SUV and pickup trucks sales increased in March, thanks to rising home prices and housing construction.
Last month sales of new light-vehicles increased 3.4% to annual sales of 15.27 million, marking the fifth consecutive month when the industry sales surpassed 15 million. GM said its small business increased by almost a third thanks to the stronger housing market, while Ford reported an increase of 16.3% in its F-Series pickup truck sales.
“The housing sector recovery is in full swing,” Ford senior U.S. economist Jenny Lin told reporters and analysts.
Increasing house prices are also helping US consumers be more confident when it comes to purchasing a new vehicle. This year US home builders plan to break ground on more new houses, which will also boost truck sales. GM prepares to introduce the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra big pickups, while Ford will overhaul its F-150 in 2014. Trucks sales were also helped by the various financing options and the pent-up demand.
“You’re not only having better traffic level, you’re also having better success with so many people who got hit on their credit scores during the recession,” said Al Castignetti, U.S. sales chief for the Nissan. “That’s opening up a whole new segment that was kind of locked out of the auto industry the last couple of years.”