Toyota Motor said U.S. auto sales rose 9.7% in May, pushing its sales above both Ford Motor and Chrysler. Ford said U.S. vehicle sales fell 6.9% as the automaker continued to cut low-profit sales to rental companies, while General Motors' May sales increased 4.7% and DaimlerChrysler's sales were up 3.9% with help from a 20% jump in its Jeep brand.
All sales growth figures are adjusted for an extra selling day in May 2007 compared with May of last year.
Toyota , which overtook General Motorsin global sales in the first quarter, sold 269,023 vehicles in the United States in May. U.S. sales of the Prius rose almost 185% to 24,009 units in May.
"As fuel prices and consumer confidence rose, the industry saw a move to passenger cars, with retail business posting sharp gains over a very challenging April," said Jim Lentz, Toyota's U.S. executive vice president.
GM said it sold 375,682 vehicles in the United States last month, driven by strong demand for its new crossover vehicles and pickup trucks.
GM forecast U.S. light vehicle sales of less than 16.5 million units in 2007, down from 16.6 million sold in 2006.
"This downward revision is not a surprise, given the headwinds affecting the industry in the spring selling season and given what we anticipate will be the effects of the housing correction," GM chief sales analyst Paul Ballew said.