Pickups give automakers March boost

Apr 03, 2013 | 03:24 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  auto sales, pickup trucks, General Motors, Kurt McNeil, Ford Motor, Erich Merkle, Ken Czubay, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — The top-selling automakers in the United States sold more than 1.25 million vehicles in March, 3.2 percent higher than in March last year, prompting several manufacturers to call it their best March in years.

Year-to-date sales by the top automakers totaled nearly 3.17 million vehicles, a 6.4-percent improvement from the same period a year earlier thanks to a surge in pickup sales.

"This is our best result for any March in five years," Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations for Detroit-based General Motors Co., said during GM’s monthly sales call. "We are seeing good growth in the pickup truck segment. As a percent of industry sales, it’s (up) 1.2 points for the quarter vs. a year ago. Our full-size pickup truck (sales rose) 21 percent. We see truck sales fueled primarily by growth in housing."....

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