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May Auto Sales Get a Boost From Pick Up Truck Sales

“DETROIT (Reuters) – Strong pickup truck sales, spurred by an improving housing market, boosted May U.S. auto sales after a disappointing April, automakers reported on Monday.

The three major U.S. automakers dominate pickup truck sales, which generally are sold at a higher profit margin than other vehicles.

The surge in pickup truck sales began late last year and has continued to outpace growth for the U.S. auto industry through May.

Pickup truck sales in May rose about 2 percentage points to 11.7 percent of the overall industry, Ford Motor Co said.

“Quite simply, it’s a great time to be in the truck business,” said Kurt McNeil, head of U.S. sales operations for General Motors Co . “The housing recovery, relatively stable gas prices, and the release of pent-up demand” have helped pickup trucks sales.

Total U.S. auto sales were on track to exceed analyst expectations of a 6 percent rise from last year, to about 15.1 million vehicles on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate.

GM said that May U.S. sales will be between 15.4 million and 15.5 million on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate.

However, GM, the No. 1 automaker in U.S. sales, missed analysts’ expectations by nearly 6 percent, showing a 3 percent sales gain for May….”

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