Automakers Mostly Post September U.S. Sales Gains

Chrysler, Toyota, VW and GM sales rise, while Ford slips

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

September was another good month for U.S. auto sales, with most automakers reporting higher sales over last year.

Analysts said car and truck sales were on track to rise 12% over last September, hitting a 14.4 million annual sales rate, the Los Angeles Times noted.

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General Motors (NYSE:GM) said September sales improved nearly 2% over last year, rising to 210,245 vehicles. That marked GM’s best September since 2008. While consumers purchased more sedans, fewer fleet customers translated into a 20% drop in truck sales.

Chrysler, owned by Italy’s Fiat (PINK:FIATY), saw sales jump 12% over last year. The third-largest U.S. carmaker, which the federal government rescued from collapse, sold 142,041 vehicles during the month, its highest September sales in five years.

Toyota (NYSE:TM), which continues to recover from last year’s production disruptions relating to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, posted a 41.5% jump in September sales compared to last year. The Japanese auto giant said it sold 171,910 vehicles in the U.S. last month.

Volkswagen (PINK:VLKAY) continued to produce strong results last month. The German automaker sold 36,339 vehicles in the U.S. in September. That marked a 34.4% rise over last year and its best September in 40 years.

Not all automakers saw sales increases, however.

Ford (NYSE:F) reported sales of 174,976 vehicles last month, down 200 vehicles from last year. And Nissan (PINK:NSANY) said its September sales dipped 1.1% compared to last year, falling to 91,907 vehicles.

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