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Rising interest rates crush US auto sales, consumer confidence



(Reuters) – US car sales rose somewhat in October, hit by rising interest rates and higher vehicle prices, and No.2 carmaker Ford Motor Co. FN ) announced a reduction in consumer confidence, indicating sales volumes will continue to moderate in 2018.

PHILOTO: Fiat Chrysler Automobile Assembly Workers Build 201

9 Ram Pickup Trucks on Verticle Adjusting Carriers & # 39 ; at the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, USA, October 22, 2018 REUTERS / Rebecca Cook / File Photo

Ford on Thursday reported a decline in sales of its lorries by 5 percent while total sales fell 3, 9 percent to 192,616 units in October, damaged by lower passenger transport needs.

Ford says consumers are relatively sure of economic conditions, albeit slightly less than in September, citing data for October from the University of Michigan's consumer poll, which gives rise to an increase in interest rates.

The number of respondents in the index says it was a good time to buy a car, falling 8 points from September to 59 percent on higher concerns about vehicle prices and interest rates, added Ford.

"Interest rates make payments alongside the transaction price." So little pressure there, "said Mark LaNeve, vice president, US marketing, sales and service at Ford.

Ford's transaction prices increased by $ 1,400 in October from a year ago, compared to $ 330 for the total industry.

The car manufacturer said the gross amount increased to 87 days from 79 a year ago, as dealers expected more demand for vehicles in November and December. The industry looks 60-65 days so healthy.

US . Car sales, which fell 2 percent last year from a record high of 17.55 million in 2016, are expected to fall further in 2018, damaged by rising interest rates and return of later-used cars to dealerships.

But car manufacturers have been helped as Several US consumers switch from traditional passenger cars to larger SUVs and trucks, which tend to be more profitable for manufacturers.

Less competitor Fiat Chrysler A Utomobiles NV ( FCAU.N ) ( FCHA.MI ) said that US sales increased 16 percent to higher demand for their Jeep and Ram vehicles. [19659004] SUV has also been a focal point for Ford, contributing about 35 percent of US total sales volume in October, up from 31.6 percent a year ago.

Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. 7203.T ) said separately that its US sales increased 1.4 percent to 191,102 units due to increased demand for Highlander and Tacoma SUVs. (toyota.us/2PBBg2S)

Honda Motor Co. Ltd ( 7267.T ) US sales dropped 4 percent to 122,182 cars, on weaker passenger car demand, while the less competitive Nissan group sales fell 10 , 6 percent to 109,962 cars.

Earlier this year, No. 1 US automaker General Motors Co. ( GM.N ] switched to reporting sales quarterly instead of monthly.

Reporting of Rachit Vats and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing Arun Koyyur, Bernard Orr

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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