| 5:05 PM EST

U.S., China Drive Global Car Sales Revival

October sales pace topped year-ago level.
#asia #europe #americas

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Global light-vehicle wholesales inched above their pre-COVID-19 pace in October, as advances in key markets offset slumps elsewhere.

Last month’s wholesales surged 10% to 1.50 million units in China and 1% to 1.35 million vehicles in the U.S., says LMC Automotive. The global monthly sales rate reached 91 million units, up 2% from October 2019.

Sales for the rest of Asia also rose because of gains in Japan and South Korea.

Catching Up

But just about everyone else came up short last month. LMC says October wholesales dipped 2% to 1.61 million units in Europe and 12% to 240,400 vehicles in South America (meaning Argentina and Brazil).

As a group, the rest of the world’s smaller markets saw October sales fall 8% to 1.24 million cars, pickup trucks and SUV/crossovers.

For the year to date, global unit sales in the first 10 months of 2020 totaled 61.79 million vehicles. That’s down 17% from the same period last year and comes as no surprise, given the spring production shutdowns in China, Europe and the U.S.

The Good News

Year-on-year monthly sale rates began to pull ahead worldwide in September, a sign that demand is trying to get back to normal, pandemic or not.

Now the trick will be to continue that trend even as COVID-19 cases again surge in the U.S. and Europe.

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