Auto sales dip in Oct. as storm crimps activity

Nov 02, 2012 | 12:49 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Auto sales, Ford, Erich Merkle, Ken Czubay, Bob Carter, Chevrolet, Toyota, American Red Cross Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Sales by the top seven U.S. automakers totaled 925,028 light vehicles in October, a 5.8-percent improvement from a year earlier but a 9-percent slide from 1,016,420 vehicles in September.

Year-to-date sales topped 10.1 million vehicles, up 11.4 percent from the first nine months of 2011.

Some automakers suggested they saw a loss in sales during the last week of October due to Hurricane Sandy, which cut a path of destruction up the East Coast.

"We estimate Hurricane Sandy accounted for 300,000 lost retail sales (industrywide) in October," Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. sales analyst, Erich Merkle, said during a conference call Thursday. Nonetheless, the industry is running at a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 14.7 million vehicles and "remains at forecast," he said.....

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