Ford Drives 21% Rise In October Sales

Ford Taurus 2010

The domestic automakers have something to feel good about, as they all had some positive numbers last month. Ford Motor had the best month. The company, which reported a profit in the third quarter, also posted strong October sales versus the previous month and the year-ago month.

The company says sales of its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles shot up 21% versus the month before and increased 3% versus a year ago. October is the third time in the last four months that Ford sales have increased.

FM estimates that its October market share topped 15% -- its highest market share in over a year, and higher than the first nine months of this year.

The company reported that sales of the Ford Taurus were up 141% versus a year ago and Ford Fusion sales were up 24%. Sales of Ford Mustang were up 2%, Lincoln MKZ sales were up 27%, and Ford Escape sales jumped 26%. The crossovers Ford Edge and Flex saw 38% and 8% sales increases, respectively.

GM-May the best car win

General Motors, which also had a good October, will extend through Jan. 4 its 60-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, a program launched in September set to end by Nov. 30. Also extended is the umbrella campaign "Let the Best Car Win," which will get new ads in December for magazine, newspaper and Web sites.

Toyota Motor Sales USA -- comprising Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands -- will also boost marketing in the fourth quarter. The company is reportedly dropping $1 billion on marketing efforts in the final three months of this year to boost brand equity and counter news of recalls and product-liability issues.

General Motors says its internal data suggest that the "Best Car" ads, which call out competitive nameplates, scored in the top quartile for all auto advertising in the last three years in terms of consumer opinion, consideration and relevancy.

GM reports that sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac were up 4% from last October, the company's first year-over-year gain since January 2008. The company says sales were up 13% versus September.

Ford also gained market share for the third straight month, and now has 21% of the total light-vehicle market.

Chevrolet's total sales were up 9% for the year, and retail sales -- excluding fleet -- were up 31% versus a year ago, driven by Camaro, Equinox and Traverse. Sales of its Malibu were up 84% versus the month last year, and the company sold nearly 8,000 Malibus last month. Buick posted its best total sales month for 2009, and its best since October 2008. GMC total sales were up 20% over the month last year, and had its best month this year.

Chrysler Group said sales of its Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles were up 6% versus September. Sales were down 30% compared with the same time period in 2008. The company says its inventory of new vehicles is down 60% versus October 2008.

Toyota Motor Sales reported a 3.5% decrease versus last October. The Torrance, Calif. automaker's Toyota division posted October sales of 132,663 units, a decrease of 5.8% from the same period last year. The Lexus Division reported an increase of 15.5% over the year-ago month.

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