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New Car Sales Take Off As Chip Shortage Eases

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General Motors sales were its highest quarterly total in more than two years.

The easing of chip shortages has allowed automakers to restock dealer lots, making it easier for car buyers to find the models and features they want, said Cox Automotive chief economist Jonathan Smoke.

Credit: Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Some of the country's biggest automakers reported big sales increases for the second quarter on Wednesday, the strongest sign yet that the auto industry was bouncing back from parts shortages and overcoming the effects of higher interest rates.

General Motors, the largest U.S. automaker, said it sold 691,978 vehicles from April to June, up 19 percent from a year earlier. It was the company's highest quarterly total in more than two years.

Automakers have struggled in the last two years with a shortage of computer chips that forced factory shutdowns and left dealers with few vehicles to sell. More recently, rising interest rates have made auto loans more expensive, causing some consumers to defer purchases or opt for used vehicles.

"I'm not saying we are on the cusp of exciting growth here," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at Cox Automotive, a research firm. "But we are now at a turning point where the auto market returns to more balance. It's the beginning of returning to normal."

From The New York Times
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