April 1, 2009.
General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 156,380 vehicles in March, down 45 percent compared with a year ago. However, comparing March sales with February, 7 of 8 GM brands saw total sales increases with total volume up 23 percent, or more than 29,000 cars, crossovers and trucks. GM's car sales compared with February were up more than 15,000 vehicles (28 percent), truck sales were up nearly 11,000 vehicles (23 percent), and crossover sales increased more than 3,000 vehicles (12 percent) .
"Sales for GM and the industry showed signs of life at the end of the month compared with January and February. In April, we're stepping up to the plate to get a rally underway with 'GM Total Confidence,' our unprecedented customer protection package," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "We are encouraged by actions taken by the Federal government to stabilize the industry and stimulate demand. As we continue the reinvention of General Motors, our brands are adding even more world-class, fuel-efficient cars and crossovers to their portfolios. We will also continue to add even more fuel economy technology to our trucks."
When compared with March a year ago, GM total car sales of 68,877 were off 41 percent and total truck sales (including crossovers) of 87,503 were down 47 percent.
Compared with February, total Chevrolet sales were up 25 percent. Specifically, cars were up 28 percent, trucks were up 25 percent and crossovers increased 19 percent. Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups gained strength in March, when compared with February, with retail sales up 17 and 27 percent, respectfully.
Chevrolet's crossover portfolio of HHR, Equinox and Traverse combined for 14,844 total sales in March, a 19 percent increase compared with February. In addition, Malibu has increased retail sales for the first three months this year, with sales up 7 percent compared with the same period a year ago.
"We had a strong close at the end of the month as customers responded to strong incentives, President Obama's positive statements about GM, and the government backing domestic warranties," LaNeve added. "Customers told us they wanted a manufacturer to look out for them, and that's exactly what the 'GM Total Confidence' program does."
A total of 1,612 GM hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month, illustrating the wide range of hybrid product offerings available. GM offers the Chevrolet Malibu, Tahoe and Silverado, GMC Yukon and Sierra, Cadillac Escalade, Saturn Aura and Vue hybrids. So far, in 2009, GM has delivered 3,622 hybrid vehicles.
GM inventories dropped compared with a year ago. At the end of March, only about 765,000 vehicles were in stock, down about 108,000 vehicles (or 12 percent) compared with last year. There were about 332,000 cars and 433,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of March. Inventories were reduced about 15,000 vehicles compared with February.
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