Big increases for sport utility vehicles and other large autos helped carmakers score another robust month of US sales in September, according to their data released Thursday.
Gains year-over-year in sales were double-digit strong at General Motors (+12.5 percent), Ford (+23 percent) and Fiat Chrysler (+14 percent).
Strong auto sales have been a bright spot for the US economy, with vehicles leaving dealerships at a rate not seen since before the 2008 financial crisis. Large cars have been especially popular thanks in part to lower gasoline prices.
GM, the largest US automaker, scored sales of 251,310, about 12,000 above the forecast from Edmunds.com. The increase was particularly strong for the GMC truck line, where sales soared 23.8 percent to 47,386.
Gains were more moderate for the Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet lines, which include numerous sedans and other small vehicles.
At Ford, September sales were 221,599, about 2,700 more than the Edmunds forecast. Gains were strongest in SUVs and trucks for the number-two US automaker, but sales of cars also rose sharply, by 18.9 percent.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles's sales came in at 193,019 last month, up 13.6 percent from the year-ago period and about 1,300 below the Edmunds forecast.
Sales of FCA's popular Jeep line surged 40 percent to more than 77,000 vehicles.
The strong September sales pace followed a booming August, when vehicles rolled out of dealerships at the fastest rate since July 2005.
GM said there is still more running room to further boost sales.
"The US is adding jobs, disposable income is rising, energy prices and interest rates remain low and business continues to invest, but the fact remains this has been a slow recovery," said Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist at GM.
"The economy still has room to grow and so do auto sales, particularly now that the millennials are entering the workforce and starting households."