DETROIT -- General Motors' June sales rose 7 percent, as strong demand for pickups and small cars propelled Chevrolet to its strongest month in nearly five years.
GM's retail sales rose 14 percent, while fleet sales fell 9 percent. GM executives blamed the drop in fleet sales on the timing of customer deliveries.
Chevy sales rose 7 percent to 193,460, the brand's highest monthly mark since September 2007. Sales of the Silverado pickup, GM's top-selling U.S. vehicle, rose 29 percent.
GM said prices for the Silverado and GMC Sierra remained strong despite a selldown of the 2013 models to make way for the redesigned 2014 versions, GM said the '14 models, which were launched in late May, accounted for about 10 percent of the 59,827 pickups sold in June.
Overall, GM's pickup incentives were flat from a year earlier, while average transaction prices increased by $1,300.
"We feel like we're in a pretty good place from an inventory standpoint and a production standpoint," on the pickup transition, U.S. sales operations chief Kurt McNeil told analysts and reporters during a conference call.
Chevy's strong results included record sales for two of its highest-volume vehicles: the Cruze compact, up 73 percent to 32,871, and the Equinox crossover, up 14 percent to 23,645.
A factor in the surge for both nameplates likely was an incentive program that the company ran in May and June on both cars, along with the Malibu.
GM gave dealers $500 for every five units of Cruze, Equinox and Malibu on their lots as of May 1, according to a memo to Chevy dealers. Dealers could apply those in $250 increments, with a maximum of $500 toward a Cruze sale, $750 for Equinox and $1,000 for Malibu.
Chevy sales chief Don Johnson said higher fleet sales also contributed to the Cruze's strong showing.
Cadillac sales were the strongest among GM's four brands, up 15 percent. That was the luxury brand's smallest monthly gain this year, though. Through June, Cadillac sales have risen 33 percent.
Buick sales slid 4 percent on declines of more than 40 percent for both the Regal and LaCrosse sedans. The cars are being restyled for the 2014 model year.
GMC sales rose 5 percent, aided by a 33 percent jump for the Sierra pickup, its top-selling nameplate.