Ford said it expects to achieve operating margins of about 10% in North America this year, down from 10.4% in 2012, because it expects to sell more smaller cars rather than more profitable trucks.

In a presentation prepared for an investor conference, Ford added that it expects to benefit from growing US car sales, higher market share and improved vehicle prices.

Meanwhile, General Motors said it is is laying the groundwork to achieve 10% profit margins by mid-decade by launching new models and taking better advantage of its global scale.

North American CFO Chuck Stevens said at an investor conference at the New York Motor Show that the company needs an additional US$2.5bn to US$3 bn in earnings against its current revenue base to reach this goal. Margins have averaged 7.4% over the past two years.

GM expects to generate additional revenue boost by turning its luxury Cadillac nameplate into a global brand. At the show it unveiled a longer Cadillac CTS mid-size sedan redesigned to better compete with German rivals.

Over the next three to four years, GM also expects to save about US$1bn a year by developing more models on global platforms. Currently about 60% of its vehicles GM are built on common underpinnings. By 2018, GM hopes to increase this to 95%.