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GM Sets Positive Tone, Sales Gaining 8% for July

But overall July sales likely to be less positive as other makers weigh in.

by on Aug.02, 2011

Chevrolet Cruze may grab another month as America's best-selling passenger car.

General Motors Co. sales for July rose by 8% when compared to year-earlier sales, setting a positive tone for a month that is still expected to underscore the weakness of the overall American economy.

Retail sales for GM’s brands rose 6% for the month compared to a year ago levels – but they were just  1% higher than June’s generally anemic numbers.

“Sales of our fuel-efficient cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and our crossovers remain strong, and we’re now also seeing the seasonal lift in full-size pickups that we expected,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.

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The U.S. auto sector has several significant headwinds in the past several months, sales slowing markedly as warmer weather approached, a sharp contrast to the surge normally seen during the so-called “spring buying season.”  Preliminary projections from J.D. Power and Associates anticipate July will still see overall U.S. demand come in at under 13 million – on an annualized basis – for the third month in a row.


Cruze Wins Sales Crown – But for How Long?

Domestics dominate in June sales charts – but the worst may be over for Japanese makers.

by on Jul.05, 2011

The Chevy Cruze was America's best-selling compact passenger car - at least for June.

The Chevrolet Cruze handily beat such long-dominant rivals as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry to become the nation’s best-selling passenger car – and third best-seller overall – last month.

The success of the compact Chevy shows that Detroit is making a serious commitment to crack the small car market long controlled by its Asian rivals.  But analysts warn that Cruze and other domestic best-sellers, such as the new 2012 Ford Focus, could be facing renewed competition in the months to come as Asian makers finally overcome the setbacks created by Japan’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

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Only two of the Top 10 vehicles sold in the U.S. last month bore import badges, and that included both the Toyota Camry, ranked eighth, as well as the number 10 Hyundai Elantra, one of an assortment of new entries from the U.S., Europe and South Korea aimed at breaking Japan’s long dominance of the American small car market.

“The month caps a successful first half of 2011 for us in the U.S. market — our sales are up and we’ve gained share profitably,” said Don Johnson, head of U.S. sales operations for General Motors.


General Motors Sales Surge 27%

Demand builds for small cars, crossovers.

by on May.03, 2011

Cruzin...GM makes big gains with high-mileage small cars like the Chevy Cruze.

General Motors sales increased 27% in April with gains driven by surging demand for GM’s lineup of fuel-efficient passenger cars and crossovers.

While many makers have yet to report their April numbers, preliminary estimates suggest the market showed an overall gain of 19%, with the month’s seasonally adjusted annual sales rate, or SAAR, coming in around 13.4 million and 13.5 million units, according to Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.

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But Johnson cautioned the SAAR, could fall during second and third quarter because of low inventories at some big Japanese carmakers.

Compared to March, GM retail sales rose 4% last month, even though the maker’s incentive spending – which it had bumped up during the first quarter — decreased more than 10%, Johnson said.