New vehicle sales were down 1.8% year-over-year in October and were down 1.6% through September.  - Photo by Eric Gandarilla. 

New vehicle sales were down 1.8% year-over-year in October and were down 1.6% through September. 

Photo by Eric Gandarilla. 

The seasonally adjusted annualized rate of U.S. new vehicle sales could exceed 17 million units for the fifth straight year, according to reports and estimates compiled by Automotive News. That would register as a mild surprise for the industry, for which most forecasters predicted at least a slight dropoff for 2019.

Another year of over 17 million new vehicle sales means tha tthe used market can expect to see a consistent rate of off-lease vehicles return to market in the coming years. A record number of off-lease vehicles have been returning to the used market in the past several years and it appears that this trend will continue. 

Sales were down 1.8% year-over-year in October and were down 1.6% through September, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Each of the Detroit 3 manufacturers has ceased issuing monthly sales reports; Q4 numbers are expected in the first week of January. Analysts estimate a prolonged United Auto Workers strike dinged General Motors to the tune of a 12% year-over-year decline and that Ford (-1.9%) and Fiat Chrysler (-2.8%) also suffered minor setbacks in October.

Hyundai and Kia (11.1%), Honda (7.6%), and Subaru (0.2%) registered year-over-year gains. Those factories were joined in the winners’ circle by Volvo (20%), Audi (19%), Porsche (13%), Mazda (4.5%), and Land Rover (3.1%). Genesis topped them all with a 420% increase from October 2018.

On the decline was Nissan (-5.8%), Volkswagen (-3.2%), and Toyota (-1.2%). Mini (-18%), Jaguar (-11%), and Mitsubishi (-7.9%) also registered year-over-year losses.

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