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GM Sales Up 16 Percent in December, 6.3 Percent for the Year

Fully restructured and back to business, GM’s core brands posted an impressive 21-percent year-over-year sales increase in 2010. That gain comes on the heels of a 16-percent gain in sales for December 2010.

Impressive as those numbers may be, what’s most impressive is that the company did it with half as many brands. With Pontiac, Hummer, Saturn and Saab gone and kicking out their last remaining inventory, GM’s four “core brands,” Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC, managed to handily outsell Old GM. That is, New GM sold 118,435 more vehicles in 2010 with just four brands than Old GM sold in 2009 with eight brands. For perspective, Saturn was selling about 100,000 cars annually just before it was shuttered, so GM managed to add a whole brand’s worth of sales while cutting four brands.

Of course, in absolute numbers, it’s a little less shocking. The non-core brands accounted for a significant amount of GM’s 2009 sales, 268,686 worth, to be exact. In total, GM sold 2,215,227 new vehicles in 2010, up from 2,084,492 in 2009, a 6.3-percent increase.

Over at the individual brand headquarters, it was definitely a party. Buick sales are up 52 percent, leading GM to claim that Buick is the fastest-growing brand in the U.S. The General is making similar claims about Cadillac, calling it the fastest-growing luxury brand in the U.S. thanks to its 35-percent gain. GMC also had an impressive year and has a 29-percent gain to show for it. Chevrolet, which has traditionally less vulnerable to swings with its larger volume, still managed a 16-percent gain.

“Our sales this year reflect the impact of GM’s new business model,” said GM VP of U.S. Sales Operations, Don Johnson.  “The consistency of results that we achieved demonstrates the focus on our brands, dealers and customers, and how we compete aggressively for every sale, every day.”

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