The launch of new models, this year's beneficial timing of Labor Day and a bargain basement bonanza at General Motors – all helped to lift September auto sales by 10% year-on-year.

Four of the Big Five manufacturers (GM, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota and Nissan) enjoyed sales increases. Ford Motor Company, however, saw sales sag by 4.2%.

Adjusted for seasonal factors, 17.5 million units moved out of the showrooms during the nine months to September, compared with 17m in the same period in 2003, Autodata reports.

Total light vehicle sales for the month of September are as follows (percentages indicate the year-on-year increase/decrease) ...

1. General Motors 454,831 (+24.9%)
2. Ford Motor 281,837 (-4.2%)
3. DaimlerChrysler 186,224 (+13.3%)
4. Toyota 161,793 (+14.9%)
5. Honda 108,470 (+1.7%)
6. Nissan 80,350 (+15.6%)
7. Hyundai 35,025 (+8.6%)
8. Volkswagen 26,907 (-21.3%)
9. BMW 24,719 (+31.0%)
10. Kia 23,001 (+19.4%)
11. Mazda 18,894 (-7.6%)

Total 1,437,031 (10.2%)

Commented Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association: "This was an overall good month for sales, despite the weather in the Southeast, and a month many producers needed. But September was also an unforgiving month if your product wasn't new, or your pricing not ultra-competitive."

Data sourced from USA Today Online; additional content by WARC staff