October sales expected to be down year over year

Staff report


Auto analysts expect auto sales to be down 2 percent to 3.5 percent from October 2016.

Edmunds analysts expect 1.3 million new cars and trucks will be sold in the U.S. this month, a 3.5 percent decrease from last October.

Kelley Blue Book analysts say auto sales will decline 2 percent year-over-year to a total of 1.34 million units in October 2017.

Automakers will release October sales Wednesday.

October 2017 had one fewer selling day than October 2016.

Despite the expected decrease, October is expected to still be a solid month.

“We expect to see increasingly aggressive incentives offered on outgoing models through the end of the year as automakers look to build on this momentum. So, car buyers can likely anticipate some door-buster deals this holiday season,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds executive director of industry analysis, in a statement.

Sales will vary across the industry.

Volkswagen Group could post as much as an 11.7 percent increase in sales, Kelley Blue Book analysts said. Edmunds, however, predicts Volkswagen will post an 11.1 percent decrease.

KBB analysts predict Fiat Chrysler will post an 11.1 percent decrease. Edmunds’ analysts predict Fiat will post a 10.1 percent decrease. KBB expects General Motors will post a 0.5 percent increase in sales, while Edmunds predicts a 7.3 percent decrease.

The compact sport utility vehicle segment will be the top-selling segment, KBB analysts say. The segment will top all other segments with 18 percent of market share. Sales of the compact SUV are expected to grow nearly 10 percent year over year.

The compact-car segment, which includes the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze, is the fourth-largest segment, falling behind the compact SUV, full-size truck and midsize utility vehicles in sales and market share.

In October, the segment is expected to have 162,000 sales, down 3.7 percent from last year, and a market share of 12.1 percent, down 0.2 percent from last year.

The midsize-car segment falls after the compact car in sales and market share. Midsize-car sales this month are expected to drop 7.5 percent, and the segment’s market share could fall to 10.6 percent, a 0.6 percent drop from last year.

Analysts say without a major spike in gas prices, midsize and small cars will continue to lose out to SUVs for the foreseeable future.

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