May U.S. Retail Sales Rise 9 Percent on Demand for Fuel-Efficient Vehicles

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DETROIT, June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – General Motors dealers in the United States reported 221,192 total sales in May, including a 9 percent increase in retail sales compared to May 2010. Retail sales for GM’s brands were again propelled by the company’s lineup of fuel-efficient passenger cars and crossovers. Total sales declined 1 percent on lower fleet volume.

For the month, Chevrolet Cruze had its best retail sales since its launch as Chevrolet dealers reported 18,996 retail deliveries. The GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, GM’s compact crossovers, saw a combined retail sales increase of 58 percent during the month. Passenger car and crossover retail sales also rose substantially, up 32 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

“Customers continue to demand better fuel economy and our commitment to produce high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles is paying off,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “We expect that fuel prices will continue to be volatile and we’re prepared to continue meeting the needs of an ever-changing market.”

Compared to last year, May fleet sales were 16 percent lower as rental volumes declined 21 percent. Deliveries to commercial accounts rose 19 percent – the 14th consecutive month of commercial sales gains.

GM’s Newest Vehicles Retail Sales Increase 65 Percent in May

Combined retail sales for vehicles launched since June 2009 – Chevrolet Equinox, Silverado HD, Cruze, Camaro Convertible and Volt; Buick LaCrosse and Regal; GMC Sierra HD and Terrain; and Cadillac SRX, CTS Wagon and CTS Coupe – jumped 65 percent during May and are up 74 percent for 2011.

Passenger Cars

During the month, total sales of GM passenger cars increased 13 percent. Retail sales of passenger cars rose 32 percent on the continuing strength of the Cruze, which was up 150 percent compared to the Chevrolet Cobalt it replaced. Also contributing to the gain were solid retail sales for the Buick Regal and an increase of 28 percent in retail sales for the Cadillac CTS.

“The Cruze, Regal and CTS Coupe are attracting new customers to GM,” Johnson said. “These vehicles are a strong reason why we’re gaining share in key states like California, New York and Florida so far this year.”

Crossovers

Total crossover sales declined 1 percent, while retail sales were up 17 percent compared to last year’s May. GM’s crossover retail sales were the highest ever for the month of May and were driven by a 58-percent increase in combined retail sales for the 32 mile-per-gallon highway rated Equinox and Terrain. Both of GM’s compact crossovers set retail sales records for the month with Equinox retail sales up 62 percent and Terrain’s 48 percent higher than May 2010.

“Customers love the 610-mile range that our compact crossovers provide and they get it without sacrificing capability or style,” Johnson said.

For the year-to-date, retail sales of GM’s crossovers were up 27 percent.

Pickups

Total combined sales of Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche, and GMC Sierra decreased 14 percent; with retail sales down 17 percent versus a year ago. For the year-to-date, retail sales for GM’s full-size pickups are up 15 percent, while total sales of 212,478 units represent a 13-percent increase compared to the first five months of 2010.

Month-end dealer inventory in the United States stood at about 584,000 units, up about 7,000 units compared to April and about 177,000 higher than May 2010.

Brand Key Facts:

  • Chevrolet: Chevrolet dealers delivered 161,401 total vehicles in May, a 4-percent decrease compared to May 2010. Retail sales for Chevrolet were up 9 percent, for the ninth straight month of retail sales increases for the brand. Cruze retail sales were 150 percent higher than the Chevrolet Cobalt. Equinox retail sales rose 62 percent ( read more ).
  • Buick: Buick reported 15,579 total sales, a 24-percent increase compared to last year. This includes a 18-percent increase in year-over-year retail sales, led by demand for the all-new Regal, which is attracting large numbers of non-GM owners to the brand. May was the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales gains for the brand ( read more ).
  • GMC : GMC reported total sales of 32,589, an 8-percent increase compared to the same month last year. Retail sales rose 5 percent for the brand on strong demand for the Terrain (up 48 percent) and the Acadia (up 19 percent). May also marked the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales increases for the brand ( read more ) .
  • Cadillac: Cadillac reported total sales of 11,623 for May, a 6-percent decrease versus last May, with retail sales increasing 8 percent. May was the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year retail sales gains. CTS retail sales continued to set the pace, rising 28 percent, driven by strong demand for the CTS Coupe ( read more ).
  • Fleet sales for GM’s four brands were 70,139 for the month, a 16-percent decrease for the month. Sales to commercial customers increased 19 percent – the 14th consecutive month of commercial fleet sales gains. Fleet accounted for 32 percent of GM total sales during the month – lower than the 37 percent fleet mix in May 2010.

About General Motors General Motors (NYSE: GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries.  GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy.  GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services.  More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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