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May 2, 2013 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Inside this issue
Truck Surge Revs GM, Ford, Chrysler Sales
GM Reports Profits of $865 Million in 1st Quarter
Mercedes Extends U.S. Luxury Lead Over BMW in April Survey Ranks Shopping Preferences of New-Car and -Truck Buyers
1st Chinese Automaker in U.S. to Open California Plants
VW Donating $10 Million to Restore National Mall
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Top Stories
Truck Surge Revs GM, Ford, Chrysler Sales

U.S. pickup truck sales boomed in April, contributing to double-digit sales gains at Detroit auto makers as improving home construction spurred new-vehicle purchases by contractors and tradesmen. Chrysler Group LLC said Wednesday that sales of its Ram pickups rose 49% in April from a year earlier, while Ford Motor Co. said its F-series truck sales jumped 24%. At General Motors Co., combined sales of its Silverado and GMC Sierra climbed 23%. Overall, industry sales for April rose 8.5% from a year earlier to 1.285 million cars and light trucks, according to researcher Autodata Corp. For the Detroit auto makers, a resurgence in demand for trucks especially among contractors in the home building industry has been long-awaited. Full-size pickups are big moneymakers for the companies, producing margins that can be as much as 10 times that of a sedan, some analysts estimate.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor’s note: NADA Chief Economist Paul Taylor appeared on CNBC Worldwide this morning to review light-vehicle sales and preview the release of GM’s financial numbers. Click here to watch the video.

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GM Reports Profits of $865 Million in 1st Quarter

General Motors reported net income of $865 million in the first quarter, down 14% from a year earlier. The company reported a corresponding 3% revenue decline to $36.9 billion. The automaker posted lower profits in North America and its International Operations unit, which includes China, while South America swung to a loss and the company's European operations improved slightly. GM beat investors' expectations, posting earnings per share of 67 cents, better than the expected 56 cents.
Source: Detroit Free Press

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Mercedes Extends U.S. Luxury Lead Over BMW in April

Mercedes-Benz extended its lead over BMW in the U.S. luxury sales race, with a 5.8 percent gain in April. Sales for the Mercedes brand rose to 23,635 in April, led by gains for the C-class sedan and M-class SUV. The BMW brand posted a 10 percent increase in April to 23,225, the company said in a statement. The April results widened Mercedes's 2013 lead to 4,695 vehicles as the two German automakers compete for the sales crown BMW secured the past two years. BMW won last year with a December surge, based on reported sales.
Source: Bloomberg

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[back to top] Survey Ranks Shopping Preferences of New-Car and -Truck Buyers

New-car and -truck buyers ranked Fuel Economy, Ownership Costs, Brand Perception, Safety and Vehicle Design as the five most important attributes considered when shopping for a vehicle, according to a recent survey by Factors were scored on a scale from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating greater importance. Both new-car and -truck shoppers ranked Fuel Economy as the most important factor. Car buyers placed a greater emphasis on Fuel Economy compared to truck buyers with scores of 89 and 84, respectively. Car buyers gave Vehicle Design a score of 76 making it the second most important factor considered behind Fuel Economy. For SUV and truck buyers, Ownership Cost was the second most important purchase attribute with a score of 83, just one point behind Fuel Economy.

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1st Chinese Automaker in U.S. to Open California Plants

The first Chinese-owned vehicle manufacturer in the United States plans to build electric buses and batteries at plants in the Mojave Desert. Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and officials of BYD Automotive scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce details of the plan for facilities in the high-desert city northeast of Los Angeles. BYD, which opened its North American headquarters in Los Angeles in 2010, says the plant will initially turn out 10 electric buses for the city of Long Beach. It expects the vehicles, with a range of 150 miles between charges, to be delivered next year. In April, the Long Beach Transit Authority awarded BYD a $12.1 million contract for the zero-emission buses, a company statement said. One of the world's largest manufacturers of rechargeable batteries, BYD got into the automobile business 10 years ago. It has been looking to expand into the U.S. market for some time.
Source: The Detroit News

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VW Donating $10 Million to Restore National Mall

Volkswagen AG's U.S. unit said Thursday it will donate $10 million over five years to help restore the National Mall — part of a $700 million planned restoration of the 1,000 acres of green spaces and parks in the nation's capital. "There are few places that can educate and inspire people like the National Mall," said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America. "But America's most visited national park is also a treasure that's in dire need of help if we want to preserve it for future generations. Working with the Trust for the National Mall, we're excited to roll out a program with both national and grassroots initiatives aimed at connecting people from all over to join the cause of preserving and protecting America's Front Yard."
Source: The Detroit News

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"The year is off to a solid start as we increased our global share with strong new products that are attracting customers around the world."

-- GM CEO Dan Akerson, commenting on recent sales figures, Detroit Free Press, May 2

 Video: NADA Executive Analyst Jonathan Banks Predicts Strong Auto Sales in 2013 (

 Automotive Forum 2013: Industry Leaders Convene in NYC (NADA-TV)

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