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Honda Pilot and Acura RDX help their marques claw forward toward 2012

Acura and American Honda Motor Co. both recorded sales increases for October, giving the Japanese car companies impetus to turn the corner toward healthy profits heading into 2012.

"As dealer inventories continued to replenish in October, we saw increased momentum," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. “We look forward to continued strong demand for our products despite ... production limitations.”

Honda sold 98,333 vehicles in the U.S. in October, a boost of 3.3%. Year-to-date sales total 958,130, 5.3% below 2010 levels. Honda car sales are up 3.2% this year vs. last, and Honda truck sales are up 12.3% compared with October 2010 thanks to brisk sales of the Pilot, CR-V and Odyssey.

Acura sold 5,661 cars in October, 6% better than last month, and 5,454, trucks, up 3.6%. Total sales for Acura were 11,115 units, a 4.8% hike. For the year, though, Acura is still lagging 6.6% compared with year-ago sales numbers with 100,261 vehicles sold in 2011.

"Despite tight inventories, October sales exceeded last year's strong pace," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "However, due to parts shortages ... 2011 continues to be a very challenging year."

Honda Pilot (pictured) sales rose the most for the brand: 58.5% (12,466 units). The Honda Accord's sales went up 9.4%, with 22,589 units moved from showrooms in October.

The Acura RDX, a crossover sport-utility vehicle, saw sales rise 27.6% last month on the strength of 1,632 units sold. Acura moved 2,977 Acura TSX sports sedans (2,977), a 37.3% rise in monthly sales for the model.

Hawke Fracassa covers the auto beat from Detroit for TN. Write to him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Honda