The 17 percent surge in U.S. auto sales last month pushed the annual rate to a pre-recession, boom-time level. Even more significant, Detroit automakers are reaping profits not seen since the turn of the century.
Ford Motor Co.’s expansion of hybrid and plug-in models and demand for Tesla Motors Inc.’s luxury battery sedans helped U.S. first-half sales of electric-drive cars and trucks increase faster than even surging pickups.
General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. posted surprising U.S. sales declines, slowing industrywide growth in July, as Japanese automakers continued their recovery and Chrysler Group LLC extended its run of monthly gains.
The recovery in U.S. automobile sales from the lowest in almost three decades may spur a wave of auto- parts acquisitions, drawing interest from hedge funds, private- equity investors and rival manufacturers after a two-year slump in deals.
Fiat SpA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne got a show of support from Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti yesterday for the carmaker’s latest effort to shore up domestic operations. The political cameo in southern Italy will do little to overcome the plan’s challenges.