The Big Three confirm auto industry recovery

  GM, Ford and Chrysler have reported strong sales increases in december, capping the auto industry’s steady recovery during 2010.

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The big three automakers reported sales figures on Tuesday, posting strong sales increases for the full year 2010 compared with the previous year. Ford reported a jump of 19%, Chrysler an increase of 16%, while GM posted a rise of 6%.

Looking at December sales the numbers were also very positive. Chrysler said sales for the month rose by 16% against a year earlier, while General Motors posted sales growth of 7.5%. Ford said sales rose by 7%.

The figures confirm a remarkable turnaround for both GM and Chrysler who went into bankruptcy protection in 2009.

GM retained its position as the top-selling carmaker in the US with sales of 2.2 million cars in 2010. “Our sales this year reflect the impact of GM’s new business model,” said GM’s vice-president of US sales Don Johnson. “The consistency of results that we achieved demonstrates the focus on our brands, dealers and customers, and how we compete aggressively for every sale, every day.”

Ford, which did not enter bankruptcy protection or take financial assistance from the government, made a profit of $1.7bn between July and September, its sixth consecutive quarterly profit.

Chrysler reported 1.1 million vehicles sold in 2010, crediting a final-quarter push for 16 “all-new or significantly improved models,” Fred Diaz, president of the company’s Ram truck brand, said in a statement. The company’s four brands – Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram – all generated sales increases over the 12-month period.

Analysts assert several factors that have gradually motivated buyers to return to the showrooms, such as pent-up demand, more clarity in regards to the economic environment, and greater spending by automakers on incentives and discounts.



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