US vehicle sales rose 18% in April, auto makers said on Tuesday, as consumers flocked to smaller cars in response to higher fuel prices and improved models from surging American firms.
General Motors led the Detroit auto makers last month with a 27% gain in sales, led by strong demand for its Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan and smaller, more fuel-efficient sport utility vehicles.
Auto firms attributed the surge in small-car sales to gas prices.
One of the hottest car companies was Hyundai, which rode the success of its new Elantra to a 40% overall rise in sales.
All three Japanese auto makers lagged the market, especially Toyota, where sales increased about 1%.