Shares of General Motors (GM - Free Report) touched a new all-time high on Tuesday, in direct response to the company’s improved September sales figures and its latest comments about the future of its business.
Confirming expectations that damage from severe hurricanes would cause a spike in replacement demand, nearly all major automakers reported strong monthly U.S. sales results today. Leading the pack was Volkswagen, which posted 33.2% year-over-year growth—although its year-ago period was muted from its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
General Motors said that its September sales rose 11.9% from the prior year, putting it behind only Toyota’s (TM - Free Report) 14.9% increase among major companies with “pure” growth rates. Ford (F - Free Report) reported an 8.7% increase in sales, while Nissan (NSANY - Free Report) witnessed a 9.5% pop.
The September sales report comes just one day after General Motors announced its plan to go 100% electric at some point in the future. While the company did not put a timetable on ditching the combustion engine for good, it did announce plans to add at least 18 more electric models by 2023—with two of those cars debuting next year.
“General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” said Mark Reuss, Ford’s head of product, via Wired. “We are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”
In addition to this, General Motors executives also recently commented on the company’s plans to deploy self-driving cars without human drivers. On a call with reporters on Tuesday, Kyle Vogt, the head of the company's Cruise Automation unit, said that Cruise was making “rapids progress” toward that goal.
In a blog post, company CEO Mary Barra elaborated: “In the coming months, we’ll take the next bold steps in testing our autonomous technology as we lead the way to fully self-driving vehicles without any human driver as a backup.”
In the near term, GM’s impressive sales results have left investors pleased, and with several clearly defined goals to lead the auto industry down the line, investors are also bullish about the carmaker’s long-term future.
Through early afternoon trading, shares of GM were up more than 2.8%. Earlier today, the stock surged more than 3.6% above Monday’s close to touch a new all-time high of $43.70 per share.
GM is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and sports an “A” grade for Value, as well as an overall VGM grade of “A.”
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