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Buying more cars. Paying more for power.

   In Business Today:

Customers return to auto showrooms - Matt Glynn/The Buffalo News
   U.S. auto sales rose in October as buyers grew slightly more confident in the economy and new models drew them into dealerships.
   Duane Paddock of Paddock Chevrolet in Kenmore said his October sales were robust, led by the Cruze, Autoline Equinox, Silverado and Malibu. ...
   General Motors, which is preparing for an initial stock offering expected later this month, saw sales rise 3.5 percent in October. [GM's press release stresses a 13 percent increase in sales for its four remaining brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac -- which it can do when it ignores brands that have either been sold or closed -- Saturn, Hummer, Pontiac and Saab.]
   Ford Motor Co.'s sales rose 19.2 percent, led by big increases in trucks and small cars. Sales of the redesigned Edge crossover were up 24 percent, while Ford Escape sales rose 17 percent. Ford says sales of the F-Series pickup rose 24 percent, thanks in part to a monthlong truck promotion. ...
   Chrysler Group LLC's sales were up 37 percent from last October, partly on the strength of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which saw sales more than triple. Ram pickup sales rose 41 percent.
   New products also gave a boost to Honda Motor Co., whose sales climbed 16 percent. October was the first full month on the market for the Odyssey minivan, which saw October sales jump 52 percent. Wagons were also hot at Honda, where CR-V sales climbed 19 percent.
   Automakers are expecting to sell around 11.5 million vehicles this year, up from a 30-year low of 10.4 million in 2009.
   Consumer confidence rose slightly in October, according to a report released last week by the Conference Board. That, and a rebounding stock market, may have spurred buyers to invest in a new vehicle. Analysts are expecting last month to be the best October for the industry since 2007. ...
   * Hyundai said its October sales jumped 38 percent as sales of the new Sonata midsize sedan more than doubled.
   * Subaru sales rose 25 percent for the month on strong sales of the Outback and Forester wagons.
   * Volkswagen sales rose 18 percent with a boost from sales of the new Jetta. Jetta sales were up 32 percent over last October.
    More from The Detroit NewsThe Detroit Free Press, The Washington PostUSA Today and
- General Motors Can Fly Again for Stock Sale - The New York Times
   The automaker has met federal guidelines to use chartered aircraft as early as Thursday to ferry managers on a “road show” promoting G.M.’s public stock offering, according to government and company officials who declined to be identified. ...
   The use of private jets by the Detroit automakers to fly to Washington for Congressional hearings on an auto bailout in November 2008 was harshly criticized by lawmakers, who saw the jets as symbolizing the industry’s need to cut unnecessary costs.
   G.M. and other executives drove to the next hearing.

 - National Grid finds support for rate hike - David Robinson/The Buffalo News
   The Buffalo Niagara region’s business groups lined up Wednesday to voice their support for the infrastructure improvements that are part of the $361 million rate increase that National Grid is seeking.
   National Grid, which has spent more than $1.4 billion since 2002 to upgrade its upstate transmission and distribution network is proposing to spend $1.8 billion on transmission and infrastructure improvements from 2011 to 2013. ...

   Time to make the Thunderbirds:


-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News


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