Auto sales dip 1.2 percent; GM, Ford upbeat

Nov 04, 2010 | 12:25 PM | Corinna Petry

Sales by the top seven U.S. automotive brands fell 1.2 percent from September but remained 11.9 percent ahead of October 2009, while year-to-date sales were up 11.5 percent from the first 10 months of last year.

General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. both continue to foresee 2010 finishing with a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 11.5 million to 12 million vehicles.

A weak housing market and high unemployment rate continue to drag on the economy, but the industrial sector has been strengthening, executives at both companies said.

"In a nutshell, the story is a little brighter but the recovery is tempered by slower-than-expected employment growth," Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations, said during the automaker's monthly sales call. "Corporate profits are at record highs but business remains cautious about investing. Signs are there that the recovery continues and that it will be sustained."....

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