GM and Chrysler Post Double-Digit Sales Gains, Ford Sales Up 7%

DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- GM ( GM) and Chrysler posted double-digit sales gains in November, while Ford  ( F) said its sales rose 7%. Overall industry sales rose about 7%, Ford estimated, as the auto industry continued to lead the U.S. economy.

"November was fairly typical," with strong gains towards the end of the month, said Ford analyst Eric Merkle, on the Ford sales call. He said the "market (is) experiencing a good deal of resilience, particularly as we compare to October."

GM said sales rose 13.7% to 212,060, the highest November total in six years, while Chrysler said November sales rose 16% to 142,275 units, the group's best November sales since 2007.

At GM, retail sales rose 19%, while fleet sales declined 3%. Chevrolet sales rose 12.5% to 145,089 units. Silverado sales rose 12.1% to 34,386. Cadillac sales rose 12.6% to 16,172. Buick sales rose 13.4% to 15,072. GMC sales rose 19.8% to 35,727. Chevrolet car sales rose 19% with Malibu up 40.9% to 14,405.

"November sales were strong at all four of our brands, and demand was robust for everything from cars to crossovers to the industry's newest and best full-size pickups," said Kurt McNeil, GM vice president, U.S. sales operations, in a prepared statement. "The sheer number of award-winning new models we have helped us grow faster than the industry for the second month in a row.

"We feel good about the direction of the economy and our own momentum," McNeil said. "The economy is creating jobs and household wealth. Energy costs are dropping and credit is available and affordable. All of this bodes well for future growth."

At Ford, sales rose 7% to 190,449 units. Retail sales rose 9%. Passenger car sales rose 6% while truck sales rose 17%, as F-Series sales totaled 65,501, toppingd 60,000 units for the seventh straight months. Fusion sales rose 51% to 22,839.

"We continued to see sales increases across our full family of vehicles -- particularly with our passenger cars and utilities in conquest coastal markets -- helping us post our best November retail sales performance since 2004," said John Felice, vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service, in a prepared statement. "Fusion and Fiesta were particular standouts, setting November records, and Ford trucks maintained their strong selling pace."

At Chrysler, Jeep brand sales rose 30% to lead the group: Sales of 45,415 marked the brand's best November ever. The new Jeep Cherokee sold 10,169 units in its first full month on sale. Ram pickup sales rose 22% to 31,255. Chrysler brand sales rose 12% to 21,024. Dodge sales rose 4% to 41,506.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen sales declined 16.3% to 30,727 units. While down from a year ago, the total is Volkswagen's second highest since 1973.

"Volkswagen is now operating at a new level not seen in 40 years, and with the strength of our line-up, we are confident we will close out a second consecutive year with over 400,000 vehicles," said Jonathan Browning, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, in a prepared statement. "Having doubled sales from 2009 and with the strong investments in North American investment plans, we are confident that we have a strong base for future growth."

Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

To contact this writer, click here.

Follow @tedreednc

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