Toyota and Chrysler posted solid gains in US auto sales in September while rivals General Motors and Ford said Tuesday their growth stalled even as the overall industry's outlook appeared bright.
GM posted its best September since the crash of 2008 as sales grew by a modest 1.5 percent to 210,245 vehicles.
"Auto sales will continue to be a bright spot for the US economy, which is particularly good news for GM as we walk into an even stronger cadence of new products in 2013 and 2014," Kurt McNeil, head of GM's US sales, said in a statement.
GM said it has "moved aggressively to replace existing vehicles with better designs, more technology and improved fuel economy" which means 70 percent of its nameplates will be all new or redesigned in 2012 and 2013.
Chrysler also forecast strong sales going forward after September sales rose 12 percent to 142,041 vehicles as car sales jumped 27 percent and truck sales rose six percent.
"Last month marked our 30th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases and our strongest September in five years," Reid Bigland, Chrysler's head of US sales, said in a statement.
"Going forward with our current product lineup, record low interest rates and a stable US economy, we remain optimistic about the health of the US new vehicle sales industry and our position in it."
Toyota said its sales jumped 42 percent to 171,910 vehicles and would announce more details later in the day.
Ford's sales slipped 0.1 percent in September to 174,976 vehicles as truck sales fell eight percent. But the second largest US automaker hailed the fact that sales of its small cars jumped 73 percent to a decade-high.
"As more buyers look for new vehicles across the country, Ford is ready with our strongest lineup ever of fuel-efficient cars, utilities and full-size pickups," said Ken Czubay, head of US sales at Ford.
"Fuel economy remains one of the most important features customers want most today, and Ford is answering the call with five vehicles that deliver 40 mpg or better -- with another three on the way by year-end."
Volkswagen extended its gains following an aggressive expansion in the US market as sales rose 34 percent to 36,663 vehicles in September.
Automotive website Edmunds.com forecast that the pace of US auto sales will ease somewhat to a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 14.4 million in September from 14.52 million in August.
US auto sales have been climbing slowly but mostly steadily after struggling to recover from the 2008 financial crisis and supply shortages caused by last year's Japanese quake and tsunami.
"There's a feeling among dealers and automakers that car sales are easing into cruise control, and that's a good feeling for an industry that's felt more than its share of bumps in the last few years," said Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell.
"This month's results offer more evidence that car buyers are finding the right signs to jump back into the market."