Analysts had forecast October sales to be 8 to 12 percent higher than last year. A Reuters poll of 45 economists showed expectations of a seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate of 17.7 million vehicles for last month.
“October was a huge month for the industry, smashing expectations and continuing its hot streak,” said Bill Fay, Toyota’s U.S. general manager.
The booming October sales materialized despite concerns about a slowdown in consumer spending and stagnant wages.
U.S. economic data suggests consumer spending lost momentum at the end of the third quarter, with consumption in September posting its smallest increase in eight months. Personal incomes also barely rose that month.
GM said its sales rose 16 percent to 262,993 vehicles last month, marking its best October since 2004. GM (GM) shares were down 0.3 percent at $35.45 Tuesday morning.
Ford Motor, No. 2 in the U.S. auto market by sales, reported it sold 213,938 vehicles last month, a 13 percent rise from the same period last year. Ford’s U.S. sales chief, Mark LaNeve, said the company commanded record average selling prices for its vehicles, at $34,600 per vehicle.
Ford (F) shares were up 0.3 percent at $14.79.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) reported its 67th straight month of year-over-year gains, selling 195,545 vehicles in October, up 14.7 percent from a year earlier.
Toyota Motor (TM) said it sold 204,045 vehicles in October, up 13 percent.
Nissan Motor said its U.S. sales rose 12.5 percent to 116,047 vehicles in October, led by its Rogue small SUV, which had a 70 percent increase to nearly 25,000.
Mitsubishi Motors reported record October sales in the United States rose 19.8 percent to 7,426 vehicles from last year.