GM's U.S. Car Sales Surge 46% on Strong Consumer Demand in February General Motors (GM) racked up another impressive month of sales in February, as consumers snapped up new GM models despite soaring prices for gasoline.

For the month, the Detroit-based automaker reported Tuesday that compared to February 2010, sales rose 46% for a total 207,028, exceeding analyst estimates -- and even GM's own expectations. The increase was driven largely by a 70% jump in retail, or individual consumer, sales.

Among its four core brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC -- the company reported a 49% sales gain.

"We had another outstanding month, continuing the momentum that began back in the fourth quarter of 2010," said Don Johnson, vice president of U.S. sales, in a conference call with investors and the media following release of the monthly sales figures.

Johnson said an improving economy helped spur demand among consumers who are showing increasing confidence in the nation's recovery, despite lingering challenges.

"Balanced Growth"

GM's total sales so far this year have risen 36%, while retail sales have increased by 52%, the company said in a statement, accompanying the sales results. Retail sales of GM's cars, trucks and crossovers all rose at least 59%, GM said.

Still, Johnson said, the company was pleased with the gains it also made in commercial sales, accounting for 21% of sales last month. "It's this balanced growth" that likely led GM to push its market share over the 20% mark, he said.

Among its brands, GM reported that sales at Chevrolet, by far GM's largest division, rose 43% compared to last year to nearly 143,000 units. Strong demand for the Cruze compact sedan rose 212% year-over-year compared to the model it replaced, the Cobalt. Sales of Silverado pickups and Equinox compact SUV models were also strong.

Buick reported sales of 15,807 vehicles in February, a 73% increase from a year ago. With the increase, Johnson said the division is on track to outsell Toyota Motor's (TM) luxury Lexus unit for the second month in row.

GM's luxury brand, Cadillac, sold 15,768 units, a 70% gain, attributable to a 159% rise in sales of CTS coupes and sedans. With 6,033 units sold, the CTS alone likely outsold Ford Motor's (F) entire Lincoln division, Johnson said.

Crossovers Take Off

GMC, which sells trucks and SUVs, saw sales rise 59% to 32,534 during the month. GMC, along with other GM brands, benefited from continued strong demand for crossover vehicles, which combine the utility of a traditional SUV with more car-like handling and ride.

Sales of GM crossovers in February were the best ever for the company, rising 57% compared to a year ago. Many of GM's most popular crossovers set sales records for the month. The Chevrolet Equinox, for example, recorded a 98% sales increase while those of the slightly larger Chevy Traverse rose 32%.

The company's stellar results weren't merely the result of increased incentive spending, Johnson said during the conference call. "Price and incentives alone don't explain a 70% increase retail increase and a gain of almost three full share points," he said.

Johnson said the company has an average 60-day supply of vehicles on dealer lots, and is actively managing its inventory, a process that maintains healthy levels and anticipates demand.

Leasing Boost

Further, he said, the recent purchase of its own finance arm, GM Financial, has allowed the company to raise the number of sales to leasing customers and those with less-than-perfect credit.

GM was the first of the major automakers to announce its February U.S. sales figures. Others, including Ford and Toyota, will release their sales data later in the day.


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electrix47

After GM has screwed over it's employees, suppliers and customers. Hopefully GM will get the same treatment it has shown others. Most GM small cars are rebadged Daewoo from Korea. A lot of their cars have Chinese transmissions and Japanese engines plus other foreign parts. SO if you slowly shutdown your US operations and move your manufacturing oversees how can GM boast about a GREAT AMERICAN REVOLUTION? Ford can make it without bailout money. GM used the bailout money to finish building factories in India, Russia, Mexico, and other countries. Will a identical GM truck made in Mexico and Texas cost the same? GM is spreading the wealth everywhere except in the US. US customer's should check how much of the vehicle is actually made he the USA with US parts. Let them Fail!

March 30 2011 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JAMES S. DIVARCO

LET ME OFFER SOME ADVICE. ANYONE WITH A MODICUM OF COMMON SENSE SHOULD SEE A GOOD HEAD DOCTOR BEFORE BUYING A VEHICLE OR STOCK FROM AN AMEAICAN AUTO COMPANY.

ALL YOU ARE DOING IS REWARDING THESE IMBECILES FOR DESTROYING THE US AUTO INDUSTRY AND COWERING TO THE SOCIALIST UNIONS, WHO WILL AGAIN DEMAND HANDOUTS FROM THE FEDERAL COVARNMENT.

WAKE UP AMERICA

JS DIVARCO

March 01 2011 at 11:40 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
retiredge76

The party's over. In six months GM execs will be back in Washington with their hands out.

March 01 2011 at 10:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

reply to bigjohn: Many of the right do want to see the US industry to go down. No different than when they cheered that Chicago didn't get the olympics, or turning of teachers, nurses, firefighters, police, etc. They and the gop are like Mr Potter in It's A Wonderful Life - just a greedy old man who preys on the misfortune of others.

March 01 2011 at 5:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

After 911 the US auto industry sent vehicles, food, supplies, and $10 million. The transplants that made record profits that year -0-. They took their profits home. Think about that when you're driving or looking for a new car. Also, why did the republicans just look the other way when it came to the Toyota fatalities instead of investigating it? Why did Bush/Cheney refuse to meet with them? Because the southern transplants had everything to gain by our US auto industry going under. Such an american thing to do.

March 01 2011 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Karl Hammerle

Perhaps they will start paying the bond holders and other debt holders for the equity that Obama stole only to give it to the UAW. Marxism at its finest.

March 01 2011 at 4:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

Last July I purchased the new Buick Regal which was Europe's Car of the Year. We compared it to a BMW and it kicked BMW's butt. Better gas mileage, doesn't need premium gas, side air bags, and if you get a flat - you fix it you don't have to replace it like BMW. Safety, performance, gas mileage, value - and after taking both for 45 minute test drives - it won hands down. So unless you really need that BMW emblem to feel good about yourself - I'd rather feel good about the Buick being made in North America this here and the jobs it will create.

March 01 2011 at 4:05 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

reply to susanclark: GM was in trouble for a long time when Bush/Cheney were refusing to meet with them and looking the other way when it came to Toyota fatalities - why, because the southern gop had everything to gain by letting them go under. Why did you keep your stock?

March 01 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
inasctg56

regarding Fox News: Here's an example of their reporting - a report released today that our manufacturing sector is at its highest level since May of 2004 - but is Fox News or Fox Business reporting this - uh no. We now have a President who has worked with our manufacturing sector since day one and we are seeing the results of better trade negotiations and enforcing existing trade laws. And the new $45 billion trade deal with China hasn't taken effect yet. Our exports have seen double digit gains ranging from 20 to almost 70% gains. We are one the right track and the gop is doing everything they can to stop it.

March 01 2011 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to inasctg56's comment
Karl Hammerle

He has not been working with the manufacturing sector, unless you call stealing two automobile companies from their rightful owners and giving them to the UAW, working with manufactors. More like Marxist collectivism.

March 01 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
susan e. clarke

and i have shares of the former GM that are worthless now. Why?

March 01 2011 at 3:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply