Toyota loses ground as US auto sales gain

Saturday, 6 November 2010 05:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - U.S. auto sales rose 13 percent in October, the best month of the year, led by a 19 percent gain at Ford Motor Co. while Toyota Motor Corp slipped.

As it released pricing details on a planned initial public offering, General Motors said U.S. sales grew only 3.5 percent from the previous October.

GM remained No. 1 in the market in total sales, ahead of Ford and Toyota.

Other major automakers all posted double-digit gains.

Still reeling from the aftermath of a wave of safety recalls earlier this year, Toyota posted a 4 percent sales decline. The top global automaker was the only company to report a drop in U.S. sales for the month.

Ford continued to gain share in its home market, supported by pickup trucks. Ford widened its lead over Toyota.

U.S. auto sales sank to the lowest levels in more than a quarter century in 2009 as credit tightened and consumers opted to hold on to aging cars longer. The industry’s recovery in 2010 has proved slower moving than most analysts had expected.

Toyota’s sales decline in October came as more consumers opted to buy larger trucks and sport utility vehicles, a category where the Detroit-based automakers have traditionally been strong.

Lifted by stable gasoline prices, sales of light trucks accounted for 52 percent of overall sales in October, the highest share since 2007.