GM Sales Rise 20%, Led by Pickups

DETROIT TheStreet) -- General Motors ( GM) said September sales rose 20%, as recession worries apparently failed to scare off auto and truck buyers.

The nation's largest automaker said September sales totaled 207,145. Retail sales, which accounted for 74% of total sales, rose 19%.

"For GM, all of the factors that say this is a good time to buy a new vehicle outweigh the bad news that appears to be slowing down the broader economic recovery," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations, in a prepared statement.

Truck sales, including full-size pickups and SUVs, increased 34%.

At Chevrolet, sales rose 21.5% to 147,611, led by a 36% increase in Silverado sales to 43,698 units. However, Malibu sales declined 32% to 11,144. Cruze sales fell below 20,000 to 18,097.

GMC registered a 28% gain to 33,194 units. Buick sales rose 5.6% to 13,559 and Cadillac sales rose 1% to 12,741, as the brand reduced fleet sales by 54%.

GM said full-year U.S. vehicle sales, including medium and heavy truck sales, will fall in the low end of its estimate of 13 million to 13.5 million units, reflecting seasonally strong sales and the resolution of production issues for its competitors.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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