DETROIT -- Chevrolet and GMC led General Motors to its best sales increase of the year in August, despite Hurricane Harvey adversely impacting deliveries at the end of the month.
The automaker on Friday reported sales of 275,552 vehicles in August, a 7.5 percent increase compared with a year ago and its best month since a 10 percent uptick in December.
Mustafa Mohatarem, GM chief economist, said Hurricane Harvey "did have an adverse effect on deliveries during the last week of August for every automaker," but the company does not expect the natural disaster to have a long-term impact on sales.
"With the U.S. economy strengthening, we anticipate retail sales will be strong for the foreseeable future," he said in a statement.
Double-digit gains last month of 12 percent and 11 percent at GMC and Chevrolet helped offset an 8.1 percent decrease at Cadillac and 23 percent drop at Buick.
Buick's second consecutive monthly loss was led by double-digit declines of 25 percent or more from the LaCrosse large sedan, Regal midsize sedan, Cascada convertible and midsize Enclave crossover. It's also continuing to sell down its axed Verano compact sedan, which fell 97 percent to 143 cars.
GM reports retail deliveries were up 4 percent, and the company estimates that it gained more than a half point of retail market share. U.S. retail crossover sales were 81,694 vs. 55,554 last year, up 47 percent. Increasing availability of the redesigned Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Terrain crossovers and a redesigned Enclave on the way, should continue to keep the company's crossover sales strong for the foreseeable future.
U.S. commercial fleet deliveries were up 19 percent, and the company has gained domestic commercial market share for 13 consecutive months. Total fleet deliveries were up 24 percent, according to GM.
"We had a very strong month, and grew our retail and commercial fleet business on the strength of robust crossover sales at all four of our brands," Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement.