It's not exactly all good news, however. Sales were actually down 20 percent from December. Check out all the details in GM's press release after the break.
* Strong retail sales propel overall performance – up 36 percent
* Car, Truck and Crossover segment retail sales each rise more than 34 percent
* GM's newest vehicles continue to gain customers – retail sales up 61 percent
DETROIT – General Motors dealers in the United States reported 178,896 total sales in January, a 23-percent increase from a year ago for the company's four brands. The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 36 percent higher than a strong January a year ago.
For the month, overall GM fleet sales were down 7 percent with sales to rental fleets declining 11 percent, while sales to commercial customers rose 7 percent.
Retail sales of GM's cars, trucks and crossovers all rose 34 percent or more during the month, up 39 percent, 34 percent and 35 percent, respectively.
"January was a good month and signaled a solid start to the new year for each of our divisions," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Our results were driven by gains across the board in all segments, with our newest models leading the way."
Combined sales for GM's newest vehicles – Chevrolet Equinox, Silverado HD, Cruze and Volt; Buick LaCrosse and Regal; GMC Sierra HD and Terrain; and Cadillac SRX, CTS Wagon and CTS Coupe – increased 31 percent, while retail sales surged 61 percent for the month.
Total sales of GM passenger cars rose 15 percent during January on rising demand for the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, Buick Regal and CTS Coupe. Retail sales of GM passenger cars rose 39 percent for the month, led by the Cruze, with retail sales 129 percent higher than the compact car it replaced. The momentum continues as Cruze Eco, which will get an estimated 42 miles per gallon on the highway, began arriving at U.S. dealers in January.
In January total sales for GM's industry-leading lineup of fuel-efficient crossovers improved 31 percent versus January 2010, led by the Chevrolet Equinox (up 35 percent), GMC Terrain (up 48 percent) and Cadillac SRX (up 31 percent). Retail sales for the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia continued to improve in January, up 37 percent, 15 percent and 24 percent respectively.
"Our mid-sized crossovers, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia, continue to have legs," Johnson said. "They appeal to customers because of their great styling, fuel efficiency and utility."
Pickups and Utilities
Total sales of GM's full-size pickup trucks – Chevrolet Silverado and Avalanche, and GMC Sierra – improved 28 percent in January versus a year ago, with retail sales rising 37 percent. Total sales of GM full-size utilities – Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and Cadillac Escalade – rose 18 percent during the month, with combined retail sales improving 31 percent. Total sales of Chevrolet Express cargo and passenger vans and the Chevrolet HHR rose as more businesses turned to the brand in January, with sales up 91 percent and 35 percent respectively.
Month-end dealer inventory in the United States stood at about 510,000 units, which is about 1,000 lower compared to December and about 124,000 higher than January 2010.
Brand Key Facts:
* Chevrolet: Chevrolet delivered 125,389 total vehicles in January, a 19-percent increase versus last year. Retail sales for Chevrolet rose 33 percent for the month. Retail sales were propelled by improving Cruze sales, which were 129 percent higher than the compact car it replaces. Silverado and Equinox retail sales, which were up 35 and 46 percent respectively (read more).
* Buick: Buick reported 13,269 total sales, a 32-percent increase compared to a year ago. This includes a 44-percent rise in year-over-year retail sales, led by Regal (2,290 units) and Enclave, which had retail sales 37 percent higher than last year. This marks the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the brand. (read more).
* GMC: GMC reported total sales of 27,658, a 30-percent increase compared to the same month last year. This marks the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Retail sales were 36 percent higher than last year, spurred by Yukon, Sierra, Acadia and Terrain – up 32 percent, 49 percent, 24 percent and 34 percent, respectively (read more).
* Cadillac: Cadillac reported total sales of 12,580 for January – 49 percent higher than last January, with retail sales increasing 55 percent. January was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales gains. SRX retail sales were up 43 percent compared to a year ago. CTS retail sales rose 114 percent, driven by strong demand for the all-new CTS Coupe and Sedan. The Escalade family saw retail sale rise 18 percent versus a year ago (read more).
* Fleet sales for GM's four brands were 39,767 for the month, a 7-percent decline from the prior year, with sales to rental fleets down 11 percent during the same period. Sales to commercial customers rose 7 percent for the month, the tenth consecutive month of commercial fleet sales gains. Fleet accounted for 22 percent of GM total sales during the month.
About General Motors: General Motors, (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.