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April sales: Ford, Chrysler(!) surge 25%, Toyota up 24.4%, GM rises 6.4%

DETROIT - JANUARY 9:  In this handout image pr...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

UPDATED at 3:42 p.m.:

Ford's April sales surged 25 percent compared to April of last year, though they dropped 9 percent compared to March of this year, as all automakers pulled back on incentives last month.

Ford's success is no longer news. This company has successfully navigated the Great Recession probably better than any other auto company.

The news today is that Chrysler's April sales also rose 25 percent. Chrysler has been the sick sister of Detroit's Big Three, seemingly resigned to waiting on its Italian savior -- Fiat -- to finally show up and start selling small cars that Americas want to buy. Because the sales data from Chrysler over the past 18 months indicated that it could no longer make a car -- truck sales have been fine -- that we want to buy.

But April proved a turnaround month for Chrysler. And it comes right on the heels of some potentially bad news: NHTSA is investigating a potentially sticky gas pedal issue in one Chrysler vehicle, the Dodge Caliber.

Chrysler says the minivan is back: Sales were up 50 percent from the same month last year.

Toyota's bounce back from its terrible February sales continued with a 24.4 percent gain in sales in April, following an incentive-boosted March sales bump.

General Motors' April sales rose a modest 6.4 percent, as the Detroit automaker saw a slight retreat from March sales, which were fed by incentives.

Ford sales sales of all of its truck and vehicle brands rose in April. Ford is the only one of the Big Three Detroit automakers to refuse a government bailout and that avoided bankruptcy.

Ford's F-series pickup truck rose 42 percent in April, thanks to an uptick in the U.S. construction industry.

Sales of GM's four core brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac -- rose 20 percent. GM reported strong sales of the Chevy Camaro (pictured). Overall sales, however, were dragged down by the brands GM is phasing out or selling: Saturn, Saab, Hummer and Pontiac. Sales of those brands were down 2.4 percent in March.

Overall in the industry, incentives in April were down 5 percent from March, said

GM said it spent $100 less per vehicle in incentives in April than it did in March.

Other automakers April results:

  • Volkswagen was up 42 percent.

  • Honda was up 12.5 percent.

  • Nissan was up 34 percent.

  • Kia was up 17 percent.

  • Hyundai was up 30 percent.

  • Subaru continued its amazing winning streak, enjoying a 48 percent jump in April.

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  • By Frank Ahrens  |  May 3, 2010; 3:42 PM ET
    Categories:  Corporations , The Ticker  | Tags: Automotive industry, Autos, Buick, Cadillac, Chrysler, Detroit,, Ford, General Motors, Sales, april auto sales, auto sales, toyota, toyota sales  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: March construction spending surges, business purchases rise
    Next: Greek debt: Bailout concessions not nearly Spartan enough


    Why the misleading headline on GM? The 6.4 number includes discontinued models which is buried further down in the article? Otherwies they're up 20 per cent!

    Posted by: ulldk3 | May 3, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

    GM core brands are actually up 19.7%.

    Posted by: detroitriverlover | May 3, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

    That's awesome.

    Posted by: luiswebbchevy | May 3, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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