2011 has been an up and down year so far for General Motors. High incentive spending, $100-per-barrel oil and potential supply disruptions due to the Japan earthquake have been a major downer. Even the automaker's stock price, which jumped to $39 per share after the IPO opened at $33 per share, is down 18 percent on the year.
But in spite of all that ails The General, sales have been very strong, and at the end of the day the car business is all about moving metal. Here in the States, Cadillac, GMC and Buick have been on fire, and on a global basis Chevrolet has been very strong. How strong? Mlive.com reports that The BowTie brand had its best first quarter ever, with sales up 15 percent globally compared to 2010.
Best-ever first quarter sales is a great way to kick off Chevy's 100 Year Anniversary as a brand, and a lot of the success has come due to the rapid growth of the Chinese market. GM sold 2.3 million vehicles in China in 2010 and plans to increase that total to five million units per year by 2015.
The first quarter also marked the first time the Cruze became the best-selling Chevy on a global basis. GM moved 150,650 copies of the sedan through March, up 117 percent compared to the first quarter of 2010. With a hatchback variant of the Cruze on its way, The General's C-segment offering will likely only improve in the months ahead. We're thinking GM is hoping the same can be said for its stock price.