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U.S. truck, SUV sales stay strong in February, but at a price

´╗┐February U.S. auto sales, an indicator of consumer spending, fell slightly even as automakers stepped up discounting to sustain sales, major manufacturers reported on Wednesday. Demand for cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks in February was expected to dip 1 percent from a year ago, and reach a still robust annualized pace of 17.5 million vehicles, down from 17.7 million a year earlier. Shares in the Detroit automakers, General Motors Co (GM. N), Ford Motor Co (F. N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU. N) (FCHA. MI) all rose as the broader market soared more than 1 percent [. N]. However, analysts pointed to caution flags in the latest results, including discounts that hit 10 percent of the average selling price for February, according to three companies that track vehicle pricing."With the industry at 10 percent you are in a push market," said Mark Wakefield, head of the North American automotive practice for consultancy AlixPartners. "This is top cycle stuff." In a push market, manufacturers try to unload vehicles, rather than respond to the pull of consumer demand. The challenge now for automakers is to avoid over-producing vehicles or launching a price war that could undermine profits, especially as rising interest rates make it more expensive to subsidize loans and leases, Wakefield said.

"It's that fine balance," he said. "How much can I push the boundary without prompting a reaction that pulls all of us down?"The tension surfaced in another round of sniping on Wednesday between GM and Ford over which one was more dependent on discounts to prop up pickup truck sales. On the plus side for automakers, U.S. consumers continued buying more SUVs and pickups, which generate higher profits.

Mark LaNeve, Ford's U.S. sales chief, said the industry's split for the month would be 65 percent trucks and SUVs and 35 percent cars. In 2016, that split was 59.5 percent in favor of trucks and SUVs, according to Autodata Corp. February sales were mixed for the major automakers. GM beat most analysts' expectations with a 4.2 percent gain in new vehicle sales. Ford sales declined by 4 percent, with its F-Series pickup trucks up 9 percent, SUVs rising 6 percent but cars sliding 24 percent from a year ago, the automaker said.

Toyota Motor Corp (7203. T), No. 3 in U.S. sales volume, suffered a 7.2 percent drop as sales of the company's best-selling model, the Camry sedan, dropped 15 percent. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCHA. MI) (FCAU. N) sales fell 10 percent, as its largest volume Jeep SUV brand dropped 15 percent. Nissan Motor Co (7201. T) beat expectations on a 3.5 percent gain, led by a 54 percent surge for its Rogue small SUV. Honda Motor Co (7267. T)(HMC. N) sales rose 2.6 percent, helped by its trucks and SUVs, gaining 12 percent from a year earlier.

Your money are women more generous than men

´╗┐(The author is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)By Mitch LipkaDec 1 When it comes to giving to charity, women are in the driver's seat. A recent survey conducted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found that women are more generous than men when it comes to charitable giving, especially with respect to decisions about volunteer activities and smaller financial donations. Large financial donations are often made jointly. Reuters asked Lorna Sabbia, managing director and head of retirement and personal wealth solutions at Merrill Lynch, for insights into giving and issues surrounding philanthropy among families and women. Q: How much are women really driving giving decisions compared with men?A: Many men and women are both highly altruistic. However, our research shows that more women than men contribute financially and volunteer their time to causes. The difference may be explainable by their motivations. Women are more likely than men to say helping people in need brings them greater happiness than spending money on themselves, and women are more likely to define success by generosity versus wealth.

Q: How much do issues within a family affect giving, such as children concerned about parents giving away their inheritance?A: The best way for children not to feel slighted is by involving them in the giving process. Not only are you making them personally invested, but also teaching them important life lessons about generosity. You can involve children and grandchildren in a number of ways, such as a starting a volunteering tradition - the holidays can be a great time to do so - providing a "giving allowance" that is donated to a nonprofit of their choice, or asking them what causes they are passionate about and finding a way to incorporate it into the family's philanthropic planning.

Q: What sorts of causes, or types of causes, do women tend to favor?A: We don't see many differences between the type of causes men and women give to, which is not surprising. It isn't about gender - we have found, it's about the individual and their life experiences. For instance, someone whose family member has been affected by cancer might give to cancer research. However, we did see generational differences. For a long time religious organizations have been the largest recipient of charitable dollars, but millennials are giving to educational and art/culture causes at higher rates - signally a potential shift in the future.

Q: At what age do donors tend to become more active and why?A: Retirement is the best time in life to give back, according to our recent study. Retirement often presents the perfect recipe for giving - more time, more savings and more skills. As people stop working full-time and "empty nest," they gain unprecedented amounts of free time. Combine that time with a lifetime of experience, skills and talents, retirees present us with the most available and skilled volunteer workforce. Retirees also have accumulated more net worth and therefore give the highest average amounts to charities. To be specific, retirees account for 31 percent of the adult U.S. population, but contribute 42 percent of money to charity and 45 percent of total volunteer hours. Q: How significant for non-profits is the potential of donors donating their time in addition to their money, or instead of it?A: For those without the means to financially give, volunteering can be a great way to experience the benefits of giving back without writing a check. This is particularly true among retirees, who might be on a fixed income, but have free time and a lifetime of skills to offer. Nonprofits that recognize this opportunity and can tailor their programs to involve retiree volunteers will benefit the most. ; var median = (relatedItemsTotal / 2); var $relatedContentGroupOne = $(' ul'); var $relatedContentGroupTwo = $(' ul'); $.each($relatedItems, function(k,v) { if (k + 1 = median) { $relatedContentGroupOne.append($relatedItems[k]); } else { $relatedContentGroupTwo.append($relatedItems[k]); } }); } else { $('.third-article-divide').append($('div class="related-content group-one"h3 class="related-content-title"Also In Market News/h3ul/ul/div')); $('.related-content ul').append($relatedItems); } },500); } Next In Market News BRIEF-HPS Investment Partners LLC says closing of its first European asset value fund * Hps investment partners llc - closing of its first european asset value fund with aggregate capital commitments of eur 800 million Source text for Eikon: BRIEF-Kia Motors America says total December U. S sales of 54,353 units versus 54,241 units * Kia Motors America - total December U. S sales of 54,353 units versus 54,241 units Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: BRIEF-BMW of North America LLC says in total, BMW Group in U.S. (BMW and Mini combined) December sales of 37,493 vehicles, down 5.4 pct * BMW of North America LLC says in total, BMW group in U.S. (BMW and Mini combined) reported december sales of 37,493 vehicles, a decrease of 5.4 percent Source - this site Further company coverage: MORE FROM REUTERS window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'organic-thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-recirc', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails - Organic', target_type: 'mix' }); Sponsored Content @media(max-this site) { #mod-bizdev-dianomi{ height: 320px; } } From Around the Web Promoted by Taboola window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push( { mode: 'thumbnails-3X2', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' } ); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push

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