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Although the U.S. economy is slowly spluttering back to life, some industries seem to be doing better than others. In the auto sector, sales are up, particularly for Domestic manufacturers and on the truck side too.
For the month of November, Bloomberg predicts overall car and light truck sales for the year at approximately 12.2 million units, nearly rivaling August 2009 when the U.S. Government’s controversial ‘Cash for Clunkers,’ program helped push sales to almost record levels.
Out of the November totals, both Ford and Chrysler have increased their overall sales percentage by around 20 percent, while General Motors has seen an approximately 13 percent increase. And a lot of that has to do with light truck demand. According to Jessica Caldwell, an analyst with Edmumds.com; truck sales rise “as it gets colder, plus we’ve seen higher demand as gas prices have been stable for some time.”
And among the overall increase in truck demand, individual vehicles have scored particularly significant gains. Sales of Ford’s F-Series pickups have climbed by 30 percent through October, while sales of Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV (recently revamped for 2011) rose by 41 percent in the same period. GM’s Chevy Equinox has also seen robust demand for some time.
The increase demand also corresponds with what seems to be a more optimistic outlook from the automakers. For example, Jesse Toprak V-P of industry trends at TrueCar.com, says GM’s increases are likely in part a result of the company’s historic IPO. “If you see the company performing, the stock price holding up, and perhaps GM posting another profit in the fourth quarter, that adds to brownie points with consumers,” Toprak said.
Chrysler, despite delivering a third quarter operating loss this year ($84 million), has raised it’s full-year operating profit forecast to about $700 million. “The mood of customers is exceptional. I have a very positive attitude toward our products. It’s a strong month for November,” said David Kelleher, a Chrysler dealer in Glen Mills, PA.