General Motors sold 231,052 units in March in the U.S., standing for a 12% increase over the strong demand for fuel-efficient cars and crossovers. Most of the increase had come from Chevrolet, which posted a 17% hike in sales, to 173,073 units. GMC sales increased by 12%, with 34,337 units sold.
Meanwhile, Buick sales declined by 16% to 13,105 units and Cadillac sales had fallen by 13% to 10,537 units. Through the first quarter, GM’s sales rose 3% to 608,320 units for the four brands. But then, retail sales fell by 1% in the first quarter. Amid the increase in gasoline prices, GM had strong car sales in March, with a 22% increase compared to March 2011.
In a press release, GM said that in March, it posted a record 100,000 units sold of vehicles that meet an EPA-estimated 30 mpg on the highway. GM said that this is the highest of any month.
Don Johnson, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales, released a statement that sales have been boosted for over a year because of the revival of the economy as well as the release of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers. Since the subcompact Chevy Sonic was launched in August 2011, it has been steadily increasing and was actually able to sell 8,251 units last month.
According to GM officials, about 60% of those who buy a Sonic model are new to GM. Models that are powered by four-cylinder engines made up 42% of GM’s U.S. sales mix last month -- its highest ever. Chevrolet was also able to set a monthly record for the sales of its plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt in March, with 2,289 units sold.
This is a 50% increase over the previous record that it had set in December 2011. Fleet sales made up 7% of GM’s Volt sales in March. Meanwhile, sales of the full-sized pickups increased by 14%. GM is working to build pickup inventories due to plans that its factories will shut down long for the summer while the automaker prepa