October sales fall as boom slows
DETROIT >> It’s a chilly autumn for U.S. auto sales.
Sales of new cars and trucks fell an estimated 4 percent in October as consumer demand waned, according to Autodata Corp.
Hyundai and Subaru both reported 4-percent sales increases from last October. But General Motors’ sales fell 2 percent, Toyota’s sales were down 9 percent and Fiat Chrysler’s sales dropped 10 percent. Honda’s sales fell 4 percent and Nissan’s were down 2 percent. Volkswagen’s sales fell 18.5 percent.
Ford Motor Co. said its sales figures would be delayed until later in the week due to an electrical fire at its headquarters that stopped dealers from reporting sales. Autodata estimated Ford’s sales fell 2 percent
U.S. auto sales remain near their all-time highs, but after six years of growth following the Great Recession, they’re tapering off. October was the fifth month of year-over-year sales drops in 2016, a sign this year could fall short of last year’s U.S. record of 17.5 million sales.
“The fact that retail sales are beginning to contract despite high incentives and extremely low interest rates and gas prices is a clear indicator that this cycle has reached its peak,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of J.D. Power’s global automotive practice.
Sales fell even though automakers increased average discounts per vehicle by 12 percent to $3,726 per vehicle, according to J.D. Power. But the aver-