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Automakers Hit the Gas on Marketing Spending

March 31, 2013

Alan Batey, General Motors' VP-U.S. sales, had a big smile on his face at the New York International Auto Show last week.

GM is coming off a 7% sales gain in February, beating the industry's 4% growth, and it's got 13 new models on the way just from Chevrolet. As a result, the nation's largest automaker will jack up ad spending in 2013 to capitalize on what Mr. Batey believes to be a pent-up hunger by consumers for new cars and trucks they couldn't or wouldn't buy during the economic recession.

"The average [car or truck] is now over 10 years old. So there a lot of vehicles coming to the end of their useful lives," Mr. Batey said. "We're seeing a really good car environment: good resale values; good access to credit; and very low rates. It's a good time to buy a car and a good time to buy a truck."

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