By Kelsey Mays on November 3, 2013
Car shoppers shook off any government-shutdown doldrums to keep October auto sales in line with much of this year, save a summer sales boom. Driving the demand were plenty of big names — Detroit pickup trucks and Japanese compacts — but so did some of the month's fastest sellers.
New models mixed with old. The Chevrolet Corvette just hit dealerships, and the car is selling as fast as a ... um, Corvette. The Vette heads up October's Movers, averaging just four days to sell. The redesigned BMW X5 also hit dealerships this fall, and it matches other fast-selling models — the Kia Soul and Toyota 4Runner, both sporting mild redesigns — at six days. Land Rover's Range Rover, a perennial mover since last year's redesign, also joins the group.
Below that, things get interesting.
Mercedes redesigned S-Class flagship hit dealers in October and promptly landed among the Movers; the entry-level CLA-Class, meanwhile, reprised September's showing and may have stolen some thunder from the similarly styled (but a lot pricier) CLS-Class, which landed among the Losers.
Toyota introduced the current Tacoma back when President George W. Bush was still in office — in his first term. Yet October marks the second month that some version of the midsize pickup has ranked a Mover. Toyota hasn't greased shoppers with big incentives, either; perhaps the construction rebound has more businesses looking for bargain-basement pickups. The Tacoma, which starts under $19,000, including a destination charge, is still the cheapest truck on the market.
The flip side has potential flops; it's bad news for Acura, Mitsubishi and Kia. The 2014 Acura RLX sedan, Mitsubishi Outlander SUV and Kia Forte sedan, all fresh redesigns, stay on dealer lots more than 55 days apiece, on average. All three are among October's Losers.
This time of year we start to survey only the cars from the next model year; as of today, 61 percent of Cars.com new-car inventory is a 2014. And 2014 models averaged 22.9 days to turn, which is even with October 2012's 23 days to turn for 2013 models.
Here are October's fastest- and slowest-selling cars:
About the Lists
The Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars list reports the average number of days it takes to sell models from the day they arrive on the lot until the final paperwork is signed by a buyer. This is not a days-of-inventory list like you may find on other websites. With lots mostly clear of 2013 models, we look exclusively at 2014s now. We call the fastest-sellers Movers and the slowest ones Losers.
For Movers, we only list vehicles that pass a certain threshold of sales in order to weed out limited editions, ultra-high-performance cars and others that might skew the numbers or otherwise inaccurately portray popularity. To highlight all slow sellers, losers have no such threshold.
Our Picks highlight cars that take a significant time before they're sold and might be overlooked by shoppers. Dealers could be more motivated to sell these cars.
Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey