Carmakers are having a blockbuster year.
Chrysler Group announced Tuesday it sold 142,041 U.S. cars and trucks in September — a 12% jump from a year ago and the company's best September in five years. General Motors (GM) said its September sales rose 1.5% compared to the same month last year and the Detroit automaker had its best September in four years. Ford (F) disclosed that its sales were flat last month.
Japanese automaker Toyota (TM) reported September sales in the U.S. climbed nearly 42%. Toyota and Honda Motor (HMC) cut auto production last year after a powerful tsunami and earthquake rocked Japan.
According to research firm Autodata, U.S. consumers bought 1.19 million new cars, trucks and S.U.V.'s in September, a 13% year-over-year increase. Auto sales in the U.S. are on track to hit 14.5 million this year, an increase of 1 million from 2011.
Jonathan Browning, CEO and President of Volkswagen Group of America, told The Daily Ticker that the U.S. auto sector has been recovering but there are still challenges ahead for automakers.
"We've seen a number of year-on-year increases in terms of the overall demand, the overall size of the marketplace," he said. "It's growth but it's not spectacular. There are some positive signs but it's nothing to get carried away with yet."
The Volkswagen Group, which includes brands like Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini, has reported strong global sales for the past two years.
The German automaker reported it sold 36,399 vehicles to U.S. consumers in September -- a 34.4% gain from August and the company's best September sales figure since 1972. Sales increased more than 26% in 2011 and are up 37% year-to-date. Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs said September was another "best in 40 years" month for the Volkswagen division. Sales of the Golf, Beetle, Tiguan and Touareg models boosted monthly results.
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