DETROIT -

General Motors Co. says its July U.S. sales rose 16 percent on big gains in full-size pickup trucks.

The company's increase leads all automakers that have reported numbers on Thursday. Nissan, Chrysler and Ford all had 11 percent increases.

GM says it sold just over 234,000 vehicles last month. Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups combined rose 46 percent to almost 99,000. Truck sales continue to grow on rising demand from home builders and other businesses.

GM says passenger car sales were up 24 percent over a year ago. The Chevrolet Impala saw a 38 percent sales increase as new models reached showrooms.

Sales of the Cadillac and Chevrolet brands each rose about 17 percent, while GMC sales rose 14 percent. Buick sales also increased 14 percent.

July Total Sales Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • GM passenger car sales were up 24 percent year over year, including a 42 percent increase in mini-, small and compact car deliveries.
  • Chevrolet car sales were up 31 percent driven by a record month for the Spark, record July sales for the Cruze and a 38 percent increase for the Impala.
  • Cadillac car sales were up 34 percent on the strength of the new ATS and XTS.
  • Pickup, van and SUV sales were up a combined 16 percent with full-size pickups up 44 percent – the best July since 2007.
  • About 15 percent of full-size pickup sales were all-new 2014 crew cabs. Double-cab models are now being shipped to dealers and regular cab production begins later this summer.
  • Crossover sales were up 6 percent, with the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave up 33 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Sales of the all-new Buick Encore increased 39 percent from June 2013.

July Retail Sales Highlights (vs. 2012)

  • All four brands posted double-digit retail sales increases and Buick retail sales have now increased for 15 consecutive months.
  • Full-size pickup deliveries were up 51 percent and crossover sales increased 18 percent.
  • Deliveries to small business customers increased 61 percent, including a 107 percent increase in full-size pickup deliveries.
  • Sales of the Chevrolet Malibu increased 31 percent and the Chevrolet Equinox had its best-ever July retail sales with deliveries up 9 percent.
  • GMC Terrain sales were up 24 percent for its best-ever July.