U.S. auto sales rose last month compared to an unusually weak September 2009
when demand dried up after the federal Cash for Clunker rebates.
Ford reported selling 46 percent
more vehicles last month and Chrysler's increase was 61 percent
. General Motors saw its sales rise 11 percent
while Toyota reported sales rose 17 percent.
Automakers said they were not getting excited about the sales bump.
“I would not read too much into sales increases in September
,” Ford Vice President of Marketing Ken Czubay said of disruption from auto-buying incentives. “We are in a tough period to try to make sense of year-to-year comparisons.”
Still, he added the economy appears to be improving slightly.
GM's U.S. sales chief, Don Johnson, agreed.
Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive of Edmunds.com, an auto website, said he's less optimistic, doubting that new-vehicle sales can maintain the current pace.
“Reports of the recovery have been vastly exaggerated
,” Anwyl said. “Without Labor Day, September was a weak month — —and because it was so late in the month, it gave an unusually high boost to September because sales did not bleed into August.”