General Motors posts 40 percent jump in sales on strong SUV demand

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General Motors on Thursday posted a 40 percent jump in second-quarter US sales on strong demand for its sport utility vehicles, and said the trend will continue into 2022.

Low interest rates, government stimulus and a preference for private vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic have bolstered auto demand in the United States, even as prices have risen due to tight inventories following a global semiconductor shortage.

Consumers are purchasing more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, boosting profitability for automakers and retailers, according to industry consultants JD Power and LMC Automotive.

GM said its Chevrolet Bolt EV posted record second-quarter deliveries with total Chevrolet deliveries up 31 percent, while sales of its Buick’s premium SUVs soared 86 percent.

“The US economy is accelerating, consumer spending is robust and jobs are plentiful,” GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg said in a statement.

“Consumer demand for vehicles is also strong, but constrained by very tight inventories.”

Shares of the US automaker were up 0.6 percent at $59.49 in morning trade as its US auto sales jumped to 688,236 vehicles in the quarter.

“I’m not worried though as the demand is there and the economy is rebounding. Plus it appears the worst of the chip shortage for autos will be Q2 so things should recover from here,” Morningstar analyst David Whiston said.

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