5 Jan 2011

December vehicle sales strong in US

9:34 am on 5 January 2011

Carmakers in the United States have reported strong sales for December, confirming a steady recovery by the auto industry during 2010.

Chrysler said sales for the month rose by 16% against a year earlier, while General Motors posted sales growth of 7.5%. Ford said sales rose by 7%.

The BBC reports Nissan fared even better, reporting US sales growth of 28%.

Rises in sales are also reported for the 2010 year compared with the previous year.

Ford reported a jump of 19%, Chrysler an increase of 16%, while GM posted a rise of 6%.

GM also retained its position as the top carmaker in the United States, with sales of 2.2 million cars in 2010.

Federal aid

Both Chrysler and GM went into bankruptcy protection in 2009.

GM needed $US50 billion in government assistance. Following the bail-out, the federal government owned 61% of the company.

The BBC reports the company posted a net profit of $US2 billion in the three months to the end of September, its third consecutive quarter of profitability.

In November, GM raised $US20.1 billion through a public share offering, which will allow the government to reduce its stake to as low as 33%.

Chrysler also went into bankruptcy protection in 2009 after being bailed out by the government.

Ford, which did not enter bankruptcy protection or take financial assistance from the government, made a profit of $US1.7 billion between July - September, its sixth consecutive quarterly profit.