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Next for GM: New Luxury Pickup, Lower Earnings, Flat Share Price

As for April domestic sales, Edmunds.com forecasts GM will gain about 12%, ahead of the overall industry gain of 10.4%. Overall, the firm expects April light-vehicle sales of 1.3 million units, the best April sales total since 2007. "Sales are almost back to pre-recession levels, so as long as automakers keep reporting their best sales in at least five years, we'll continue to be in good shape," said Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell, in a prepared statement.

Edmunds projects Ford sales will gain 16% and Chrysler will gain 11%, with Nissan (NSANY) up 30%, Honda (HMC - Get Report) up 9% and Toyota (TM - Get Report) up 3%. The firm predicts GM's market share will be up 0.2% to 18.2%, with Ford up 0.8% to 15.2% and Toyota down 1% to 14%. Of the top eight manufacturers, only Hyundai is expected to show a sales decline.

Continuing strong industry sales prompted LMC Automotive to raise its 2013 light-vehicle sales forecast to 15.4 million from 15.3 million. "The irrepressible buying behavior of consumers is driving auto sales growth in 2013, as consumer spending remains remarkably stronger than the economy suggests it should be," said LMC analyst Jeff Schuster in a prepared statement.

Long-term, the outlook for GM seems promising due not only to consistently rising auto sales but also to the impending rollouts of a series of new models including the 2014 Silverado High Country, a luxury pickup truck, part of the 2014 Silverado rollout. On Monday, GM launched production of the new truck, which expected to begin arriving at dealers during the current quarter.

"We're on a pace to introduce new models over the next three years at double the rate of the past three years," said GM spokesman James Cain. "That's taken from us having one of the oldest product portfolios in the U.S. to having one of the newest."

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
NSANY $20.97 0.00%
F $15.76 0.00%
GM $36.64 0.00%
HMC $35.18 0.00%
TM $138.43 0.00%

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