General Motors is watching eagerly for a housing rebound because sales of its most profitable product-pickup trucks-are closely tied to home construction.

GM predicts that housing starts will rise to an annual rate of 650,000 by the end of 2010, up from 450,000 recently. That's enough to recharge truck sales, which were down 32.5 percent this year, according to Autodata.

Other observers aren't so confident. Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst at consumer Web site, says, It's one of those vehicles that's not a status symbol in most areas of the country, she says. You can kick it around, and it doesn't have to be shiny and brand new to get the job done.

Source: USA Today, Sharon Silke Carty (11/23/2009)