GM is motoring as profit jumps 34 pct on US truck, SUV sales
People are buying more SUVs and trucks and paying General Motors handsomely for them, pushing the company’s first-quarter net income up 34 percent to a record $2.6 billion.
U.S. sales of large truck-based SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe rose nearly 15 percent for the quarter to almost 54,000. Pickup truck and van sales were up 1 percent to 238,000, and sales of smaller SUVs rose 16 percent to nearly 219,000, according to GM.
Analysts say GM makes $10,000 or more on each big SUV and pickup as people load them out with options.
The average Tahoe, for instance, sold for more than $58,000 in the past quarter, up slightly from a year ago, according to Kelley Blue Book. Top-line versions with leather seating, sunroof and advanced safety electronics, sell for more than $65,000. That helped drive up GM’s average vehicle sale price to over $34,000, beating the industry average by $3,000, the company said.
“All of our facilities, full-size SUVs and the three truck plants, are running full-on, three shifts, to meet demand,” Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens said.