By Megan Graham
Tribune business writer
Auto companies reported high sales figures for the month of October, with both General Motors and Chrysler reporting their best Octobers since 2007.
After reporting a strong third quarter, Chrysler finished off October and its 31st consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains with a sales total of 126,185 units, a 10 percent increased compared with October sales last year. Chrysler’s Fiat brand performed particularly well.
TrueCar.com analyst Jesse Toprak said Chrysler was the only Detroit Three automaker to maintain market share, whereas General Motors and Ford both lost roughly 2 percentage points.
“In spite of Hurricane Sandy, Chrysler Group posted its best October sales since 2007,” said Reid Bigland, president and CEO of Dodge Brand in a statement.
General Motors sold 195,764 units in October 2012, a 5 percent increase from October last year. Passenger car sales saw an increase of 15 percent.
“GM had a solid quarter because customers around the world love our new vehicles, and we’re also seeing green shoots take hold on tough issues like complexity reduction, pensions and Europe,” said Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson in a release.
In terms of new technology — namely, electric and hybrid vehicles — Toprak said all automakers are struggling to make the vehicles a valid money saving option.
“They need to be able to sell to the middle class family in Ohio that need to balance their budget,” he said.
Following severe damage on the east coast earlier this week, Toprak said experts estimated a loss in sales of about 30,000 units, but he believes the eventual replacement of damaged cars will result in a net positive.