The big three U.S. automakers —General Motors, Ford Motor, and the U.S. operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles—reported a jump in September sales on Thursday as cheap gasoline and ultra-low interest rates drove demand for sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
Strong demand for new cars and light trucks in the United States has been giving automakers a boost at a time when sales in China and other markets are slowing.
Total U.S. auto sales, an early glimpse of consumer spending each month, are expected to have risen about 14 percent last month, according to auto industry consultancy Edmunds.com.
Sales also got a boost from the calendar, with the entire Labor Day weekend falling in September for the first time since 2012.
GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said its total sales in September rose 12 percent to 251,310 vehicles compared with the same month last year.
“The U.S. is adding jobs, disposable income is rising, energy prices and interest rates remain low and business continues to invest, but the fact remains this has been a slow recovery,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist.