General Motors Sales Up 11.8 Percent Thanks to Malibu, Terrain

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General Motors sold 231,052 cars, trucks, and utilities last month, a healthy 11.8 percent jump from March 2011, thanks to strong sales of models like the Chevrolet Malibu and GMC Terrain.

The sales increases came from two General Motors brands, Chevrolet and GMC. Chevrolet sales jumped 16.8 percent to 173,073 units, while GMC sales climbed 12.2 percent to 34,337 vehicles. Meanwhile, losses were posted by both the Cadillac and Buick brands: Buick sales dropped 16.3 percent to 13,105 sales, and Cadillac sales edged down 13.4 percent to 10,537 units.

So what was hot (and not so hot) in March? Here’s a quick rundown.

Most Improved

Chevrolet Volt: Chevrolet's biggest percentage increase came from its Volt extended-range electric vehicle. The EREV Volt jumped some 276.5 percent last month; with sales totaling 2289 units, March marked its best sales month to date. With the recent jump, the Volt now outsells another of Chevy's iconic low-volume models: the Corvette.

GMC Savana: We're not entirely sure why the GMC Savana experienced a 59.5-percent jump in sales last month, but GM sold 2074 Savana vans last month. It's been an excellent year for the Savana, too: sales thus far in 2012 are up 87.2 percent.

Chevrolet Malibu: The Malibu midsize sedan might be ready for its big redesign, but that didn't stop the model from having an excellent month of March. The Malibu's sales jumped 53.6 percent last month, up to 23,887 units sold. Keep in mind that this includes the old version (with its choice of I-4 or V-6 models), as well as the all-new 2013 Malibu Eco.

Chevrolet Colorado: The Colorado pickup is one of the few remaining small pickup trucks offered in our market, and as buyers look away from discontinued models like the Ford Ranger and Dodge Dakota, the Colorado will likely see a mild sales increase. Indeed, 3652 Colorados were sold last month, an impressive 42.6 percent more than March of 2011.

GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox: The General Motors small SUVs continue to thrive. The Terrain's sales jumped 34.3 percent to 8461 units, while the Chevrolet Equinox sold 20,064 units, some 32.4 percent more than last year.

The Slow Lane

Cadillac Escalade: No chrome trim or LED headlights could dress up the Escalade's sales numbers last month: the luxo-truck sold just 1010 units, down 15.9 percent from the year prior.

Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon: The Chevy Tahoe slid 17.8 percent in March, ending the month at 5626 sales. It's another month in a year of sliding sales: the name plate has sold 13,833 units so far this year, down 19.5 percent. The story is the same with the GMC Yukon, which sold just 1970 units, a drop of 26.2 percent. It's also down double digits so far this year: year-to-date sales are down 19.1 percent to 6117 units.

Buick Enclave: It's another case of bad news/good news for the Buick Enclave. The bad news, first, is that the car's sales slumped 25.3 percent last month, totaling 3659 units. The good news for the seven-seat luxury crossover is that a refreshed model is on its way--a new Enclave is on the floor at this week's New York Auto Show.

Buick Regal: There's no simple reason why sales of the Buick Regal dropped last month, seeing as there's no upcoming model and the nameplate isn't in danger of going away any time soon, but sales of the mid-size Buick sedan dropped 28.4 percent to 2609 sales. We'd almost wonder if the Regal is being cannibalized by its new little brother: sales of the small Verano sedan jumped to 2497 units last month, an impressive showing that certainly overshadow's the larger Regal.

Source: General Motors

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