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Monthly Auto Sales: Keep On Keepin' On (GM, F)

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With economic growth starting to stall, auto-sales continue to be a bright spot. In May, Chrysler reported a 30% increase in sales year-over-year, Ford (NYSE: F) increased sales 13% and General Motors (NYSE: GM), the world's largest auto company by number of units sold last year, saw an increase in sales of 11%.

Ford said that its sales were fueled by a large increase in sales of the F-series pickup trucks. Sales of these trucks increased by 29% as compared to May, 2011. Pickup truck sales tend to be correlated with global growth, so this strong number underlines at least one good economic data point.

Both of these public companies are trading down as much as 3% today, as global growth fears rein, even in the presence of strong auto sales numbers. A weak number inside this data was the slide in luxury sales at GM. Sales of Cadillacs fell 15% as consumers flocked to cheaper, more fuel efficient alternatives. Ford saw a similar dynamic, as Lincoln sales slid 1.7%. All in all, it is apparent that consumers are looking for cheaper, more fuel efficient alternatives, rather than splurging for that luxury car.

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