The U.S. auto market continued to expanded -- just barely -- in July, exceeding both last July's sales and those of the previous month. Small cars had a harder time showing an improvement, because year-ago sales volumes were inflated by the federal government's cash-for-clunkers program. Still, after the fear of a slowdown in June, July seemed to suggest that things are getting back on track, just not as quickly as anyone would like. -Joe Lorio
JULY 2010 SALES: PERCENT INCREASE/DECREASE VERSUS 2009
GENERAL MOTORS +26% (Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC only)
All four remaining GM divisions did well in July, with Cadillac and Buick both more than doubling sales. True, last July was pretty grim for both of those divisions. Chevrolet wasn't quite so bad off last summer, as it was better able to take advantage of the cash-for-clunkers program, but this was still an encouraging result for GM.
The LaCrosse continues to pour it on, this month with an assist by the Enclave (+33%) and, surprisingly, the Lucerne (+64%). The Regal added about 10% to Buick's total.
With the addition of the wagon and the coupe, the CTS more than doubled year-ago sales, but the surging SRX actually was the bestselling Caddy this month.
The Corvette finally had a good month (+24%), as did the Malibu (+33%), although the Malibu may have gotten a fleet bump. On the truck side, the Traverse (+49%) and the Tahoe (+65%) were the biggest gainers.
GMC's Acadia (+12%) didn't do nearly as well as Chevy's Traverse, but GMC did enjoy a sudden spurt from its big vans (+133%) and increases for the Yukon (+48%) and the Sierra (+14%).