Ford (NYSE:F) reported today that U.S. vehicle sales in October jumped 14% year over year, marking the best October reporting period for the automaker since 2004. However, the 191,985 vehicles it sold still fell short of analysts' expectations that Ford would move 194,301 autos.
Of the Big Three automakers, only General Motors (NYSE:GM) exceeded expectations. Its monthly sales were up 16% to 226,402 vehicles, with analysts forecasting 211,563 vehicles sold. The Chevy Silverado, GM's top-selling vehicle, posted a 10% increase to nearly 43,000, while the GMC Sierra pickup saw sales rise 13% to just over 16,500.
Chrysler also came up short in October with 140,083 vehicles moved, up 11% from the year-ago period but under the 143,536 bar set by industry analysts. It was the company's best October in six years, and its 43rd straight month of year-over-year sales gains.
Considering Ford saw passenger vehicle sales surge 19% and its F-150 series pickup truck surpass 60,000 units for the sixth straight month, it could be that industry watchers simply set their sights unreasonably high.
Noting that the monthly sales numbers provided the carmaker's best October in nine years, Ford Vice President U.S. Marketing, Sales, and Service John Felice said in a press release, "October was simply an outstanding retail performance, as consumers continued to choose Ford for great fuel efficiency, styling, and value at all levels of the market."
The Fusion and Fiesta had their best-ever numbers, with Fusion sales up 71% from October 2012 and the Fiesta jumping 9%. The F-Series sold 63,803 trucks, 13% more than last year; it marked the first time since 2006 the pickup truck had moved more than 60,000 vehicles for six consecutive months.
The carmaker's Lincoln nameplate also reported some robust numbers, with sales of the MKZ up 80% to 2,909 vehicles, pushing the entire brand 38% higher.
Analysts say the 16-day government shutdown in early October kept buyers out of showrooms early in the month, but that apparently was just a temporary slowdown.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.