(By Balachander) General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) posted a 5 percent jump in U.S. sales for December, its highest sales in five years, amid strong car and crossover sales.
The Detroit, Michigan-based auto giant reported sales of 245,733 vehicles in the United States last month.
"GM's strong finish in 2012, the industry's momentum and the overall health of the U.S. economy make us optimistic about 2013," said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations.
McNeil added that the budget compromise reached in Washington this week removes uncertainty and clears the way for full-year light vehicle sales to rise to the 15 million to 15.5 million unit range in 2013.
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Chevrolet and GMC sales rose 3.7 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Buick and Cadillac sales increased 10 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively due to new products.
Passenger car sales grew 14 percent and Crossovers sales increased 2 percent. Meanwhile, truck sales were same as last year.
"All four GM brands increased their sales year over year in December and we were strong across the board in cars, crossovers and pickup trucks," GM said.
In December, GM became the first U.S. automaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in a single year that get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg or better on the highway, the company said.
Separately, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) said U.S. sales rose 2 percent last month to 214,222 vehicles, its best December sales results since 2006. Small car sales jumped 29 percent.
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Meanwhile, Chrysler reported a 10 percent growth in U.S. sales for the month of December to 152,367 units.
GM shares rose 2.13 percent to trade at $29.75 on Thursday, while Ford shares gained 2.01 percent to trade at $13.47.