Although sales gains last month were a moderate 4.5 percent, with 234,351 vehicles sold, General Motors enjoyed a solid 13 percent year-over-year sales gain for 2010, ending the year with 2,503,820 total sales. In addition to GM’s perennially popular trucks, the company saw big sales gains from crossovers and the Chevrolet Cruze sedan.
Chevrolet — 161,158 sales, up 8.9 percent
Chevrolet’s volume leader was, predictably, the Silverado pickup truck family, recording 47,787 sales last month and 415,130 for the year, gains of 12.4 percent and 12.2 percent respectively. The Cruze continued its hot streak in December with 16,675 sales, a gain of 53.5 compared to a year prior, bringing the car’s annual total to 231,732, up a staggering 846 percent compared to 2010 (when the car was only sold for a few months). Those figures make the Cruze the second best-selling Chevrolet of 2011; the Cruze alone managed to outsell the entire Buick and Cadillac brands.
The Volt electric car finished the year with 1529 sales in December, bolstering the car’s yearly total to 7671 units. Along with the 326 copies sold in late 2010, that means Chevrolet has sold 7997 Volts thus far. It’s unclear what effect an ongoing investigation into battery fires will have on Volt sales going forward.
Other hot sellers for Chevrolet include the Equinox; although sales fell 20.1 percent year-over-year to 18,195 last month, the crossover still tallied a healthy 193,274 sales for the year, up 28.9 percent over 2010. The Malibu saw December sales rise 13.1 percent, to 13,034 cars, bringing its yearly total to 204,808 sales, up three percent year-over-year. The new Sonic sedan and hatchback enjoyed 5743 sales last month, bumping the car to 15,778 overall sales last year. The Camaro saw sales climb 20.3 percent to 6754 last month, with the muscle car’s annual tally reaching 88,249, a gain of 8.5 percent over 2010. The pricier Corvette sports car mustered only 1038 sales in December, up six percent year-over-year, and finished 2011 up 4.3 percent with 13,164 sales.
Chevrolet also reported sales of its two fleet-only models, the Captiva Sport crossover and Caprice police car. The former, based on the old Saturn VUE, mustered 1983 sales last month and 7038 for the entire year; the law-enforcement-exclusive Caprice sedan moved just 99 copies in December and 880 for the entire year.
Buick — 14,974 sales, down 12.4 percent
Buick’s sales figures fell as production of the Lucerne ended, but the brand still finished the year up 14.3 percent compared to 2010 with 177,633 sales. Regal sales rose 0.9 percent to 3086 in December, ending the year at 40,144 cars — a leap of 225.7 compared to 2010, when the car was sold only for a few months. LaCrosse sales were up 4.3 percent to 5360 last month, finishing the year with 58,474 copies sold for a slight year-over-year decline of 4.4 percent. The Enclave crossover suffered a 16.3-percent sales drop last month, to 5555 units, yet ended the year up 5.4 percent at 58,392 vehicles. The Buick Verano sold 261 copies in December and four in November, giving the car a total of 265 sales in 2011.
Cadillac — 16,259 sales, down 2.7 percent
Luxury brand Cadillac also suffered a sales drop in December, but still ended the year up 3.7 percent over 2010 with 152,389 sales. That was spearheaded by the SRX crossover, which saw sales climb 24.9 percent to 7324 copies last month, and ended the year up 11.4 percent to 56,905. It was closely trailed by the CTS family, which enjoyed a sales gain of 4.8 percent in December and 20.6 percent for the entire year, ending the month 5420 sales and the year at 55,042 cars. The DTS and STS sedans, which both went out of production to make way for the forthcoming ATS and XTS, saw sales slip significantly. The DTS ended the year with 11,589 sales, down 37.8 percent year-over-year, and the STS’s annual tally fell 25.4 percent to 3338 cars. The Cadillac Escalade family also struggled, ending the year at 25,503 sales for all body styles, a decline of five percent compared to 2010.
GMC — 41,960 sales, down 0.5 percent
GMC may have suffered slightly in December, but its overall sales figures for 2011 rose 18.8 percent to 397,986. That was once again buoyed by the Sierra truck line, which saw sales fall 1.8 percent to 16,495 trucks last year, yet finished 2011 at 149,170 units, up 14.9 percent year-over-year. The Terrain crossover suffered a 17-percent sales slip to 7724 last month, ending the year up 37.4 percent at 83,179 sales — less than half the volume of its mechanical twin, the Chevy Equinox, which garnered 193,274 sales for the calendar year.
The GMC Acadia also suffered a small sales drop in December, down 3.5 percent to 7355 examples, but ended the year with a healthy 16.1-percent gain at 79,288 units. Finally, the Yukon and Yukon XL finished 2011 with 59,473 sales, up 13.1 percent versus 2010.