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Global automotive sales for 2015 could hit 88.6 million vehicles, a 2.4 percent increase from 2014 that would continue a five-year growth streak, IHS Automotive said. China and the U.S. will lead the increase, with regions in Europe and South America in flux. “The global market continues to move to new highs, but it’s very spotty,” George Magliano, senior principal economist at IHS Automotive, said in an interview. Although the U.S. and Chinese markets are improving, “most of the rest of the world is struggling,” Magliano said. “Western Europe right now is only starting to come around very slowly.” North America’s overall economic growth and improving credit conditions will continue to power global light-vehicle demand through this year, IHS said.
Source: Automotive News
Shares in North American car giant General Motors have risen after fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts’ expectations.
Shares in the firm rose more than 3% to about $35 per share after GM announced quarterly profits of $1.1bn (£720m).
GM said it intends to increase its dividend in the second quarter by 20%, to 36 cents, if its board approves.
Strong sales of sports utility vehicles and trucks helped boost fourth-quarter earnings.
“A strong fourth quarter helped us deliver very good core operating results in 2014, despite significant challenges we and the industry faced,” said GM chief executive Mary Barra.
Chief financial officer Chuck Stevens said profitability would improve in all geographic markets in 2015 and that the company was “very much on the path to 10% margins [in North America] in 2016”.
Mr Stevens said the company was still predicting a pre-tax profit in Europe in 2016.