The June 2011 sales of General Motors increased by 11%, attributed partly to the recovering demand for full-sized pickups. For the month of May, sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups had dropped.
Sales were flat in April but it rose by 15% in June. Meanwhile, car sales increased by 28%. According to Don Johnson, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, pickup sales had rebounded while gasoline prices gradually decreased throughout the month.
In a conference call last Thursday, Johnson said that as anxieties over the fuel-price hikes had dissipated, consumers who really need a pickup have returned to the market. He said that pickup sales are expected to get a boost in the second half of 2011 unless gasoline prices go up drastically.
Traditionally, second-half sales are better than the first half. Nevertheless, Johnson confirmed that GM plans to reduce its pickup production by shutting down plants this month, after inventory had increased amid gasoline-price increases in the spring.
He estimates that pickup inventory would be slightly higher at 122 days' supply than what the company would have preferred. He said that GM has a target range of 100 to 110 days.
But even as gasoline prices fall, fuel efficiency remained to be favored by consumers. In June, Chevrolet sold 24,896 Cruze compacts. It marks the third consecutive month that it sold more than 20,000 units.
For the passenger cars segment, GM reported a 28 percent year-on-year increase for June. Retail sales increased 33 percent for the month due mainly to the strong Cruze sales. Compared to its predecessor, the Chevrolet Cobalt, the Cruze racked up 153 percent more sales. Digging deeper, the Cruze’s strong showing was due in part to sales of the Cruze Eco. The fuel-efficient car that goes for 42 miles per gallon is popular, contributing 17 percent to the Cruze’s sales results for the month.
Meanwhile, the Buick Regal brought in new customers with 3,497 in retail sales. Out of this number, around 30 percent were for the turbo variety. Also rising are the retail sales figures for the Cadillac CTS, which improved by 16 percent, thanks to the continued strong clamor for the CTS Coupe.
Year-to-date sales through June show a 43 percent increase for passenger car sales.
Crossovers were a bit of a disappointment, though. Total sales for crossovers slumped 2 percent in June, owing mainly to the planned reduction in fleet sales. However, retail sales increased by 24 percent compared to the same month of the previous year. Equinox increased retail sales results by 79 percent, while Terrain slowed similar positive results with a 75 percent rise in retail sales.
The crossovers segment enjoyed 26 percent more sales for the first half of the year.
Silverado, Avalanche, and Sierra improved five percent even as retail sales dropped slightly by two percent compared to year ago figures. Meanwhile, total sales of Chevrolet Silverado HD increased 23 percent year on year.
There’s more good news from the GMC Sierra HD sales figures, which increased by 39 percent. Additionally, the company sold more Sierras and Silverados in June than any other month.
Looking at the retail sales since the start of the year, GM’s full-sized pickups scored 12 percent more units sold. Total units moved reached 259,101, again a 12-percent rise compared to the same six-month period the year before.
Dealer inventory taken at the end of June 2011 showed that there were 605,000 units left at United States dealers, 21,000 units more compared to the previous month and 168,000 units higher than the previous year.