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GM: New car, truck sales in May increased 17%

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GM: New car, truck sales in May increased 17%

Equinox, LaCrosse drive hike, automaker says



General Motors today announced its total U.S. sales increased by 16.6% in May, to 223,822, compared to a year ago, driven in large part by demand for the company’s new vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick LaCrosse.

For the year through May, the Detroit automaker has now sold 885,141 cars and trucks, a 13.8% increase compared to last year, according to the company’s numbers.

GM, which is essentially selling only four brands in the U.S., has sold a total of 107,356 more cars and trucks so far this year through May compared to the same period last year when the company was selling eight brands and the U.S. economy was in the dumps.

GM is in the final parts of winding down Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer and has sold off Saab.

Vehicles from those brands made up a combined 1,517 sales in May, down more than 90% from last May. Those four brands are down about 100,000 sales so far this year compared to last year and have been made up with sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles.

Highlights for May include:

• Chevy brand sales are up 31.2%.

• Buick sales were up 37.4%, boosted by a 222% sales increase of the LaCrosse sedan.

• Cadillac sales were up 53.6%, helped in large part by the new SRX crossover.

• GMC was up 26.1%.

“Each of our brands has new products that are being received well by customers. In fact, these new vehicles now account for about one in every four retail sales in the U.S.,” Steve Carlisle, vice president of U.S. sales operations, said in a statement. “With each brand launching new vehicles in the next few months, we are optimistic about the remainder of the year.”



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GM sales up 17% on demand for new models, fleet sales

DETROIT (AP) — Strong demand for new models and higher fleet sales lifted General Motors sales 17% in May.

The improvement, over a dismal May of last year as GM was headed into bankruptcy protection, was a sign that automakers are benefiting from a weak but improving economy. Some consumers even shrugged off an 8% decline in the stock market to buy more cars and trucks.

GM was the first automaker to report U.S. sales Wednesday, and the whole industry is expected to show a double-digit increase over last May, when Chrysler was in bankruptcy protection and GM was nearing it.

GM sales from its four remaining brands —Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac— rose 32% for the month on strong new product sales and a big government fleet contract. GM is phasing out or selling Saab, Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer.

Edmunds.com said incentives fell slightly last month across the industry compared with April numbers, but GM boosted them 13%.

The volatile stock market kept some jittery car and truck shoppers at home, said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends and analysis at TrueCar.com.

TrueCar estimates that U.S. sales will come in at annual rate of 11 million vehicles in May. But Toprak says it might have hit 12 million had the financial markets been steadier. The Dow Jones industrials lost almost 900 points, or about 8%, in May.



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General Motors sales up 16.6%, 32% in core brands

Robert Snell / The Detroit News

General Motors Co. sales last month rose 16.6 percent compared to a year ago thanks to new vehicles and strong fleet sales.

Excluding castoff brands Pontiac, Hummer and Saturn, sales of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles rose almost 32 percent compared to May 2009. Last month, GM sold 223,822 vehicles and posted the fifth consecutive month of double-digit sales gains for the four core brands.

GM was the first of the major automakers to announce May sales results today. Industry watchers expect a string of improvements over last year, though analysts predict a moderation in consumer demand.

The comparison with May 2009 is expected to show a big recovery from dire results posted amid uncertainty about the financial health of Chrysler LLC and GM.

Analysts believe the selling pace in May ranged from 11 million vehicles, on an annualized basis, to as much as 11.4 million. The lower end of the range would reflect a drop in demand from 11.3 million vehicles in April and 11.8 million in March.

Automotive research site Edmunds.com estimates double-digit gains for major automakers except for Toyota Motor Corp., which could show a year-over-year sales increase of 7.5 percent.

For GM, year-to-date combined sales of its newest products, including the Chevrolet Equinox and Camaro, Buick LaCrosse and Regal, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and CTS wagon have climbed 323 percent.

Cadillac sales last month were up 54 percent followed by Buick (37 percent), Chevrolet (31 percent) and GMC (26 percent).

"Each of our brands has new products that are being received well by customers," said Steve Carlisle, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations.

"In fact, these new vehicles now account for about one in every four retail sales in the U.S. With each brand launching new vehicles in the next few months, we are optimistic about the remainder of the year."

Come back to www.detnews.com for updates and automaker reactions throughout the day.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100602/AUTO01/6020390/1148/auto01/General-Motors-sales-up-16.6---32--in-core-brands#ixzz0piBldexo

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