The Chrysler Group, the North American arm of DaimlerChrysler AG, continued on its hot streak last month as the only domestic automaker with increasing U.S. sales. Chrysler sold 2 percent more cars and trucks in October than in the same month last year. It posted a similar gain in September.
General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co., on the other hand, both reported 5 percent declines in monthly vehicle sales compared with October 2003.
At GM, the drop was evenly spread among its major product lines, with cars down 5 percent and trucks down 4 percent.
Ford's truck sales were up 2.5 percent, but cars dropped a whopping 19.6 percent. The split was similar for Ford in September, but the company said its new line of car products -- such as the Five Hundred sedan, Mustang coupe and the Freestyle sport wagon -- are finally hitting showrooms and beginning to increase sales.
GM also has new products on the way this fall and winter, but Chrysler beat its competitors to the punch by rolling out new cars and trucks throughout 2004. Some of those vehicles, such as the Dodge Magnum wagon and the Chrysler 300C sedan, have proved extremely popular. The Chrysler Group has posted sales gains in 12 of the past 13 months.
Some Asian competitors were even hotter, though, as Toyota Motor Corp. reported October U.S. sales up 13 percent over the same month last year, and Nissan Motor Co. reported a record month, with U.S. sales up more than 27 percent.