DETROIT -- General Motors' U.S. sales grew 11 percent in April on a surge in demand for vehicles at both ends of GM's lineup: big trucks and small cars.
GM sold 237,646 light vehicles last month, its highest April sales in five years. The automaker outpaced the industry for the fourth straight month, after losing U.S. market share in 2012.
Cadillac was the strongest of GM's brands, with sales up 34 percent. Sales at both Buick and Chevrolet rose 11 percent, and GMC's sales increased 7 percent.
GM said retail sales rose 10 percent and fleet deliveries grew by 16 percent. Sales to fleet customers accounted for 28 percent of total deliveries, slightly above the 26 percent fleet percentage for the first four months of the year.
GM North America President Mark Reuss said he's pleased that GM's sales are growing faster than the market even before the company rolls out some key new models, including the next generation of its full-sized pickups. Production of crew cab versions of the redesigned pickups began this week at GM's Silao, Mexico, plant.
"We're in launch right now," Reuss told Automotive News today. He said improving consumer confidence and GM's strong pickup sales in April "are both pretty good indications that things are starting to happen."
GM executives said they have kept incentive levels stable despite signs that a weaker Japanese yen could lead to pricing pressure. Nissan said today that it's cutting prices on seven models, with discounts ranging from $580 on the Altima sedan to $4,400 on the Armada SUV.
Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations, cited "more aggressiveness" by Japanese and as well as Korean automakers, though he declined to name them.
"We're just trying to continue to obviously remain competitive and disciplined," McNeil told reporters during a conference call.
He said GM's average incentive per vehicle in April rose by $151 from a year earlier while its average transaction price increased $366.
Sales of GM's current full-sized pickups, the 2013 GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado, rose 24 percent.
GM is offering relatively heavy incentives on the pickups just as it began production this week of its next-generation Silverado and Sierra, which it said should be arriving in dealerships "in the next several weeks."
McNeil said the redesigned 2014 pickups will account for roughly a quarter of GM's overall full-sized pickup sales this year.
Car sales were up just 6 percent, although sales of GM's small cars, including the Chevy Cruze, Sonic and Spark, rose 31 percent combined.
Laggards included the Chevy Impala (down 27 percent), Buick Regal (down 39 percent) and Cadillac CTS, sales of which fell 43 percent ahead of the rollout of a redesigned sedan this fall.