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Posts Tagged ‘light truck sales’

GM Beats Estimates as Earnings Rise 34%

Pickups, SUVs and CUVs deliver.

by on Apr.28, 2017

Keep on trucking: General Motors' light trucks helped the maker drive a big surge in earnings.

General Motors’ fleet of big pickups and SUVs helped the automaker overcome all obstacles for the first quarter of 2017, earnings rising 34% to handily top Wall Street’s expectations and set a new quarterly record.

With a net income of $2.6 billion, GM was the last of the three Detroit-based automakers to report 1Q earnings and one of two to outperform market forecasts. Only Ford, which was off by 35%, posted a year-over-year decline – though it also benefited from booming demand for high-profit light trucks.

By the Numbers!

“We are executing our plan and it’s delivering results,” Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said during a Friday morning news conference at General Motors headquarters. “This sets us up for another strong year.”

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GM Earnings Dip, But Still Beat Expectations

Workers to take home record $12,000 in profit-sharing.

by on Feb.07, 2017

GM earnings, especially in the U.S., reflected growing demand for SUV and pickups.

One-time charges took a toll on GM’s 2016 earnings, but the maker still managed to beat expectations for the full year, it reported Tuesday morning.

And booming North American demand for high-margin pickups and sport-utility vehicles translates into good news for U.S. workers. Hourly employees represented by the United Auto Workers Union will take home an average $12,000 in profit-sharing, an all-time record.

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“It was just a truly outstanding year,” GM Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said, adding that despite concerns U.S. sales will slip slightly, “We expect 2017 to be a very strong year from a company perspective and another year of 10% or more in profit margins in North America.”

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Auto Market Likely to Maintain Near-Record Momentum

But shift to utes could accelerate, forecasts Toyota autos chief.

by on Dec.02, 2016

The Toyota RAV4 may soon be Toyota's best-seller.

After several tenuous months, U.S. new car sales slipped back on their record track in November, and while it’s likely the industry has hit the peak of the current economic cycle, demand is likely to remain strong for several more years, forecast the U.S. head of automotive operations for Toyota.

What consumers will be buying is another matter, according to Senior Vice President Bob Carter, who stressed that the shift from conventional passenger cars to utility vehicles and other light trucks “is going to continue to accelerate in the future.”

Barring a sudden slowdown of the American market, sales should just nip past last year’s all-time record of around 17.5 million, said Carter, during a meeting with journalists in Detroit. “By anyone’s estimation,” he said, “that’s fantastic.”

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Trucks Carrying the Load for Honda

New Ridgeline pickups, SUVs responsible for surging sales, profits.

by on Aug.03, 2016

A scene from a new Honda Ridgeline ad.

When it first began rolling into the U.S. market nearly five decades, Honda put the emphasis on pint-sized products like the 600 minicar. The brand was barely noticed by American motorists until the twin oil shocks of the 1970s put fuel economy high on the priority list.

A new series of ads Honda is launching this week shows how much times have changed once again. Dubbed the “Power of Ridgeline,” the campaign focuses on Honda’s recently relaunched midsize pickup. While Honda continues to offer American buyers downsized models like the Fit, HR-V and Civic, it has reason to be focusing on the truck side of its line-up.

Your Auto Insider!

Overall, American Honda reported a 4.4% increase in sales for July, running ahead of a U.S. market that some fear is beginning to slow down after six years of rapid growth. But that only tells a part of the story, for it was the truck side of the line-up that propelled Honda’s strong showing last month, models like the Ridgeline, CR-V and Pilot up 12.2% year-over-year.

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Buick Reportedly Planning to Kill Off Verano

Move would mark another shift from cars to SUVs.

by on May.10, 2016

Buick will be dropping the Verano as it shifts from passenger cars to light trucks.

Just days after Fiat Chrysler outlined plans to phase out several of its passenger car models and shift production to its SUVs and pickups, reports have surfaced indicating General Motors’ Buick will drop the small Verano sedan model as the brand shifts its own focus to a growing line-up of sport-utility vehicles.

The move would not surprise industry observers who have been observing more and more American motorists walk away from traditional passenger cars in favor of utility vehicles, pickups and other light truck models that, in recent months, have accounted for as much as 60% of new vehicle sales in the U.S.

Tracking Trends!

The shift has forced manufacturers to rethink both manufacturing and product development strategies. And, in some cases, it has led them to cut back or even idle production at some of the plants producing slow-selling sedan and coupe models, such as Fiat Chrysler’s Sterling Heights Assembly Plant and the Orion Assembly Plant that produces the Verano.

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Trucks Rule at Chicago Auto Show – and Across the U.S.

Automakers race to add new products, more capacity.

by on Feb.12, 2016

The Chevrolet Trax is one of the newest utes from GM, and sales are outstripping supply.

Chevrolet faces the sort of challenge most automakers can only dream of. Its various pickup plants are operating at full, three-shift capacity and can’t build any more trucks. If anything, says marketing executive Sandor Piszar, that means the bowtie brand is losing possible sales.

“The toughest part is keeping up with demand,” said Piszar, during a conversation at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show’s media preview. “We’re running flat out at all our plants.”

Picking up on the Trends!

Actually, Chevy isn’t entirely unique. Hyundai is struggling to keep up with demand for utility vehicles like the Tucson, shifting capacity at its plant in Alabama to build more of the mid-range Santa Fe Sport. Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan, with rare exception, every automaker TheDetroitBureau.com spoke with is laying out plans to boost truck capacity and, in many cases, add more truck models.

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