GM recalls have had no 'measurable impact' on sales, Ammann says

Ammann: "We'll see with the passage of time. As of right now, it's difficult to pinpoint an impact."
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BEIJING -- Citing his company's 4 percent U.S. sales gain in March and a "decent start" for sales in April, General Motors President Dan Ammann said the company's ignition switch recall has had no "measurable impact" on sales.

"It's hard to say that there's a measurable impact there," Ammann said today on the sidelines of the Beijing auto show. "March sales were pretty solid. We gained retail share in March. April seems to be off to a pretty decent start as well."

Bolstered by increased sales of full-sized pickups, GM's U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 4 percent in March from a year earlier to 256,047 units. The company also reported that retail sales rose 7 percent to help it gain retail market share.

Ammann said he couldn't rule out future impact from the recall crisis, which began in February with the recall of 778,600 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s and has since swollen to 2.6 million vehicles globally.

"We'll see with the passage of time," he said. "As of right now, it's difficult to pinpoint an impact."

GM's 4 percent advance in March slightly trailed a 6 percent increase in overall U.S. industry volume. But other big manufacturers fared worse, including Ford Motor Co. with a 3 percent gain and American Honda with a 2 percent decline.

You can reach Hans Greimel at hgreimel@crain.com. -- Follow Hans on Twitter

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