GM sales solid despite recalls, but Chevy falls

Chevy's U.S. sales slipped 3 percent in June.

Photo credit: REUTERS
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DETROIT -- General Motors remains relatively unscathed in the showroom from its unprecedented recall crisis, as U.S. sales rose 1 percent last month to the company's strongest June in seven years.

GM said today it delivered 267,461 vehicles as retail sales rose 1 percent. Fleet sales grew 2 percent on strong demand from commercial and government customers.

Still, Chevrolet -- the brand that has suffered the brunt of the negative recall news -- saw sales slip 3 percent, the worst performance among GM’s four brands.

Pricing remained "in line" with April and May, giving GM a record average transaction price of around $33,674 in the second quarter.

GM said its inventive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices edged up 0.2 of a percentage point from a year earlier, to 10.9 percent, citing J.D. Power data. The industry's spending also rose 0.2 of a point, to 9.7 percent, GM said.

GM's recall woes worsened Monday, when the company announced six callbacks covering 27 models and 8.4 million vehicles globally. That brings GM’s total for the year to 54 recalls covering about 28.9 million vehicles globally.

Buick led the way last month with an 18 percent sales jump, to 21,403 units, helped by a near doubling in sales of the Encore small crossover, which was just rolling out a year ago.

GMC sales rose 11 percent, as sales of the redesigned 2015 Yukon (up 120 percent) and Yukon XL (up 70 percent) offset weaker demand for the Acadia crossover (down 13 percent) and Sierra pickup (down 7 percent).

Chevy sales slipped on weaker demand for its core nameplates, including the Cruze compact (down 21 percent), Malibu mid-sized sedan (down 24 percent) and Equinox crossover (off 8 percent).

Sales of Chevy's redesigned SUVs soared. Suburban sales rose 73 percent while Tahoe sales spiked 93 percent. The models were launched this winter as the first redesign for the body-on-frame SUVs in eight years.

Cadillac sales were flat as sales of the ATS compact sedan continue to struggle, sliding 32 percent from a year earlier.

Fleet sales were strong with the exception of sales to rental agencies, which fell 11 percent. Sales to business customers rose 48 percent and government deliveries rose 14 percent.

“It’s clear that our commercial and small business customers are expecting a strong second half of the year and they are building their fleets to meet demand,” Kurt McNeil, GM's U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement.

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com.


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