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Pickup Performance Helps Fuel March Sales Gain

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April 3, 2014 by   Leave a Comment

The Detroit Three reported sales gains for March, with pickups contributing to the growth, Bloomberg News reported.

Ford Motor Co. said sales of its F-series pickups increased 5.1% to 70,940, helping to boost the company’s overall vehicle total to 243,417 units, an increase of 3.3% over year-ago levels. The overall gain outpaced the consensus estimate of 1.1% growth from analysts polled by Bloomberg.

“March sales turned noticeably higher mid-month and finished strong,” John Felice, Ford’s U.S. sales chief, said in a statement.

Ford is forecasting an annual industry sale rate of about 16.5 million units, including about 200,000 medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Chrysler, meanwhile, is projecting a pace of 16.2 million vehicles, including medium- and heavy-duty trucks. The company’s March truck sales totaled 42,532 units, an increase of 26% compared with 2013 levels.

Overall, Chrysler deliveries rose 13% to 193,915 units. The automaker beat the consensus estimate analyst that projected sales would increase 10%, Bloomberg said.

“We are entering the spring selling season on a high note,” said Reid Bigland, the company’s U.S. sales chief.

In March, Chrysler offered an average incentive of $5,598 per truck on the Ram 1500, 35% more than the Ford F-150 and 46% more than the Chevrolet Silverado, according to data dealers provide to researcher J.D. Power and Associates and obtained by Bloomberg News. GM is holding off on incentives to preserve profit margins on its redesigned pickups.

General Motors Co. reported that sales of the Silverado increased 6.8% to 42,247, and GMC Sierra sales rose 22% to 16,863, the company said. Commercial fleet sales rose 5%, GM said, and total fleet sales decreased 5% due to a planned reduction in rental deliveries.

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