U.S. automakers reported their strongest October sales in years on Monday, but top-seller General Motors Co (GM.N) missed expectations.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI)(FCAU.N) U.S. October sales rose 22 percent on strong pickup truck and Jeep SUV demand, and beat analysts' expectations.
While Ford Motor Co (F.N) sales fell 2 percent to 188,654 vehicles, the result beat analysts' expectations by nearly 6,000 vehicles, according to a Reuters poll. Ford's F-Series pickup trucks remained the best-selling models in the United States as it sold more than 63,000 sold in the month, but sales were off 0.6 percent.
The miss by Ford was expected because it has lowered production of the F-150 pickup in recent months during the transition to an aluminum-bodied model, which goes on sale later this year.
Major automakers in the U.S. market are expected to show a rise of about 6 percent from a year earlier. A poll by Thomson Reuters of 29 economists forecast a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 16.5 million vehicles.
Each month, auto sales are an early snapshot of U.S. consumer spending.
“The U.S. economy has steadily improved all year and now we are poised for a stronger expansion backed by an improved job market, higher consumer confidence and lower fuel prices,” said Kurt McNeil, GM's U.S. sales chief.
Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T) each reported robust sales of their crossover models and record October U.S. sales for their core brands. Nissan beat analysts' expectations but Honda missed estimates.
GM sales were 0.2 percent above results from October 2013, at 226,819 vehicles, but missed estimates of analysts by more than 5,000 vehicles.
Chrysler's Ram pickup truck sales rose 33 percent. Sales of GM's pickup trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, gained 16 percent, to 68,530.
It was a rare beat by GM's pickup trucks over Ford's F-Series.
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