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(CNN Business) —  

People are buying fewer cars, but that proved to be no problem for General Motors.

The largest American automaker still grew its sales and profit, despite a drop in the number of cars it sold, especially in China and the United States, its two largest markets.

Strong customer demand for more expensive vehicles loaded with options made up for the decline in the number of cars leaving dealer showrooms.

Overall revenue from continuing operations rose $2.2 billion – about half of that gain came from better pricing.

Sales also got a boost from dealers purchasing more vehicles during the quarter. Dealers entered the quarter with leaner inventories, especially in the United States.

Operating income rose $600 million to $3.2 billion, and earnings per share easily topped Wall Street forecasts.

The company said it expects full-year earnings to come in at the top end of its earlier guidance and predicts it may beat that target.

The company did take a $440 million charge related to litigation involving its ignition switch problems. But it was far less than the $5 billion hit it took a year ago related to its sale of its European operations, an exit that caused it to post a loss.

After the earnings report, GM announced that it would be offering voluntary buyouts to 18,000 of its 50,000 US salaried staff as part of a cost-cutting effort.

Shares of GM (GM), which were down 18% for the year ahead of the report, jumped 9% in early afternoon trading on the results.