Analysts expect the vehicle market in the United States to maintain its strong sales pace for six months in a row, as stronger US housing market and lower fuel prices boosted sales of full-size pickup trucks and compact sport-utility vehicles in April 2013. Gas prices have been declining since February, with the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in April lower by 8 percent from the same month in 2012.
The housing sector is emerging as a bright spot in the US economy. TrueCar.com analyst Jesse Toprak remarked that relatively lower gas prices combined with improving demand for trucks by small businesses led to a strong showing for small and large pickups in April 2013. He expects the trend to continue for the rest of 2013.
According to economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, the vehicle industry in the US will have an annual selling rate of around 15.25 million vehicles in April 2013, marking the sixth month that the sales rate has held above 15 million.
Carmakers are due to report their US auto sales for April on May 1. According to Kelley Blue Book, large pickup truck sales in April 2013 surged 26 percent compared to the same month in 2012, the largest increase of any major vehicle segment and more than double the industry's total vehicle sales increase during the month.
Sales of compact crossovers like the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V jumped 23 percent in April. Trucks and crossovers combined account for almost a quarter of the U.S. auto market in April, KBB data show. Higher truck sales also allowed General Motors Co. to further increase its US market share from 17 percent in March to 18 percent in April.