By John Kell
General Motors Co.'s (GM, GMM.U.T) U.S. auto sales jumped 16% due to broad sales gains across all brands, led by Buick, strong results that echoed the double-digit sales gains notched by the company's crosstown rivals.
GM, Ford Motor Co. (F) and Chrysler Group LLC have each reported higher October sales that showed the auto industry was able to churn out deals despite a government shutdown that left some consumers jittery.
"Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick-GMC all performed well in the month, and the sales tempo really picked up after the government shutdown ended," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of GM's U.S. sales operations.
GM shares were up 1.6% to $37.54 in recent trading. The stock has jumped 30% in 2013.
Broadly, U.S. new-auto sales are expected to post a double-digit increase from a year ago, growth that suggests auto sales weren't too dented by the federal government shutdown and debt-ceiling related debate in Congress.
Both GM and Ford also called out strong demand from retail customers, a positive trend for the industry as it shows more individual consumers are jumping into the auto market. For GM, retail sales grew 16%, outpacing the 14% increase in fleet sales.
Overall, GM sold 226,402 vehicles in October, up from 195,764 a year earlier and rising 21% from September's total of 187,195.
Buick had the strongest performance in the latest month, with that division's sales rising 31%. GMC and Chevrolet sales jumped 16% and 15%, respectively. Cadillac sales were up 9.5%.
GM estimated the industry's U.S. sales in October at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 15.6 million units, slightly under Chrysler's estimate of 15.7 million.
Earlier this week, GM reported a 6% drop in its third-quarter profit, though operating results beat analyst expectations as stronger profit in North America and a narrower loss in Europe offset weakness in other markets abroad.
Write to John Kell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 01, 2013 10:22 ET (14:22 GMT)Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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