General Motors was able to achieve a 1% increase in sales last month, aided by the strong demand from commercial customers and the recent model debuts like the Chevrolet Sonic. The sales boost came almost entirely from Chevrolet. According to the GM executives, the result was better than what they expected provided that the 46% sales increase experienced in February 2011 were due to incentives.
Most of the analysts had forecasted that the February sales of the automaker would decline from year-earlier levels. GM's vice president of U.S. sales, Don Johnson, recognized the unexpected strength in the economy and the strong demand for newer models, many of which are more fuel-efficient and smaller. In a conference call with reporters and analysts, Johnson revealed that the improving economic fundamentals and "great product" are "really driving" their business.
Furthermore, GM was able to sell 7,900 units of Chevy Sonic last month. The figure is almost three times the year-earlier sales of the Aveo, which is the vehicle that Chevy Sonic replaced. The February result is also the highest mark since the vehicle was released in August. Chevy Cruze sales were 20,427 units. This is the first time that the Cruze surpassed the 20,000 mark since August.
Johnson pointed to the increase in small-car sales for the success of its new offerings instead of the rise in gasoline prices in the entire month. He added that almost 40% of the overall sales of GM came from automobiles that get more than 30 mpg on the highway compared to 16% three years ago.
He further stated that the strength of their "broad-based portfolio" is what was assisting them in achieving the figures. The positive results are also attributed to the sales to commercial customers like the farmers and contractors, which increased by 35%. Heavy-duty variants of the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pickups leaped 20% percent and 28%, respectively.