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GM’s U.S. new vehicle sales fall 2.7 percent in fourth quarter

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DETROIT — General Motors on Thursday reported that U.S. new vehicle sales fell 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter, with declines across most of its brands as American auto sales appear set to weaken in 2019.

Sales were down at the automaker’s Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick brands.

GM posted significant declines for passenger car models as American consumers continued to abandon those models in favor of larger, more comfortable vehicles. But the No. 1 U.S. automaker reported drops for some of those more popular larger vehicles, as well.

Sales fell for the Chevrolet Suburban, the Cadillac Escalade and the GMC Yukon, all popular large SUVs that produce high margins.

GM reported a small decline for its Silverado pickup truck in the fourth quarter as it transitioned to a new, revamped model.

“We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019,” Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president for sales operations said in a statement. “We feel confident heading into 2019 because we have more major truck and crossover launches coming during the year, and the U.S. economy is strong.”

After a long bull run, U.S. new vehicle sales are expected to drop in 2019.

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