GM sales rise 16% on pickups
Chevrolet Silverado volume jumped 32 percent last month, helped by hefty deals.
DETROIT -- General Motors sales rose 16 percent in January on sharper pickup sales and strong results for Cadillac and Buick.
GM sold 194,699 vehicles in the month, the company said today. Chevrolet accounted for 71 percent of that total, up 11 percent but that was the smallest increase of GM's four brands.
Cadillac sales jumped 47 percent, as retail sales at the luxury brand hit their highest level in 23 years, GM said. Buick sales rose 32 percent and GMC sales climbed 23 percent.
GM said its retail sales rose 24 percent while fleet sales slipped 2 percent.
Last month, GM CEO Dan Akerson said he expects a "modest" increase in U.S. market share this year, driven by a busy vehicle launch schedule.
So far, his prediction has held. GM's industry-leading share stood at 18.7 percent at the end of January, up 0.3 points from a year earlier.
More spiffs, higher prices
Sales of GM's full-sized pickups rose: The Chevrolet Silverado jumped 32 percent and GMC Sierra increased 35 percent.
GM said its overall truck sales rose 19 percent from a year earlier. Crossover sales surged 27 percent and car sales increased 12 percent.
GM is working to sell down stocks of its 2013 pickups in advance of a second-quarter rollout of redesigned 2014 models. Incentives on the Silverado increased nearly $200 from a year earlier, but average transaction prices rose $500, said Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of sales operations.
GM is offering cash incentives of between $3,250 and $4,750 on '13 Silverados and Sierras, according to AIS Rebates, an Ann Arbor, Mich., company that helps dealers manage incentives.
'Middle of the fairway'
On Thursday, Jan. 31, GM had a full-sized pickup inventory of 234,342 units, or a supply of 117 days based on the current selling rate, the company said. That's up from 80 days at the end of December, but down from a 139-day supply on Nov. 30.
McNeil called GM's pickup sales a "very good performance" that "keeps us right in the middle of the fairway in terms of our production, sales and inventory strategy."
SUVs were the laggard segment during the month. Chevrolet Suburban sales dropped 22 percent and Tahoe sales fell 9 percent. Sales of the Cadillac Escalade, including the ESV extended version and EXT pickup, fell 5 percent. GMC Yukon sales, including the XL model, slipped 5 percent.
You can reach Mike Colias at firstname.lastname@example.org.