GM SUV Sales Exceed Plan han Planned pectation

General Motors Corp. says it underestimated demand for high-end versions of its new fullsize SUVs, notably those equipped with option packages that include navigation systems and rearview cameras. A GM spokeswoman says pent-up demand for higher-trim models of the '07 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade is making for much higher volume than anticipated. She says GM finds many SUV customers

General Motors Corp. says it underestimated demand for high-end versions of its new fullsize SUVs, notably those equipped with option packages that include navigation systems and rearview cameras.

A GM spokeswoman says pent-up demand for higher-trim models of the '07 Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade is making for “much higher volume” than anticipated.

She says GM finds many SUV customers are buying with specific purposes in mind, such as towing a boat.

GM plans to increase production of most of its SUVs during the April-December period, according to Ward's North American forecast.

Leading the pack could be the new Yukon, which is projected to increase production 76.6% from April through December, compared with 2005, while the longer-wheelbase Yukon XL will slow output by about 34.3% year-to-year, according to Ward's.

Output of the stretched Escalade ESV and EXT pickup could rise 51.0% and 49.3%, respectively, compared with the regular Escalade, which nevertheless is predicted to grow 40.4%.

The Tahoe is forecast to jump 29.1%, while the Chevy Suburban is to ramp output 11.8% in the remaining months of the year.

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