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article imageRecovery in swing: US auto sales driven by pickup trucks in May

By Michael Krebs     Jun 4, 2013 in Technology
Impressive May sales gains seen from all three US automakers were driven in large part by demand in pickup trucks, indicating a greater economic recovery - particularly in construction.
U.S. automakers reported solid year-over-year sales increases in May across all retail segments, and all three manufacturers experienced gains in pickup truck sales, NBC News reported on Monday. The consistency in the pickup truck numbers across all three automakers is indicative of a broader economic recovery and an uptick in construction.
Automobile sales are not necessarily an economic bellwether, as pent-up demand is not akin to consumer confidence. However, the sales gains in pickup trucks do offer insights on the nature of the economic recovery.
Ford reported an overall year-on-year sales increase of 14 percent in May, with trucks up 18 percent.
“F-Series sales – fueled by construction growth and pent-up demand – reached their highest level in more than six years,” Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, told NBC News.
In fact, the Ford F-Series pickup truck, which has been the best-selling vehicle in North America since the 1970s, experienced a 31 percent gain in May, according to Reuters.
Chrysler reported its best May sales since 2007, with its Ram pickup truck up 22 percent from the prior year. Overall, the Chrysler Group delivered its 38th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, indicating a very bullish revival.
While GM weathered some declines in its Impala and Malibu passenger vehicles, its overall year-to-year May sales showed a 3 percent increase, and its most popular vehicle, the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck, drove an impressive 25 percent increase from May 2012.
“These are all powerful signs that the gradual recovery in the economy is becoming more broad-based,” Kurt McNeil, vice president of GM's U.S. sales operations told NBC News.
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