GM, Ford report sales gains


GM reported its first monthly sales increase in nearly two years this week and Ford also racked up gains in October, providing further evidence that the economy appears to be improving—or at least leveling off. Vehicle sales were level with last October’s totals, ending a streak of YOY declines as the market continued its slow climb out of the steep downturn that began in 2008. GM and Ford posted modest gains of 4.7% and 3.3%, respectively, in October, but Chrysler Group continued its free fall–its sales fell 30.4% last month.

95% of GM’s October sales came from the four core brands that it is keeping here in the US — Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet.

On an annual basis, last month’s selling rate was 10.5 million cars and light trucks, compared with 10.82 million a year ago and 9.22 million in September, according to Autodata and The Detroit News.

October sales provided a realistic take on consumer demand because sales weren’t distorted by incentives or depleted inventories, as in the previous two months.

The highest sales increase was reported by Hyundai. U.S. sales surged 48.9% in October from depressed year-earlier levels, reflecting strong demand for its small Elantra and Accent cars and its luxury Genesis.