GM sales rise 16 percent on fleet; retail deliveries up, too
GM said its June total was the highest monthly tally since September 2008.
DETROIT -- General Motors today said its sales rose 16 percent in June, to 248,750 units, buoyed by an influx of fleet business and strong sales of several nameplates that are in the final months of their product cycles.
GM said its June total was the highest monthly tally since September 2008. For the first time since last September, sales for all four of GM's brands increased, as Cadillac ended a skid of eight straight months of declining year-over-year sales with a 12 percent increase last month to 12,124 units.
Buick sales surged 27 percent to 18,851, partly from increased leasing, which accounted for about one-third of the entry-luxury brand's overall sales. Both Chevrolet and GMC sales rose 15 percent, to 180,098 and 37,677, respectively.
GM said retail sales rose 8 percent from a year earlier while fleet sales jumped 36 percent, mostly because of the timing of customer deliveries. Fleet sales accounted for 32 percent of GM's June sales.
Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of sales operations, told analysts and reporters during a conference call today that fleet sales in July are expected to drop back to a normal level. He said GM is sticking to its year-end target of having fleet sales represent about a quarter of overall sales.
Clearing out the old
GM saw sharp sales increases for several nameplates that will be either redesigned or restyled when they arrive in the coming weeks and months as 2013 models. Those vehicles are being offered with cash incentives as dealers make way for the new entries.
For example, sales of the 2012 Chevy Malibu rose 32 percent from a year earlier, aided by a $3,000 cash discount that was in place for June, according to AIS Rebates, an Ann Arbor, Mich., company that tracks automaker incentives. GM is believed to be just weeks away from launching the redesigned 2013 Malibu.
Sales also surged for GM's three large crossovers, all of which were offered with cash discounts of at least $2,000 and have been restyled for the 2013 model year. Sales of the Buick Enclave rose 30 percent; GMC Acadia sales jumped 56 percent, and Chevy Traverse sales increased 41 percent.
Overall, GM's incentives rose 2 percent from June 2011, to an average of $3,014 per vehicle, TrueCar.com data show.
New entries helped, too. Buick sold 4,091 units of the Verano compact, which was introduced in December. Sales of the Chevy Sonic subcompact, launched last fall, nearly doubled the year-earlier tally for the car it replaced, the Aveo.
Cadillac sold 753 XTS large sedans in its first month on the market, welcome news for Cadillac dealers who have seen their showrooms stripped down to just one sedan as they awaited the XTS and the ATS compact, due out by fall.
GM said supplies of its full-sized pickups hit a peak of 135 days at the end of June, or 238,194 units. McNeil said that should be this year's high mark for pickup stocks.
In June, sales of the Chevy Silverado rose 3 percent, and those of the GMC Sierra edged up 1 percent.
Building extra pickups
Since late last year, GM has been building extra pickups ahead of scheduled downtime at its three truck plants to retool for the next-generation pickup, which is expected to be launched in the spring.
McNeil said GM is pleased with its 4 percent sales growth through the first half of the year, to 1,315,713 units, despite trailing the industry. He pointed to a wave of new, redesigned and refreshed products that GM plans to launch over the next 18 months, which the company says represents 70 percent of its nameplates.
He said: "For us to be up over 4 percent with what we've got coming in the back half of the year … we feel good about where we are and more excited about what's to come."
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