Last August, the automotive industry saw a huge spike in sales thanks to the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program. This August, devoid of a government stimulus program, sales of General Motors' remaining brands were down by 11 percent.
"Last year's Cash for Clunkers program spiked industry sales in 2009, so results this August were, not surprisingly, a bit mixed," Don Johnson, vice president of GM's U.S. sales operations, said. "Importantly, three of our four divisions showed solid gains. This is further evidence that our performance is the result of balanced contributions across our brands."
Although GM's sales are down as a whole, three of its four brands' actually posted sales increases in August. Buick sales were up 66 percent over the same period last year, Cadillac's sales were up 83 percent, and GMC's sales were up 12 percent. The reason for the decrease in overall sales stems from GM's volume brand, Chevrolet, which posted a 22-percent decrease in sales.
The highlight of GM's portfolio was Cadillac, which saw increases largely due to strong CTS and SRX sales. The SRX posted a 410-percent increase in sales over last August, with over 4300 units moved compared to 1400 last year. The CTS, with its attention-seeking coupe and wagon variants now on the market, posted a sales increase of 77 percent year-over-year.
With its reinvigorated lineup, Buick has become the fastest-growing major automotive brand in the country. Sales are up 66-percent year-over-year, driven largely by the LaCrosse sedan, which experienced growth of 263 percent over last August. The addition of the Regal bolstered the brand's sales as well, with 1700 Regals sold in August alone.
Crossover sales lead the charge at GMC, where sales of the Terrain SUV soared by over 600 percent.
Things weren't as good at the Bow Tie brand, where sales were down 22 percent. Chevrolet sold a total of 131,952 vehicles in August, compared to 168,130 one year ago. This can largely be attributed to 20,400 additional sales of Aveo and Cobalt models, which were popular under Cash for Clunkers, and high expectations for GM's upcoming small cars. The rest of the sales decrease stems largely from losses in Equinox, Impala, and Colorado sales, each of which lost around 3000 sales.