General Motors General Motors reported its best month so far this year on Tuesday, as overall sales rose 5.4% in July compared to the same month last year. Among its four remaining core brands -- Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC -- the Detroit auto giant said sales rose nearly 25% above prior-year levels. Retail sales, which exclude fleet and other commercial buyers, rose 18%, higher than the industry as whole, GM said.

For the month, GM sold 199,432 cars, and its Buick and Cadillac divisions each sold twice as many cars and trucks as they did in July 2009, achieving their best sales month since August 2008. July's calendar included one extra selling day compared to last year, GM noted.

"Our July results again reflect that each of our brands has contributed significantly to our gains," said Don Johnson, GM's new vice president of U.S. sales. On a conference call with investors and media, Johnson said GM continues to make progress despite a slowdown in the economic recovery. Even with talk of a double-dip recession, he said, "from our standpoint we actually see a low risk of that," barring anyone strong economic shock, such as a spike in oil prices.

Four Top Models


Within individual divisions, GM reported Buick sales rose 137% year-over-year to 16,799 units, while those at Cadillac surged 142% to 14,919 vehicles for the month. Chevrolet sales inched up 12% from last July, selling nearly 140,000 cars and trucks. GMC sold 27,798 vehicles, a rise of 27.2%.

GM said newly introduced vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Camaro sports car and Equinox SUV, and Buick LaCrosse and Regal sedans, accounted for one out of every four vehicles sold during the month.

Johnson noted that last month marked the first full year for GM as a new company, having emerged from bankruptcy last July. That reorganization resulted in GM shedding four of its eight brands. Saturn, Pontiac and Hummer are shuttered or soon will be, and Saab was sold to Dutch automaker Spyker Cars.

Higher Prices, Lower Incentives

GM said it sold 125,000 more cars so far this year with just four brands than it did during the first seven months of 2009 with eight brands. Overall, Johnson said, GM is selling more vehicles at higher prices with lower incentives. Johnson reiterated GM's expectations that the industry will sell 11.5 million to 12 million vehicles in the U.S. this year, higher than last year, but well below recent historical standards.

Separately, GM confirmed Tuesday it had invested $5 million in Bright Automotive, an Indiana-based start-up that is developing a compact hybrid vehicle for commercial use. Bright Automotive becomes the first beneficiary of GM's recently established $100 million venture capital fund intended to further develop new fuel-efficient technologies.

The companies signed an agreement last month, and GM began supplying funds this week, they said in a statement. GM and Bright Automotive intend to complete formal agreements later this year, giving GM Ventures a minority stake in Bright Automotive. In turn, the start-up will gain access to GM's technologies, including advanced engine and transmission components, for its commercial vehicle, the companies said.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Investing Like Warren Buffett

Learn from one of the world's best investors.

View Course »

Introduction to ETFs

The basics of Exchange Traded Funds and why ETFs are hot.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

14 Comments

Filter by:
portnoye

Somebody needs an editor and/or a fact-checker:

1) To the best of my knowledge are no trucks in the Buick and Cadillac divisions. This makes the improvements in those divisions that much more startling.

2) Saab/Spyker fell apart months ago. Saab/(Some Chinese company) closed yesterday.

krp

August 04 2010 at 8:42 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ruthaf

What's going to happen when gas is $4.50 per gallon again? How many Cadillacs do you think will be sold then?

August 04 2010 at 8:25 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
caribbebill

Lets be honest, most of the people that tell you GM builds bad cars would not know a camshaft if you hit them over the head with one. That being said GM definitely produced some bad cars here and there. That does not make Japanese or any other foreign car manufacturer "better" than GM, Ford or Chrysler for that matter. It is my opinion, and a fairly educated one, that Toyota products are far far worse than most domestic vehicles. It became popular in America to "buy Japanese", supposedly the cars were better, they were not. I have owned many, many Japanese cars due to my work. I no longer buy them. Period. Call me old fashioned, call me a dinosaur, BUT I SAY BUY AMERICAN, TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO BUY AMERICAN, TELL YOUR FAMILY TO BUY AMERICAN. Once upon a time the world envied our products, it could be so again. And before all you bored Toyota salesmen start bashing my post.... walk outside and take a deep breath, tastes like freedom right? Breathing FREE is a privilege created by an American built and paid for by an American and envied worldwide, AND DEFINETLY NOT MADE IN JAPAN........at least support your country and buy her products, GOD BLESS AMERICA

August 03 2010 at 7:02 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jamescarbary

Next month I'll be looking at the Buick Regal. I got a 05 Pontiac, been a great car. I expect the same out of the Buick.

August 03 2010 at 4:00 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to jamescarbary's comment
adrianna53

GM just bought a finance company for 4.5 billion taxpayer dollars to finance car loans to people who can't qualify for bank loans. Sounds like GM is trying to be the Fannie Mae Freddie Mac of Detroit, with the taxpayers money.

August 03 2010 at 3:40 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
rfield373

The economy will bounce back. Government spending created many jobs in the Great Depression, Hoover Dam for example. Some view that as socialism, others as a wise public investment -- a cool site; Balkingpoints ; incredible satellite view of earth

August 03 2010 at 3:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kv37

Yeah, where is the taxpayer's money?

August 03 2010 at 3:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
goldaxe

Well.........If you are doing so well,Where is
our money,and when is the IPO?

August 03 2010 at 3:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mikepal77

It`s good news.I just wish that american manufactures would bring back more jobs to america so more people could afford to buy their products.Get the cycle going again.

August 03 2010 at 1:55 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
dalea158

First of all i'm sick n tired these posters that don't want GM to do well.I diffently want the company to make money so they can go public again and pay back the dough. This was a LOAN, unlike the gov't that is wasting out tax money like on crazy foolish things. Saving GM was a wise move that that saved millions auto and supplier jobs and yes, even Ford!

August 03 2010 at 1:25 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dalea158's comment
John And Marie P

It is great hearing about the increase in auto sales of AMERICAN autos.The stupid America people buying forign cars is hurting our country.We bought our car a GM and now after 4 years no problems,a wonderful car.Wake up America the next job lost maybe yours.BUY AMERICAN.

August 03 2010 at 1:39 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply