GM sales drop 6 percent in January 2012

Article by Christian A., on February 1, 2012

General Motors Co. sold a total of 167,962 vehicles in the U.S. in January, 6 percent lower compared with a highly impressive January 2011. Don Johnson, the vice president, U.S. Sales Operations, said that Chevrolet had been the driving force behind its performance and that sales of its fuel-efficient new cars were “especially good.”

He added that the auto industry and the economy showed its strength in the fourth quarter and this carried over into January. A 13% increase was posted for Chevrolet passenger car sales.

Meanwhile, GM’s total passenger car sales rose by 3 percent in January, led by a 30-percent rise in the sales of fuel-efficient small and compact cars, including the new Chevrolet Sonic, the fast-selling Chevrolet Cruze and the new Buick Verano.

Furthermore, the Buick LaCrosse, which comes with the 36-mpg highway eAssist powertrain as standard equipment, had a 6 percent year-over-year increase while the Chevrolet Camaro grew by 20 percent.

GM’s crossover sales fell 18 percent and truck sales, which include full-size pickups, vans and SUVs, declined by 6 percent. Retail deliveries dropped by 15 percent compared with the same month the past year. It made up for 70 percent of GM sales.

GM has prepared a bold new plan for its products in 2012. For instance, production of the new 2013 Buick Verano is increasing. Last January, the company started to produce the 37-mpg 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, with four-cylinder and turbo powertrains to be launched in the summer at around the same time as the arrival of the new 2013 Chevrolet Spark in showrooms.

In December 2011, Buick's 2.0L Ecotec engine was awarded the distinction of being among the 10 Best Engines for North America for 2012 by WardsAuto World. Editor-in-chief Drew Winter commented that the turbocharged engine is powerful and sophisticated, helping redefine the car brand.

In an effort to reduce its powertrains without affecting the performance negatively, Buick chose to use the small displacement engine in its Verano model.

Verano, along with the Regal luxury sport car, has four-cylinder engines. Meanwhile the four-cylinder engine you see on LaCrosse luxury sedan features the eAssist technology. eAssist makes use of both battery and electric motor to bolster both fuel economy and performance.

Buick Marketing vice president Tony DiSalle says that their engine strategy is based on the need for smart performance. The use of four-cylinder engines, eAssist, and turbocharging fits the bill and helps give Buicks their smooth and quiet characteristics.

IHS Automotive has reported that the use of four-cylinder engines for North American motor vehicles will grow 12.2 million units in the course of the next decade.

Verano Turbo buyers may choose between a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.

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