GM Pickup Sales Get Big Lift from Busier New-Housing Market

OGM Pickup Sales Get Big Lift from Busier New-Housing Market verall sales of new vehicles rose slightly in February, partly on the strength of pickup truck sales tied to demand from housing construction.
Sales of General Motors’ full-size pickups were up 28 percent to 58,039 units year-over-year, another measure of the rebound in housing.
“The housing sector has now joined auto sales in propelling the U.S. economy forward,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “More importantly, the recovery in new home construction is reinforcing the underlying improvement in auto buying conditions, especially for pickups.
Pickup sales lifted GM to 224,314 vehicles sold in the United States in February, up 7 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales and fleet sales were both up 7 percent. The fleet mix was 25 percent of total sales, equal to a year ago.
All automakers sold 1.19 million vehicles during the month, a 3.7 percent increase over the period a year earlier, according to the research firm Autodata.
The seasonally-adjusted annual sales rate totaled about 15.4 million vehicles. The rate is a positive sign for the industry, as automakers increase production to meet demand for their new products.
The February results were a bit lower than anticipated by analysts. The lower-than-projected results were partly blamed on rising gas prices.
Recent housing market updates support GM’s reasoning behind the surge in pickup sales. Permits issued for single-family homes rose 1.9 percent to an annualized rate of 584,000 units in January, the strongest pace since mid-2008.
Additionally, sales of new single-family homes soared nearly 16 percent in January to their highest level in 4½ years.

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