General Motors Sales Grow 26.4 Percent, Attributed To Fuel-Stingy Cars

General Motors’ recent investment in smaller, more fuel efficient cars and crossovers is paying off -- April 2011 was the best month ever for the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox and the 2011 GMC Terrain, and boosted GM’s overall sales by 25 percent over last April. GM moved 232,538 units in April 2011, and nearly 50,000 units can be directly attributed to those three models alone.

Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, said in a prepared release that the automaker is well positioned to weather recent increases in fuel prices due to “investments we’ve made in fuel-efficiency and global product architectures.” GM’s sales performance in the first quarter of 2011 appear to back that claim, seeing as the company’s share of both compact car and compact crossover segments have increased by 3.4 percent compared to Q1 2010.

Predictably, Chevrolet was GM’s best-selling brand in April, with 169,794 sales to its name. Unsurprisingly, the 2011 Silverado remains the brand’s best-selling vehicle, with 29,342 trucks -- only 276 less than April 2010 -- rolling off dealers’ lots. Trailing that, however, were Chevy’s mass-market sedans and crossovers. The 2011 Cruze proved to be GM’s second-best selling model, with 25,160 examples of the compact sedan finding new homes in April 2011. The midsize Malibu sedan saw its volumes rise 8165 vehicles to 24,701 units, while the aging Impala actually saw its sales rise 30.5 percent to 21,071 units. The 2011 Equinox crossover saw its sales rise 42.4 percent, while the Camaro’s sales figures grew 1702 units to 10,852 in total. For the greenies, the plug-in Volt chalked up 493 deliveries in April, although GM notes deliveries were hampered in part due to the production of demonstrator cars for its dealer network.

Like Chevy, GMC’s April results -- which amounted to 31,204 vehicles -- were led by a full-size pickup. Sierra sales grew 12.4 percent to 10,523 units. Not far behind were GMC’s two crossovers, but the compact Terrain -- whose sales jumped 3000 units from April 2010 to 7205 vehicles -- eclipsed the Acadia’s 6912 total, which represented a 41.7-percent growth over last year. The remaining third of GMC’s April 2011 sales were distributed between the Savanna van (2784 units, up 126.7 percent), Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs (1937 and 1224 sold, respectively, and both down by 0.3 and 27.7 percent, respectively), and the Canyon compact pickup, which accounted for 619 deliveries.

Buick’s 18,413 sales were fairly evenly distributed between its four models. Leading the way was the LaCrosse sedan with 5649 deliveries, but was followed closely by the Enclave crossover, whose sales rose 13.7 percent to 5230 units. The Regal found 4525 new buyers, while ancient Lucerne still represented 3009 sales -- a 28.3-percent growth over last April.

With 13,127 sales, Cadillac was finished last of GM’s four core brands, and half of that figure is attributed to both the CTS sedan and SRX crossover. The SRX managed to come on top with 4380 sales, while the CTS accounted for 4220 deliveries, roughly 1000 more than April 2010.  Cadillac found homes for 1906 full-size DTS sedans, 6.8 more than last year, and the Escalade variants and STS all sold less than 1000 units last month. The short-wheelbase Escalade moved 22.4 percent fewer units over April 2010 at 970 SUVs, and only 135 of the Escalade EXT SUV-cum-pickups were sold (13 less than April 2010). The Escalade ESV long-wheelbase SUVs sold 26 more than last April, finding extra-long garages for 628 of them. The long-in-the-tooth STS sold 887 sedans, 168.8 percent more than the same month last year. One final XLR roadster found a home.

Source: General Motors

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