Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/08/2014 -- The booming light truck segment carried total light vehicle sales to another strong month in November 2013 with sales up 6.5% year-on-year (y-o-y). This has prompted a slight upward adjustment to our full-year estimate for total light vehicle sales, which we now expect to end 2013 up 4.7%. Furthermore, based on an improving GDP outlook for 2014 and 2015, coupled with a better than expected year for sales in 2013, we have also revised our forecasts upwards for the next two years. We expect the light truck segment to continue its outperformance of the passenger car segment going forward. The downside risk, however, will be the potential for a crash in the housing market, which is one of the biggest drivers of the segment.
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New model launches will also contribute to growth in the year ahead. Chrysler has already proven the benefits on new launches as the carmaker claimed its new Jeep Cherokee was a key part of its 13.0% y-o-y growth in November, the highest among Detroit's Big Three. Indeed, launches for 2014 include the brand new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in the smaller compact to mid-sized segment, which has been drastically reduced in terms of the number of models on offer in recent years. This could spark a resurgence at the smaller end of the truck market.
At the heavier end, the medium and heavy truck market is still struggling. Sales of Class 4-8 trucks fell 9.2% for the first 10 months of 2013, mostly on the back of declines posted by the segment's major manufacturers. With volumes in each segment being relatively small with just a few key players, the performances of each brand have a bigger impact on each segment and the overall big truck market.
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