Despite gas prices declining nationwide, General Motors reported this morning sales of the Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze small car rose 21 percent in April over sales of a year ago.
All three of the Detroit big three, GM, Ford and Chrysler, reported double-digit U.S. sales increases last month, signaling the best April for car and truck sales in six years.
A rebound in pickup truck sales led the way, especially for the Detroit automakers. Small businesses are replacing aging trucks that they've kept since the Great Recession.
Ford's sales increased 18 percent, with the F-Series pickup gaining 24 percent. At Chrysler, sales rose 11 percent, led by the Ram pickup, with a 49 percent sales increase. GM also saw an 11 percent sales jump, with Chevrolet Silverado pickup sales rising 28 percent for the month.
Nissan also reported a 23 percent sales gain over April of 2012. The only laggard was Volkswagen, with a sales decline of 10 percent.
The gains are another sign that Americans continue to buy cars and trucks despite high unemployment and mixed economic signals. All automakers report monthly sales today, and industry analysts expect an overall increase of around 10 percent over April of last year. That would make it the best April since 2007.