The numbers are in and Chrysler sales have gone up 16% for December and it is the 9th month of gains. General Motors is up 8% for the month.
Fueled by holiday and year-end discounts, as well as the introduction of new models, automakers finished 2010 on a high note by posting solid December sales gains. General Motors, helped by new models and healthy demand for crossovers, recorded an 8 percent increase. Ford Motor Co. said demand rose 4 percent while Chrysler Group had a 16 percent jump. But Toyota Motor Corp., still feeling the unfavorable impact of major recalls last year, said December U.S. sales fell 6 percent. Toyota’s overall 2010 sales were flat at 1.76 million units.
Total sales probably ran at an annual rate of 12.3 million vehicles last month, based on the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. In November and October, sales hit the same pace.
“December was a really strong month and we’re starting to see the market recover and people coming back to car shopping,” said Jesse Toprak, the top analyst at TrueCar.com, an online shopping site. “There is still much pent-up demand but until we start to see a recovery in the housing market and job creation, the growth rate annually will be around 10 percent.”
It was Chrysler’s ninth consecutive monthly sales gain. Jeep Grand Cherokee demand more than tripled, and Ram pickup sales jumped 93 percent compared with December 2009.