General Motors (GM) made big sales gains in a sign the semiconductor shortage is easing. GM shares are rising over 2% in pre-market trading.
GM outsold rivals including Japanese automaker Toyota in the U.S. in the third quarter. GM sold 555,580 vehicles in the quarter through September, 24% higher than last year when inventory shortages hit sales. By contrast, rival Toyota’s sales fell 7.1% to 526,017 vehicles in the same period. In a statement, GM announced it was helped by its ability to secure more semiconductor chips and boost production.
GM’s Chevrolet brand boosted sales 30%, and Cadillac saw a 50% increase. GM also said it plans to boost global production of its electric Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV by nearly 30,000 vehicles to more than 70,000 units, boosted by strong demand.
Despite elevated gas prices, GM also saw sales of its large Chevy Suburban rise by more than 40% and sales of its heavy-duty Silverado pickup were up almost 60%.
Toyota’s Lexus luxury line sales fell 4.3% in September, down about 17% for the year. Deliveries of its bestselling model, the RX SUV, were up less than 1% last month and are down 5.1% so far this year.
“While sales momentum is showing signs of life for GM, its share price has been a disappointment for investors for the past five years, down 20% over that time. The automaker’s transition to electrifying its fleet will take more time, more debt, and more patience from shareholders,” said Caleb Silver, Investopedia’s editor-in-chief.