GM joins Chrysler topping estimates as carmakers boost U.S.

2012 Totals

GM’s full-year sales gained 3.7 percent to almost 2.6 million, the automaker said in a statement on its website. Ford’s light-vehicle sales increased 4.7 percent to 2.24 million and Chrysler’s climbed 21 percent to 1.65 million.

Toyota’s annual deliveries rose 27 percent to 2.08 million and Honda’s climbed 24 percent to 1.42 million. Nissan, based in Yokohama, Japan, set a new company record for U.S. sales with 1.14 million, up 9.5 percent.

Industrywide car and light truck sales in the U.S. probably rose 9.8 percent in December, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. That would push deliveries for the full year to 14.5 million and cap a third-straight annual gain of at least 10 percent. The industry last recorded such a streak in 1973.

GM and Ford climbed to their highest closing prices since July 2011. GM rose 2.4 percent to $29.82 at 4 p.m. New York time and Ford advanced 2 percent to $13.46.

Chrysler’s Share

Chrysler, which last year announced plans to add about 4,150 jobs across five plants, entered December with 11.4 percent market share, according to researcher Autodata Corp. The Auburn Hills, Michigan-based automaker’s increase of 0.7 percentage point from a year earlier trailed advances of 1.7 percentage points by Toyota and 0.8 percentage point for Tokyo-based Honda.

Increased production to meet growing demand within the industry has been a bright spot for the U.S. Autos contributed 14 percent of the 2.2 percent average rate of growth for gross domestic product in the recovery that began in the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2012, according to the most recent data available from the Commerce Department.

Spurred by year-end promotions and lingering replacement demand following superstorm Sandy, U.S. light-vehicle sales in December probably climbed to almost 1.37 million, the average of estimates by 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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