Chrysler said Tuesday its U.S. sales jumped 27 percent in October, while General Motors reported a slimmer 2 percent increase on increased demand for both cars and trucks.
Chrysler Group LLC sold more than 114,000 cars and trucks last month compared with 90,000 a year earlier. The results marked the Auburn Hills, Mich.-based automaker's best October sales since 2007.
Meanwhile, General Motors Co. sold nearly 187,000 cars and trucks last month. Car sales rose 4 percent and truck sales gained 2 percent. But sales of its crossover sport utility vehicles fell 1 percent.
Chrysler and GM among the first of the car companies to report sales figures on Tuesday. GM's sales increase will probably pale in comparison to those reported by other automakers on Tuesday. Detroit-based GM said its latest results were being compared with strong sales in October 2010.
Auto sales overall were expected to rise in October to the highest pace in two years.
Car information site Edmunds.com expects sales of more than 1 million cars and trucks for the month. When adjusted for seasonal factors, that would be the best pace since the Cash for Clunkers program in August 2009. J.D. Power and Associates also says October sales finished strong, although it forecast a slightly slower pace.
Pent-up demand drove October sales. Many buyers were waiting for Japanese car inventories to improve after the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan cut supplies. Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co. will be the biggest market share gainers in October, Edmunds said.
Chrysler sold 11,205 of its new Chrysler 200 midsize sedan, while sales of the Jeep Compass compact SUV increased more than six-fold to 5,179 and demand for the Ram pickup truck jumped 21 percent to 21,037. Retail sales, which exclude sales to fleet customers, rose 40 percent.
At GM, sales of the Chevrolet Cruze compact cart nearly tripled from last year, while sales of the Equinox crossover rose 18 percent.
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