Automakers report higher US sales, but chip shortage clouds outlook

New York (AFP) – Carmakers reported higher first-quarter US sales on Thursday amid rising consumer confidence, but a semiconductor shortage that has crimped production raises questions about supply in coming months. Toyota led the pack with its double-digit, year-over-year US sales gain, but General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler also saw sales rise during a period that included passage of a giant US economic relief package that sent cash to most households and accelerating vaccinations. “Consumer confidence and spending will continue to increase due to stimulus, rising vaccination rates and t…

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