General Motors (GM) reported that April sales fell 1% year over year, but the company lifted its projections for total domestic auto sales on expectations that the U.S. economy is recovering. GM sales slid 8% and Ford’s (F) fell 5% in April, although the numbers are not exactly comparable because this year’s reporting period included three fewer selling days. Ford sales rose 7% and GM’s were p 3% after accounting for the change, the companies said. Chrysler sales jumped 20%.
GM upped its forecast for total 2012 auto sales (for all manufacturers) in the U.S. to 14 to 14.5 million vehicles from 13.5 to 14 million “based on higher than expected first quarter industry sales and expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to grow.”
“We expect gradual improvement in the economy going forward,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “Over time, strength in the manufacturing sector and strong retail sales will lead to more job creation.Â That will help more consumers put the recession behind them, gain even more confidence and drive vehicle sales higher for both the industry and GM.”