GM's Q1 Sales Strong in China, but Likely Down in U.S. for March

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Includes: DDAIF, F, GM, HMC, NSANY, TM
by: Steven Towns

General Motors and its JV partners in China reported their sales in the world's second-largest and fastest growing auto market rose 25% in Q1, solidifying GM's leading market share at 13.9%. Q1 sales totaled 291,588 vehicles and in March alone, exceeded 100,000 monthly sales for just the second time ever. Big-3-USA-JP-chart-04-02-07 Buick -- GM's best-selling brand in China -- posted a 25.3% quarterly sales increase to 82,195 units. Separately, monthly U.S. sales results for March will be released this afternoon. A Bloomberg survey of 10 auto analysts shows GM's sales are expected to fall 3.2%, which among estimates for U.S. big-3 sales tops -5.5% for DaimlerChrysler and -13.8% for Ford. Sales for Japan's big-3 are expected to be positive in the single digits, led by Toyota. Analysts cite reduced rental car sales as the reason behind the monthly decline expected from GM and Ford. March was the peak month in '06 for Ford, GM and industry-wide U.S. auto sales.

Sources: Associated Press, Bloomberg
Commentary: Chrysler Receiving Bids, Worth Up to $9B -- ReportBig 3 Sit Down With President to Discuss Flex-Fuel ProductionGM Vehicle Sales, U.S. Market Share Rise; Japan's 'Big 3' Continue to Roll [Feb.]
Stocks/ETFs to watch: General Motors (NYSE:GM), Ford (NYSE:F), DaimlerChrysler (DCX), Toyota (NYSE:TM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY)

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