Ford, GM Post Higher Sales

Chrysler sales continue to decline in October.
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Updated from 1:17 p.m. EST

With Detroit's Big Three automakers cutting production to get a handle on swelling inventories,

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

and

Ford

(F) - Get Report

posted sales gains in the U.S. for October, while Chrysler logged a decline.

GM said its U.S. sales rose 22% from October 2005, when sales tumbled 23% after the automaker pulled back on incentives.

GM sold 301,317 new cars and trucks in October. Truck sales, which include sport-utility vehicles, rose 52% to 188,846 vehicles. Car sales were up 9% to 112,471 vehicles, led by sales of the Chevrolet Impala, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura.

"GM's industry-leading truck business was boosted in October by lower fuel prices -- that's one reason our trucks, SUVs and crossovers are gaining share," said GM in a press release.

In October, GM North America produced 427,000 vehicles, down 13% form the same month last year.

Ford sold 215,985 vehicles in the U.S. last month, compared with 199,847 vehicles in October of last year. Its car sales jumped 22% to 82,949 cars, but its light-truck sales, including sport-utility vehicles and pickups, were up just slightly to 133,036 vehicles.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker also estimated that its inventory levels of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles were 622,000 units, down 107,000 units from the same time last year.

"We are very serious about aligning inventories with demand," said Al Giombetti, president, Ford and Lincoln Mercury sales and marketing. "Our dealers did an outstanding job with the 2006 model sell-down program, and we took a painful but necessary action to reduce fourth-quarter production."

Chrysler, the U.S. unit of

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

, said it sold 159,586 for October, down from 164,814 a year earlier. Its Mercedes-Benz USA division posted a 12% gain in October sales to 20,598 vehicles.

The Chrysler Group division, consisting of the Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge brands, continued to struggle. Sales fell 3% to 159,586 vehicles.

Shares of GM were recently down 31 cents, or 0.9%, to $34.61. Shares of Ford were up 20 cents, or 2.4%, to $8.48. Also, shares of DaimlerChrysler AG were adding $1.02, or 1.8%, to $57.96.