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What's behind best April for Detroit's Big 3 since 2007?

Detroit's Big 3 posted robust gains, led by Ford's popular F-Series pickup brand, GM's Silverado and Sierra cargo trucks, and Chrysler's Ram pickups. Moreover, with incentives down, profits are up.

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A Dodge Ram pickup truck (r.) and a Chevrolet van (l.) are seen in Gaithersburg, Md., Wednesday. Chrysler Group's US auto sales rose 11 percent in April, led by strong demand for its Ram pickup trucks, the company said on Wednesday.

Gary Cameron/Reuters

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Full-size pickup trucks drove the Detroit 3 to their best April vehicle-sales numbers since 2007.

General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler all posted double-digit sales increases compared with the same month last year. Ford posted the greatest sales gain, 18 percent, largely crediting the sales of its popular F-Series pickup brand, which increased 24 percent in April, selling more than 59,000 units.

The F-Series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the US for 31 years.

GM and Chrysler posted sales increases of about 11 percent each. GM reported a 28 percent gain of its Silverado brand, while its Sierra truck brand jumped 12.8 percent. Sales of Chrysler’s Ram pickup truck increased 49 percent from last April, helping make it the best April for the company since 2007. The

Trucks are typically sold at higher price points than cars; profits this season are also coming from an overall decline in incentives, which means that companies are turning a higher profit. Total industry incentives dropped 3 percent in April from the previous month; Ford and GM spent less on incentives, 7 and 4 percent respectively, while Chrysler incentive spending increased 3 percent.

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