Sales of new automobiles in the United States increased 10.6% in October from the same time a year ago.

An estimated 1.2 million cars, light trucks and SUVs were sold during the month, putting the annual rate at 15.23 million vehicles, down slightly from September’s rate of 15.28 million.

All three U.S. automakers reported double digit gains with General Motors selling the most and seeing the biggest increase, up 16%. Ford and Chrysler saw hikes of 14% and 11%, respectively, with Ford reporting its best October since 2004 and Chrysler having its best October since 2007.

The increase in October was not surprising, due to Superstorm Sandy that hit just over a year ago in the Northeast, however the 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government last month reportedly did hurt sales for about the first half of the month with activity picking up afterwards.

Gains were seen by many other auto producers, except Volkswagen, which saw sales drop 18% from a year earlier. 

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