Led by strong passenger car sales for the month, General Motors posted an 11-percent total sales gain for the month, and a 26 percent gain for the quarter. Bolstered by the new Regal and LaCrosse models, Buick led the company on a percentage basis, with Cadillac coming in close behind, and Chevrolet leading by volume, helped by new heavy-duty truck models, and the recently-introduced Cruze compact sedan.
Viewed by many as a key indicator of vehicle desirability to consumers, purchase incentives declined on a per-unit basis for the month, compared to February.
For the first quarter of 2011, total sales were up 26 percent to 592,545 units, and retail sales were up 38 percent.
Although the company is especially proud of its compact newcomer, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Bowtie brand’s large sedan, the Impala, out-sold it by a slim margin for the month, 18,063 to 18,018. It’s important to note that Impala sales skew heavily toward fleet, whereas the recently-launched Cruze is predominantly retail. For the entire quarter, however, the Cruze pulled ahead of the Impala with 50,205 units sold compared to 49,541. Only the Chevrolet C/K line of pickups out-sold it, with 32,555 units sold for March, and 92,455 for the quarter.
Chevrolet continues to be the volume leader for the company, but surprisingly resurgent Buick and Cadillac were the biggest-percentage quarterly gainers for GM, increasing 39.2 and 38 percent, respectively. The Enclave crossover was Buick’s best-selling model, with 4899 units sold in March, and 14,445 for the quarter. Cadillac’s CTS was the brand’s sales leader for the quarter, with 14,299 units sold, but was edged out by the SRX crossover for March, which sold 4221 for the month, compared to the CTS’s 3904 March total.
Finally, GMC moved a total of 30,597 units for the month and 90,789 for the quarter, with the Sierra pickup leading the way with 11,622 units moved in March, and 33,945 for the quarter. Proving the shrewdness of GMC’s move into the crossover segment, the Acadia and Terrain crossovers were the brand’s second and third best-selling models, far out-selling the Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs. For the quarter, the Acadia and Terrain were neck-and-neck, with the Acadia selling 19,688 units and the Terrain selling 19,860.