General Motors U.S. Sales Increase 5% in October

General Motors Company today reported October sales in the United States of 195,764 vehicles, an increase of 5% compared to October 2011. Overall industry growth was 7% for the month, and the industry is running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate or SAAR of more than 14 million retail units. GM’s year-over-year sales to retail customers were up 7%; sales to fleet customers were down 2%.

All brands – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC – showed increases for the month. The volume brand at GM, Chevrolet at 70%, of GM’s total sales, recorded a 3% increase year-over-year at 135,000 cars and light trucks. The sales leader remains the Silverado pickup truck at 39,000 units. GMC Sierra adds another 15,000 pickups, and GMC accounts for 17% of GM’s sales as the second largest brand. Buick and Cadillac are mere shadows of their former selves at 6% and 7%, respectively, of a reorganized GM’s total U.S. volume.

The compact Chevrolet Cruze at 19,000 cars is now the second best selling nameplate in the GM lineup. All told, sales of GM passenger cars increased 15% in October compared with a year ago. Crossovers were up 3% and sales of full-size pickup trucks were up 8%.

“Year over year, the light vehicle selling rate has increased for eight consecutive quarters without a tailwind from the residential housing sector, but that is starting to change,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations.

GM did well with its new cars, at a time when the market is shifting away from its traditional and still ongoing strength – trucks and SUVs – because of rising fuel prices. The new subcompact Chevrolet Spark (2,000), and compact Buick Verano (3,500) and Cadillac ATS (1,300) showed modest results but are positioned well in a shifting marketplace. GM passenger car sales increased 15%, ahead of the overall market gain of 13%. Chevrolet dealers also delivered a record 2,961Volt hybrid models.

GM truck sales were down 2%, reflecting lower sales of the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado mid-size pickups, which have been discontinued, and larger SUVs.

In anticipation of increasing demand, GM has upped its year-end inventory target from the 650,000-unit range to 660,000 to 670,000 units.  This change reflects higher planned stocks of new passenger cars.

GM Oct. ‘12 Oct. ‘11 Oct. Retail CYTD versus ‘11 CYTD Retail
Chevy

135,305

2.7%

98,248

1,555,688

4.7%

1,058,018

GMC

33,570

6.2%

29,642

340,128

4.2%

286,441

Buick

13,384

14.5%

12,605

150,646

(0.7)%

135,095

Cadillac

13,505

14.5%

12,510

117,017

(6.4)%

110,303

Total

195,764

4.7%

153,005

2,163,479

3.6%

1,589,857

About Kenneth Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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