DETROIT -- Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota all posted October sales increases as the U.S. auto industry rebounded from a lackluster September.
The gains signal that automakers made it through the 16-day partial government shutdown relatively unscathed. Chrysler even predicted stronger industry sales for the month than most analysts.
"After a choppy start to the beginning of the month, Chrysler Group sales accelerated in the second half of the month with renewed consumer confidence," Reid Bigland, the company's U.S. sales chief, said in a statement.
Automakers reported October sales Friday.
Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. sales jumped 14 percent last month on strong demand for the F-Series pickup and the Fusion sedan. F-Series sales were up 13 percent to 63,803, its sixth straight month of sales above 60,000. That hasn't happened since 2006. Sales of the Fusion midsize car jumped 71 percent over last October, when the old model was being phased out.
But sales of Ford's small cars, the Focus and C-Max hybrid, fell around 20 percent. Ford recently announced plans to idle the Michigan plant where both vehicles are made to cut down on excess inventory.
At General Motors Co., sales rose 16 percent as its full-size pickup trucks rebounded from a poor showing in September. The Chevy Silverado, GM's top-selling vehicle, posted a 10 percent increase to nearly 43,000, while the GMC Sierra pickup saw sales rise 13 percent to just over 16,500. The Chevy Impala large car posted a 40 percent increase, and Malibu midsize car sales rose nearly 64 percent. But the Chevy Cruze compact, one of GM's biggest sellers, posted a 16 percent decline.
Chrysler Group LLC said it sold 140,083 cars and trucks last month, up from 126,185 in October of 2012. It was the company's best October in six years, and its 43rd straight month of year-over-year sales gains.
Chrysler was led by its two most profitable vehicles, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV and the Ram pickup. Grand Cherokee sales were up 20 percent, while Ram pickup sales rose 18 percent. But sales of the tiny Fiat 500 dropped 36 percent as Chrysler offered a larger version and gas prices fell during the month.