LIVONIA, Mich. (1/11/10)--The “Invest in America” program contributed to significant U.S. sales increases reported by its partners General Motors (GM) and Chrysler from November to December. The auto companies posted gains of 50% and 36% respectively. The program offers auto loan discounts to credit union members who buy new vehicles. GM reported it sold about 161,000 units last month, while Chrysler said its monthly sales volume increased to more than 86,500 vehicles. Credit unions and their members contributed to the sales surge by buying more than 14,000 GM and Chrysler vehicles in December, a jump of 40% from November. Credit union members comprised 6% of the total monthly sales for the automakers. “New- and used-car loans are the bread and butter of the credit union industry,” David Adams, CEO of CUcorp, a national credit union marketing company, told a media teleconference Friday. “So opportunities related to new-vehicle financing should be at the top of the list for credit unions in 2010. “Our vision is to continue with the program and have credit unions promote domestic-based companies--especially auto companies--and give value propositions to credit union members, while supporting the U.S. economy in the process,” he added. To date, 46 out 50 state credit union leagues support the program, with 2,125 credit unions nationwide participating, including 304 of the top 500 credit unions nationwide, Adams told the media. “In 2010, we think we can increase that. The prediction for the auto industry overall is a 20% surge in 2010. “Hundreds of thousands of credit union members drove away with great deals on new cars and trucks in 2009, which helped boost domestic vehicle sales,” Adams added. “This broad, national support for the domestic auto industry is good for America as well as the credit union brand.” In 2009, credit unions helped sell 229,344 GM and Chrysler cars and trucks through “Invest in America” for a total of $3.5 billion in new auto loans. Chrysler also announced it is expanding its credit union-preferred pricing program to include all 2010 model year vehicles. During the past year, more than 828,000 credit union members took advantage of the exclusive savings and benefits offered by “Invest in America” and its partner companies.