Japanese Big Three Set October Sales Records

October was a good month for the Japanese Big Three automakers, as Honda, Nissan and Toyota all report record U.S. deliveries.

Honda’s 131,651 units, Nissan’s tally of 116,047 and Toyota’s 204,045 deliveries were all-time bests for the month, the automakers say.

All three credit strong CUV deliveries.

“October was a huge month for the industry, smashing expectations and continuing its hot streak,” Bill Fay, Toyota Div. group vice president, says in a statement. “Toyota Div. posted best-ever sales for the month led by October record-breaking sales of Highlander and RAV4.”

Honda-brand light trucks set an October record with 64,226 sales, up 11.2% on a daily-rate basis and despite a rare dip (-4.3%) for the small-midsize CR-V.

There were 28 selling days in October 2015 vs. 27 in October 2014.

Honda’s new HR-V small CUV continued its hot streak, adding 4,502 units to the brand’s light-truck tally.

The automaker’s Acura near-luxury marque also benefited from the CUV trend, with the midsize RDX’s 3,891 sales breaking an October record.

Acura also saw an October record from the ILX compact car and an all-time high for the TLX midsize sedan, surpassing the 5,000-mark for the first time in a single month.

The TLX went on sale last fall, replacing the TL and TSX models.

Still, Acura sales were flat, up 0.5% on a DSR basis due to a 20.2% decline in MDX CUV sales.

Toyota says RAV4 CUV sales rose 26.6% to 28,256 units, while the larger Highlander CUV was up 6.1% to 13,316.

For only the fourth time but the second month in a row, the RAV4 outsold Toyota’s perennial No.2 model, the Corolla compact car. Corolla sales rose 8.0% to 27,951 in October.

Toyota sold 34 Mirai fuel-cell sedans. The car went on sale in California Oct. 21.

The automaker’s longtime green model, the Prius hybrid, recorded an 8.5% hike, possibly due to the selldown of the current third-generation model before the launch of the fourth-gen Prius later this year.

Toyota car sales were up 5.6%, with the latter’s Scion brand included in the total.

Total Scion sales jumped 44.6% in October due to the new iA and iM models, the No.1 and No.2 best-sellers for the brand with 1,977 and 1,408 deliveries.

Lexus luxury-brand deliveries rose 9.1% to an October-best 26,436 units thanks to strong results from the NX CUV and GX SUV.

Total Nissan sales rose 12.5% on a daily basis from year-ago, with the Nissan Div. also setting an October record, 104,904, up from 94,072 year-ago.

Like Toyota, Nissan credits light trucks for its strong performance.

Light-truck deliveries rose 24.7% with everything but the Frontier and Titan pickups and discontinued Xterra SUV posting increases.

Especially strong was the small-midsize Rogue CUV, which sold 10,000 more units this October than in October 2014 for a 69.8% DSR hike.

Sales of the Pathfinder large CUV were flat, but the midsize Murano CUV saw a 25.3% jump. The Murano was redesigned late last year.

Nissan car sales rose slightly, up 2.3%, as the brand’s biggest-seller the Altima midsize sedan fell 11.0%.

A 24.9% increase in Versa subcompact sales offset the Altima decline.

Leaf electric-vehicle sales continued to tumble with the removal of Georgia’s tax incentives for EVs, halved to 1,238 units from 2,589 year-ago.

Nissan’s Infiniti brand also saw all four of its light trucks post increases for a 63.3% group rise, while cars declined 7.0%. The only Infiniti car in the black was the Q50, up 28.6%.

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