U.S. Automakers Report November Gains
DETROIT, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. automakers reported a sharp rise in sales in November compared to a year ago with Ford Motor Co. leading the pack with a gain of 20 percent.
General Motors Co. said sales rose 11.4 percent compared to November a year ago. It's numbers were skewed, however, with comparison to a company that was struggling a year ago with Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer brands, which were wound down and Saab, which it sold this year.
Excluding the four brands it no longer operates, sales at GM rose 21 percent, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Sales at Chrysler LLC also jumped, rising 16.7 percent.
The three left the world's largest automaker, Toyota Motor Corp., in the dust. Sales at Toyota dropped 3.2 percent from a year ago, as the company's reputation has been hammered by a series of automobile recalls.
GM executive Jim Bunnell, once general manager of Buick, Pontiac, and GMC, told the Times, "Consumers are still cautious, but we're starting to see people who show an inclination to come back into dealerships and back into malls. As we go into 2011, we're going to continue to see a nice improvement."
After a prolonged slump that slammed into a sharp recession, automakers are looking for any toehold that will help build positive momentum. Chrysler is in the midst of a splurge of new releases. Ford has said it would produce 11 percent more vehicles in the first quarter of 2011 than the first quarter of 2010.
Both GM and Chrysler said this week they were looking to hire 1,000 engineers and technical staff to gear up for an era of smaller cars and alternative power trains. GM recently issued its initial public offering, raising $23.1 billion with its return to life as a public company after going through bankruptcy a year ago.