U.S. sales rose by double digits for the second straight month at Toyota Motor Corp., while deliveries at Hyundai and Kia advanced for the third straight period in October behind higher demand for electrified vehicles and healthy retail volume as the auto industry's supply crunch slowly eases.
U.S. light-vehicle deliveries rose last month from October 2021 levels as inventory slowly improves and demand remains steady — even amid rising interest rates, gasoline prices and new-vehicle MSRPs that are putting extra pressure on affordability. LMC Automotive said light-vehicle sales grew by 11 percent to 1.17 million in October, the best month since April, and are now off 10.9 percent for the year.
The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales in October came in at 15.28 million, Motor Intelligence said, easily topping the range of analysts' estimates — 13.4 million to 14.7 million. That is up sharply from the October 2021 rate of 13.21 million vehicles. The seasonally adjusted annual rate, which tallied 13.67 in September, had remained below 15 million vehicles since July 2021, except for January 2022 when it came in at 15.23 million.
Toyota's October volume rose 28 percent behind a 33 percent increase at the Toyota division, with big gains at the brand's top sellers — Camry, up 68 percent, RAV4, up 40 percent, and Tacoma, up 44 percent.
U.S. sales of the Corolla Cross, introduced a year ago, tallied 7,419 vehicles, up from 826 a year earlier. Corolla volume nearly doubled to 16,663 vehicles last month while Prius deliveries rose 37 percent. Lexus sales dropped for the ninth straight month, with October volume down 3.7 percent on tight inventories.
Toyota said it ended October with just a 20-day supply of vehicles, 143,761 cars and light trucks, with 26,976 in dealer stock and 116,785 in port or transit. The Toyota division has 125,232 vehicles in stock, a 20-day supply, while Lexus has a 22-day supply with 18,529 vehicles.
General Motors was the top-selling automaker in October, edging Toyota by around 14,000 units, LMC said.
Ford Motor Co., limited by parts shortages that continue to undermine output, reported a 10 percent drop in volume with some of its biggest sellers racking up double-digit declines. This marks the company's second straight monthly decline. Volume fell 9.9 percent at the Ford division and 14 percent at Lincoln.