New car sales up in October with higher inventories

“The vehicle market is supported by improved inventory and product selection for some brands, but not all,” Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive, said in a statement. “However, rising interest rates are pushing up monthly payments for everyone, and many potential buyers are being squeezed out of the market.”

Toyota sales jumped 28% overall, including a 33% increase in the Toyota division. The company’s top sellers made big gains – the Camry up 68%, the RAV4 up 40% and the Tacoma up 44%.

The automaker said it ended October with just 20 days of vehicle supply – 143,761 cars and light trucks, although less than 20% of them were in dealerships, the rest in a port or in transit.

Volume rose 6.8% at Hyundai and 12% at Kia to an October record of 58,276.

Hyundai said its retail deliveries rose 11% to an October record of 58,315. The company is prioritizing more profitable retail operations amid tight inventory, fleet shipments not totaling than 0.4% of sales in 2022.

“The demand is still there and our line of electric vehicles contributed to record sales this month,” Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, said in a statement.