Lowering gas prices may cause GM full-size truck production to rise 6 percent over previous sales forecasts, according to the latest reports. It may also reduce the threat from the new 2015 Ford F-150.
The prediction comes from IHS Automotive’s recent forecast released on Monday. In the forecast, the automotive analysis firm predicts GM will produce 836,572 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks. This bests a previous estimate of 787,266 trucks.
While the forecast calls for an increase in truck production, it still calls for GM to reduce overall production compared to 2014 production levels. This expectated decrease of 4 percent is due to the natural decline following a new product release.
Along with the GM forecast, IHS Automotive gave Ford pickups a slight boost of less than 2 percent to 938,615 from an earlier forecast. It also called for Ram pickup production to stay the same at 577,380.
Why the change in GM production figures? Stable gasoline prices will help curb demand for Ford’s new truck which will help GM according to Mike Jackson, IHS’ director of North American vehicle production forecasting.
“The expectation was that under a high fuel price environment, F-150 has a stronger story and stronger competitive advantage,” Jackson said in an interview. “With the oil price environment turning, we see some relief for GM from that increased competitive pressure.”
Overall, the increase in forecasting for GM represents the firm’s largest increase for any of the eight “key platforms” they assign forecasts.