Ford Leads Truck Boom as U.S. Auto Sales Seen Beating Estimates


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U.S. automakers boosted sales of their big-ticket pickup models last month, led by Ford Motor Co.’s F-Series truck line, supporting General Motors Co.’s projection for a better industry showing than expected.

Ford F-Series deliveries surged 16 percent for their best October since 2004, and the automaker’s total U.S. sales beat badysts’ estimates. Although GM and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV trailed projections for total deliveries, demand jumped for their Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Ram pickup models.

Read more: Ford’s big pickup poised to reap haul that tops Facebook’s sales

GM predicted the industry sold vehicles at an annualized rate of 18 million last month, better than the highest badyst estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Continued demand to replace cars and trucks damaged by hurricanes — particularly in the Texas and Florida markets — probably supported automakers again after they logged their first monthly gain of the year in September.

“We are heading into the fourth quarter with good momentum, thanks to a strong U.S. economy and very strong pickup and crossover sales,” Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of GM’s sales operations, said in a statement. “Small business optimism has also stayed very high since last fall, and that bodes well for pickup and van sales.”

Analysts had estimated October industry sales probably ran at about a 17.6 million annualized pace. That would be 2017’s second-best month, behind only September, but still down from last year’s rate.

Fiat Chrysler shares rose as much as 1.8 percent and traded at $17.63 as of 9:41 a.m. in New York trading. Ford’s stock advanced 0.9 percent and GM’s was little changed.

Nissan Motor Co. posted a surprise gain in total U.S. sales last month, as deliveries for its Titan truck model surged 29 percent. Among the biggest automakers, only Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford were expected to report increases in October sales.

Volkswagen AG, the world’s biggest automaker, may report a rise in combined deliveries for its VW and Audi brands as the German company continues to try to put its diesel emissions-cheating scandal in the past.

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