DETROIT -- Increases in fleet sales and crossovers kept General Motors' U.S. sales in the black to kick off 2018.
The company on Thursday reported sales last month of 198,548 cars and light trucks, a 1.3 percent increase compared with January 2017.
GM's crossover sales last month increased 20 percent, while cars declined 30 percent. Light-truck sales, including full-size SUVs and vans, were up 7.3 percent.
Chevrolet, up 5 percent, reported crossover sales last month increased 40 percent compared with a year ago. Sales of the Chevrolet Equinox, Traverse, Trax and Bolt EV each set January records.
GM's fleet sales last month increased 2.9 percentage points compared with a year ago to 24 percent of total sales, or 47,304 units.
GM retail deliveries -- a concentration for the company -- dipped 2 percent and fleet sales rose 16 percent. Combined commercial and government deliveries jumped 44 percent; daily rental volume was off 7 percent.
Brands in January: Buick up 4%, Cadillac down 3.9%, Chevy up 5%, GMC down 11%.
Notable nameplates: Chevy Silverado up 15%, GMC Sierra down 18%, Chevy Equinox up 50%, Buick Encore down 12%, Chevy Cruze down 46%, Chevy Volt down 56%, Chevy Corvette down 20%.
Incentives: $5,242, up 14% from a year earlier and a 5.5% decline from December, according to ALG. That's forecast to be 14% of its average transaction price per unit.
Average transaction price: $36,469 per vehicle, up 0.2% from a year earlier, according to ALG.
Fleet mix: 24%, up 2.9 percentage points from a year ago.
Inventory: 94-day supply to end January, or 749,529 vehicles. That's up from 63 days, or 752,554 vehicles, a month ago.
U.S. market share: 17.2% in January 2018 vs. 17.4% for all of 2017 and 17.1% in January 2017.
Quotes: "All of our brands are building momentum in the industry's hottest and most profitable segments," said Kurt McNeil, GM's U.S. vice president of sales operations.
"General Motors sales came in a bit softer than expected but still up from a year ago, on the strength of the Chevrolet brand and the automaker's utility vehicles and trucks," said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader. "The Buick LaCrosse posted an eye-popping increase of 130 percent, but also carried equally eye-popping incentives. In the Detroit region, GM added a $3,000 auto show bonus on 2017 models. That, and all of the other incentives available on LaCrosse, could have added up to $14,000, one of the richest programs we've seen."
Did you know? January was the first time in two years that monthly sales of the Chevrolet Volt dropped below 1,000 units.