — but the numbers, for at least two automakers, weren't all that bad. The...
...numbers, as they were:
• The General saw sales of 297,401 new cars and trucks in October, a 17% increase compared with last year.
• FoMoCo saw a sales gain of 8% for October off of sales of 214,565 for the month.
• Toyota sold 189,011 vehicles, an increase of 9.2%.
• DaimlerChrysler passed 180,214 vehicles through dealer front gates, a decrease of 1.6% over October 2005.
• Honda showed they've got a little smaller motor in the back, with a drop in sales of -0.2% on sales of 110,624.
• Nissan saw sales of 75,095 — a 3.9% gain from this time last year.
There were some other automakers who sold some other vehicles — but really, the Freep has a big list here and you know, it'll tell you the same thing. I'm going to go and have some breakfast and drive some pickups in the dirt, but fear not, I'll be thinking about sales numbers throughout — right up until I hit a tree. I feel like that's a metaphor or something.
Auto sales [Freep]
Continuing To Break Both Ways! DaimlerChrysler Down 2.3% — Chrysler Sales Down 3.8%, Mercedes Sales Up 13%; Bullshit! GM Obfuscation Increases By 1,385% For September, Sales Down 6.8%; Breaking! Ford Announces September Sales Up 5% — Cars Up 26.2%, Trucks Down 5.4% [internal]