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GM sees US Nov auto sales topping 11 million annual rate

Reuters reported that US auto industry sales could exceed an 11 million vehicle annualized rate in November with signs the economy has continued to strengthen.

Mr Mike DiGiovanni General Motors Co's sales analyst said that GM also is cautiously optimistic that the automaker will see a U.S. market share gain for a fourth consecutive month since it emerged from bankruptcy in July. He added that "We believe the November seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales could approach or maybe slightly exceed 11 million units."

GM's forecast included medium and heavy trucks, which can add up to 300,000 to the annualized rate, but was still sharply higher than November light vehicle forecasts Edmunds.com and JD Power & Associates released on Thursday.

JD Power said that it expected US auto industry light vehicle sales at a 10.2 million unit annualized rate in November, while Edmunds expected a 10.34 million unit rate.

Mr DiGiovanni said that GM was encouraged by data showing some strengthening in the US economy, while acknowledging rising unemployment and a decline in single family housing starts in October. He added that "Obviously this isn't a perfectly linear trend. There are some setbacks in some areas. Overall, we feel pretty confident that the economy is on its way back."

A seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate at or above 11 million would be the strongest for the industry since September 2008, outside the government cash for clunkers program that boosted sales in July and August 2009.


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