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GM Enjoying Strong October Sales

Full-size pickups leading maker to another strong month.

by on Oct.15, 2014

In October, strong sales of the Chevrolet Silverado are pushing GM to a repeat of last month's results.

With sales of truck and utility vehicles going strong, early returns indicate October will be another good month for General Motors, executives said this week.

Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet director of Truck Marketing, said before a presentation on GM’s truck sales that overall sales of new vehicles have remained strong during the first part of October. So far this month, sales have basically continued on the same path as they were on during September, according to the reports from dealers, he said.

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Chevrolet sold more than 50,000 Silverado trucks in September, resulting in a share gain of 6.5 percentage points in the large pickup truck market and making it the current-generation Silverado’s best sales month since its launch. (more…)

GM Boosts Production as Sales Surge for Midsize Colorado, Canyon Pickups

Maker will add 3rd shift, 750 jobs at Missouri plant.

by on Sep.16, 2014

Chevrolet will offer both a fuel-efficient I-4 engine and a more powerful V-6, with a diesel coming a year later.

With sales exceeding initially cautious expectations, General Motors plans to sharply boost production of its new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickups.

GM will add a third shift at the plant in Wentzville, Missouri that produces the two midsize trucks. That move will create another 750 jobs at the factory, which also produces the Chevy Express and GMC Savanna full-size vans. GM had previously invested $513 million at the Wentzville plant to handle the addition of the new pickups, creating 1,315 jobs in the process.

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The maker has taken an unusually large number of early orders for the Colorado and Canyon models, it says, about 30,000 so far. There had been plenty of concern that GM might miss the mark with the two trucks considering the decline in the midsize segment over the last two decades.

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Hot August Sales Drive Record New Car Pricing

Industry sales tracking to be best in six years.

by on Sep.04, 2013

Pickups contributed significantly to a red-hot August sales result.

U.S. new car sales appear to have reached a six-year high as buyers raced back to showrooms in hot August – but the news wasn’t all good from a consumer standpoint. While car sales are adding momentum to an economy still looking for traction, buyers may have wound up paying record prices for new vehicles last month, according to a preliminary analysis.

Sales of new cars, trucks and crossovers appear to have run at a 16 million annualized pace, according to industry analysts, with General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and Nissan among the many brands to show double-digit gains. Hyundai, set another sales record despite the impact of capacity problems worsened by a labor dispute in South Korea. Volkswagen was one of the rare losers, sales slipping 1.8% for the month.

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“August capped a great summer for new vehicle sales,” says Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, who suggested that, “The auto industry continues to be a bright spot in the economic recovery.” (more…)

August Car Sales on Track to be Best Since 2006

Demand for trucks continues to surge.

by on Aug.23, 2013

Automakers hope to wrap up the month with strong Memorial Day holiday sales.

There may be all sorts of worrying signs about the economy but you couldn’t tell that by visiting U.S. new car showrooms.  Sales in August continued to heat up thanks to strong demand for trucks and crossover vehicles – and the ample availability of financing for even riskier buyers.

New-vehicle sales are expected to increase anywhere from 12 to 14% from August 2012 when August wraps up, according to analysts from Kelley Blue Book, J.D. Power & Associates and LMC Automotive. The result is forecast to be the highest monthly sales volume since 2006 as the seasonally adjusted annualized rate is expected to reach 16 million units.

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“The industry as a whole continues to experience a robust improvement in demand, and our forecast for August is looking to be the best month for retail sales that we’ve seen in the past seven years,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of the global automotive practice at J.D. Power.

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Truck Sales Boom Driving Down US Fuel Economy

But strong small car sales minimize the decline.

by on Jul.09, 2013

Low-mileage trucks like the Ford Raptor have regained momentum as the housing market and overall economy revive.

If you’re focused on the revival of the U.S. car market and the profitability of automotive manufacturers, then the recent surge in sales of full-size pickups is great news.  If your focus is fuel economy, well, the headlines might come as a disappointment.

That’s because the upturn in the truck market is driving down the fuel economy of the typical vehicle sold in the U.S., according to the latest report from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, or UMTRI.

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The gap isn’t much, a decline of a tenth of a mile per gallon in June — to 24.7 mpg — but it is a rare reversal of the upward trend that had seen fuel economy so far increase 1.1 mpg during the 2013 model-year.

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June Car Sales Exceed Expectations

Sales strong for small cars as well as pickups.

by on Jul.02, 2013

Resurgent demand for pickups helped boost June sales.

With brisk sales of pickup pick-up trucks leading the way, Detroit’s Big Three makers reported their strongest sales since the beginning of the industry’s slump, while Hyundai came in with an all-time record despite pushing the limits of its production capacity.

But while most of the other major makers set to report today are expected to show stronger-than-expected results for June, not everyone had a good month. After posting its best numbers in decades, Volkswagen of America sales continued to cool in June.

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June’s strong performance defies some skeptics worried about a slowing of the economy, especially in the wake of the month’s poor stock market performance.  But Reid Bigland, Chrysler Group LLC’s U.S. sales chief said, “I think the fundamentals for continued growth in the new vehicle sales industry remain intact.”

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Gas Prices Fall to Barely $3 Gal. in Some Markets

Unexpected spring decline could stick for some months.

by on Apr.08, 2013

You're getting a break at the pump, this week.

If your wallet is still hurting from the painfully high fuel prices much of the country experienced over the winter there’s some good news next time you head to the pump.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas has dipped to just $3.58, a three-cent dip since late last week, 15 cents from a month ago, and 36 cents off of what the typical American motorist was spending this time in 2012. That’s a sharp turnaround from February when some states saw gas surge to near or all-time records, particularly along the West Coast.

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Buyers are still paying an average $4.359 in Hawaii and $4.027 in Washington, D.C., but California is back under the $4.00 mark, at $3.998, according to GasBuddy.com, a well-respected fuel price tracking service. And it’s down to $3.286 in Montana – where motorists are paying just $3.261 in Billings. Some reports indicate that the price has dropped below the $3.00 mark in a few Rocky Mountain communities near to major refineries.

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F-Series Again Tops Chart as Truck Sales Rebound

Does trend signal economic upturn?

by on Jan.05, 2012

The majority of Ford F-150s are now being ordered with 6-cylinder engines.

Fuel prices may be nudging back up again but Americans are once again racing to plunk their money down on pickups, vans and SUVs again, light trucks collectively accounting for 54.8% of the U.S. market last month – with the Ford F-Series wrapping up 2011 as the best-selling vehicle in the country for the 30th year in a row.

While Americans might have been racing to buy small cars and hybrids early in the year, demand clearly slipped as 2011 came to a close, Honda selling just 690 of its Insight hybrids last month, or less than one per dealer.

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Pickups, it turned out, dominated the sales charts, the Chevrolet Silverado slipping into the number two sales slot behind Ford’s F-150, and a range of other trucks – from the newly redesigned Ford Explorer to Chrysler’s relaunched Jeep Grand Cherokee – reporting December gains well into the double-digits.

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