General Motors' sales rose ever-so-slightly last month, which is unsurprising as October is generally one of the slowest sales months of the year thanks to model year changeovers and shifts in inventory. GM's sales totaled a whopping 195,764 vehicles in October – more than Chrysler or Ford – representing a rise of just 4.7 percent over October of 2011.
Interestingly, the two mass-market brands Chevrolet and GMC both stayed relatively flat – the former rising 2.7 percent to 135,305 units and the latter rising 6.2 percent to 33,570 – while both of GM's luxury marques rose by 14.5 percent. Buick ended the month with 13,384 cars sold, while Cadillac moved just 121 vehicles more.
The company saw passenger car sales grow by 15 percent, which is pretty evident in the sales data: while the venerable Chevrolet Silverado was far and away the best-selling vehicle (38,739 sold, up 5.7 percent), the Cruze was the second-best seller in both the Chevy and GM lineups (19,121 sold, up 33.8 percent). The rest of GM's top five was rounded out with the Chevrolet Equinox (15387, up 1.8 percent), GMC Sierra (14,568 sold, up 9.0 percent), and Chevrolet Malibu (9629 sold, down 6.0 percent).
The winners and losers of the GM stable should come as little surprise to anyone who follows car sales. Check them out below.
Cadillac SRX: The Cadillac SRX continued its upward trend in sales last month, moving 5521 copies or 10.8 percent over October of last year. The crossover continues to be the wreath and crest's best-seller, by a fair margin, selling roughly two-to-one compared with the second- and third-place-for-the-brand XTS and CTS. Although Toyota has yet to release its October sales, there is a good chance that the SRX will, again, nip closely at the heels of the Lexus RX.
Chevrolet Silverado: America's second-favorite pickup continues to rein king of the General Motors sales chart. Moving 38,739 units last month, a gain of 5.7 percent, the Silverado's sales show that American's love affair with the truck is far from over. Even after the announcement that an all-new Silverado is coming early next year, couldn't stop buyers from snapping up this truck.
Chevrolet Cruze: The Cruze compact sedan has been kicking butt lately. Last month, it trumped both the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic as the sales leader in the segment, and is on track to be one of the best-selling – if not the best-selling – compact sedan in the U.S. for 2012. So far this year, Chevrolet has moved 199,721 Cruzes, 19,121 of which were sold in October (or 33.8 percent more than October 2011).
Buick Regal: Buick's European-design Regal sedan continues to stumble following the release of the smaller Verano sedan. Once again, the Regal's sales were down last month by 35.7 percent to just 1466 units, the brand's slowest seller. Both the larger LaCrosse and smaller Verano continue to sell well; the former was up 2.2 percent to 4139 copies, while the latter sold 3502 units last month. Maybe the facelift expected next year will help the Regal's moribund sales.
Cadillac CTS: Once the Cadillac brand's best-seller, the CTS has grown long-in-the-tooth and its sales have been slipping because of it. The CTS isn't helped by the fact that in the past 12 months, Cadillac introduced two all-new sedans – the ATS and the XTS – that bookend the CTS in the brand's lineup. While the CTS may have outsold the ATS, its 2344 copies sold is less than the 2450 XTS sedans moved and represents a whopping drop of 40.2 percent over October 2011. Luckily, there is a new CTS coming next year for the 2014 model year.
Chevrolet Camaro: Let the muscle car wars continue! After beating out cross-town rival Ford last month, the Camaro fell to number two against the Mustang: 5122 sales to 5328, representing a drop of 16.3 percent for the Chevy. However, Camaro sales may have stutters a bit due to a changeover to the revised 2013 model, which features a revised cabin with the brand's MyLink infotainment system.
BRING OUT YOUR DEAD
Buick Lucerne & Cadillac DTS: And you thought the H-body was dead, didn't you? Well, guess again because, despite being discontinued last year, there were four Lucernes and just one DTS sold last month.
Cadillac STS: No, we're not talking including the Chinese-spec SLS that's still on sale; this is the U.S.-market STS that was killed off at the end of the 2011, in favor of the XTS. Yet, there was still one STS sedan to be had buy some lucky buyer last month.
Chevrolet Aveo: With how well the Sonic has been selling this year, you would think that the buying public would have forgotten about the much-maligned Aveo. Guess again. Chevrolet managed to peddle two more Aveos in October.
Source: General Motors