September U.S. auto sales best since March 2008 – up 13 percent – table image

Looks like even if the economy is not doing so well, U.S. auto sales last month posted their best showing since March 2008, making auto sales a bright spot in the economy for yet another month.

And again, even if the unemployment is still high, last month a total of 1.19 million (1,188,865 new vehicles) cars, trucks and SUVs were sold in the U.S. – 13 percent compared to the same period of 2011. Following the new data, now some analysts think sales could hit 14.5 million in 2012 – up from 12.8 million a year ago.
General Motors Co, the largest U.S. automaker sold 210,245 cars last month – up from 207,145 a year ago, but 13 percent down from August.

“Auto sales will continue to be a bright spot for the US economy, which is particularly good news for GM as we walk into an even stronger cadence of new products in 2013 and 2014,” Kurt McNeil, head of GM’s US sales, said in a statement.
Chrysler sales rose 12 percent to 142,041 vehicles, the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based company said today in a statement.

Ford’s total sales for the month were down 0.1 percent. The carmaker sold 174,454 vehicles in September, down by 406 vehicles from the same period a year earlier, according to Autodata Corp.

“I think in general with the economy chugging along at about 1.5 percent to 2 percent that we are gradually seeing people come back,” said Ford chief economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick.

Toyota, one of the largest Japanese carmaker, also said that September U.S. auto sales were the highest since March 2008. Toyota showed a gain of 41.5 percent in September auto sales (171,190 units) from the previous year.