Good news for the US economy as car sales there rose last month by the most since before the start of the financial crisis and recession four and a half years ago.
September sales were up by a much better-than-expected 13 percent from the same month last year – reaching almost 1.2 million.
General Motors and Ford credited improved consumer confidence from rising home prices and a drop in jobless claims.
Buyers were also able to get car loans at lower interest rates.
As fuel prices go up the manufacturers said Americans were tending to buy smaller vehicles.
Of the big three US firms, Chrysler was the best performer, its sales were up 12 percent, compared with GM’s 1.5 percent gain, while Ford was little changed.
Toyota overshadowed them with a 41.5 percent surge in sales last month. That was partly accounted for by sales a year ago suffering from inventory shortages following the earthquake in Japan.
Honda’s sales rose about 31 percent and Volkswagen enjoyed a 34.4 percent increase.