DETROIT -- U.S. auto sales increased 10 percent in October as the Detroit 3 gained market share while other major automakers fell short of projections.
The industry's seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate declined from September's sluggish figure, to 15.2 million. Executives and analysts said the closure of federal offices during the U.S. government shutdown curbed traffic in the first half of October before rebounding.
"The first two weeks of October were some of the slower weeks of the year," said Alec Gutierrez, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book. "But as the government shutdown wrapped up, the last couple of weeks were quite strong, so the overall effect was that there really was no effect."
With October in the books, industry sales remain up 8 percent for the year.
General Motors led the Detroit automakers with a 16 percent gain, after losing share in August and September. Sales increased 14 percent for Ford Motor Co. and 11 percent for Chrysler Group.
Nissan North America and Hyundai Motor America each set October records, while Volkswagen Group of America logged its biggest decline of the year. Volkswagen, Kia, Volvo and Mini were among the few brands that posted lower sales year-over-year.
Sales jumped 52 percent for Jaguar-Land Rover, 38 percent for the Lincoln brand and 32 percent for Subaru. All four of GM's brands achieved double-digit gains, including a 31 percent increase for Buick.
SUVs, crossovers and pickups accounted for the bulk of the industry's increases as gasoline prices declined throughout the month.