This one has got to hurt. After a record-best 1,529 units sold in December, sales of the Chevrolet Volt dropped to just 603 in January, part of an overall decline in GM model sales compared to the last month of 2011. The good news in this less-than-half drop? If you look at the year-on-year trend, the Volt almost doubled its sales. In January 2011, Chevy sold 321 Volts.

Over on the Nissan Leaf side, the numbers are also down. Nissan sold 676 Leafs in January, which is less than the 954 Leafs sold last month. But, if we do the same comparison that we did with the Volt, things look good. All the way back in January 2011, Nissan sold 87 Leafs. For more on Leaf sales, read this. We'll have our By The Numbers post on overall green car sales up as the information rolls in. Official press releases from both Nissan and Chevy are available after the jump.
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NISSAN NORTH AMERICA SALES UP 10.4% IN JANUARY
02.01.2012 , FRANKLIN, Tenn.
- New January records for Nissan Versa and Rogue -

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) maintained momentum from a strong 2011 finish with January sales of 79,313 units versus 71,847 units a year earlier, an increase of 10.4 percent. Nissan Division sales rose 12.5 percent for the month to 72,517 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles decreased 8.2 percent from the prior year, 6,796 units.

NISSAN HIGHLIGHTS

Nissan Division delivered 72,517 units in January, an increase of 12.5 percent over the 64,442 units sold in January 2011.
Nissan set a new January record for Versa sales with 9,418 deliveries, up 8.5 percent over the prior year.
Sales of Nissan Altima, the industry's second-best selling passenger car in 2011, increased 35.9 percent to 22,357 in January.
Nissan Rogue sales set a new January record at 9,904 units, up 5.1 percent.
Nissan's truck lineup delivered a 21.6 percent gain over last January, led by Frontier (up 35.3 percent) and Pathfinder (up 30.6 percent).
Deliveries of the all-electric Nissan LEAF totaled 676 in January, marking 10,369 U.S. sales for the world's best-selling electric car since its December 2010 launch.

INFINITI HIGHLIGHTS

Infiniti sales 6,796 units for January, a decrease of 8.2 percent versus 7,405 a year earlier.
Sales of the Infiniti QX luxury utility totaled 1,020, an increase of 30.4 percent over last year.

"Nissan carried momentum from a strong finish to 2011 into January," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "January's performance, especially for key models like Altima, Versa, Rogue and Frontier, reinforces our optimism that 2012 is going to be an even better year than 2011 for Nissan."

NOTE: To ensure consistency in global sales reporting, Nissan North America calculates monthly variances on a straight-percentage basis, unadjusted for the number of selling days. January 2012 had 24 selling days, as did January 2011.

About Nissan Americas
In the Americas, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and was recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 and 2011. More information, including photos and video b-roll, on Nissan in North America, the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.1 million vehicles in 2010, generating revenue of 8.77 trillion yen ($102.37 billion U.S.). With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including 2011 World Car of the Year.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

GM's U.S. Sales Down 6 percent in January
Chevrolet car sales up 13 percent on Strength of Cruze, Sonic

2012-02-01

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported total sales of 167,962 vehicles in the United States in January, down 6 percent compared with a very strong January 2011.

"Chevrolet drove our performance once again and sales of our fuel-efficient new cars were especially good," and Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "The strength that the economy and the auto industry showed in the fourth quarter carried into January, so we believe the year is off to a good start."

Chevrolet passenger car sales increased 13 percent. GM's total passenger car sales increased 3 percent in January, led by a 30-percent increase in sales of fuel-efficient small and compact cars, which include the new Chevrolet Sonic, the consistently strong-selling Chevrolet Cruze and the new Buick Verano.

In addition, the Buick LaCrosse, which now offers the 36-mpg highway eAssist powertrain as standard equipment, posted a 6 percent year-over-year increase, and the Chevrolet Camaro was up 20 percent.

GM's crossover sales decreased 18 percent and sales of trucks, which include full-size pickups, vans and SUVs, decreased 6 percent.

Retail deliveries declined 15 percent compared with the same month a year ago and accounted for 70 percent of GM sales.

Highlights

Jan. 2012 Total Sales

Total Change vs. Jan. 2011

Jan. 2012 Retail Sales vs. Jan. 2011

Jan. 2012 Retail Sales Change vs. Jan. 2011

Chevrolet

123,864

(1.2%)

78,189

(14.7%)

GMC

24,966

(9.7%)

21,649

(13.7%)

Buick

10,208

(23.1%)

9,521

(18.5%)

Cadillac

8,924

(29.1%)

8,373

(22.0%)

Total GM

167,962

(6.1%)

117,732

(15.4%)



"In 2012, we will strengthen our position with more new products, an even better dealership experience and reinforce the disciplined 'go to market' strategy that helped us grow profitably in the United States in 2011," said Johnson.

GM has an aggressive new product plan for 2012: Production of the new 2013 Buick Verano is ramping up. In January, the company began production of the 37-mpg 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco, with four-cylinder and turbo powertrains launching in the summer, about the same time the new 2013 Chevrolet Spark arrives in showrooms.

In late spring, Cadillac will launch its new XTS large sedan and in late summer, its new ATS luxury sports sedan. Late in 2012, Buick will launch the new Encore crossover, which made its debut at the North American International Auto Show.

At the Chicago Auto Show, GMC will introduce a new Acadia, which will go into production in late 2012. Other new products will be announced at major U.S. auto shows and other events throughout the year.

Inventory

Units @
Dec. 31, 2011

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

Units @
Jan. 31, 2011

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

All Vehicles

583,407

67

619,455

89

Full-size Pickups

181,070

73

188,568

119

Industry Sales

Dec. 2011 SAAR

Jan. 2012 SAAR (est.)

Full Year 2012
(est.)

Light Vehicles

13.5 million

13.5 million

13.5 million – 14.0 million



General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words "expect," "anticipate," "possible," "potential," "target," "believe," "commit," "intend," "continue," "may," "would," "could," "should," "project," "projected," "positioned" or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planned significant investment in new technology; the ability of our suppliers to timely deliver parts, components and systems; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provides information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.


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  • 91 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      Make the $7500 tax credit refundable (or immediately applied to the cost of the car), and I would buy a Volt tomorrow. Right now I don't have $7500 of tax obligations.
      mapoftazifosho
      • 3 Years Ago
      First month of the new year means you'll have to wait 12 months to claim your tax credit. Could this account for the December highs AND the January lows?
        Dave R
        • 3 Years Ago
        @mapoftazifosho
        You can "claim" the tax credit at any time - you can even get the tax credit before you buy the car if you want. All you have to do is adjust your federal tax witholdings on your paychecks. Know you're going to be buying a Volt? Temporarily stop withholding federal tax until you've accumulated $7500. And then you don't end up loaning the money for free to the government, either (not that $7500 will get you much interest these days).
      • 3 Years Ago
      Um, you do realize that there are 135 or so million working folks in this country and many more retired with money for a new car and out of that many millions a whopping 1200 bought electric cars. Wow, Im SO impressed with all this green tech.Really truly impressed.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        You are off by an order of magnitude in your 1200 number. Out of the 100 million or so households back in the late 70's, I was in one of the few thousand that bought a personal computer. Yeah, that fad sure died out.
          rich
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Spec
          You hit the nail on the head. The personal computer could be justified and people wanted them. The Volt can't be justified and people don't want them. Personally I have never heard a person say they wanted to buy a Volt, even if they could afford it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        its all about impressing a db like u!
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      It seems they are approaching market saturation. What do you think is going to happen when the subsidies go bye bye? The other question that comes to mind is: Are either of these cars making a profit even with huge subsidies?
      PR
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's called seasonal adjustment. January is lousy for car sales across the board for all vehicles for all makers.
      John Skookum
      • 3 Years Ago
      Death to Government Motors.
      • 3 Years Ago
      For God's sake.... It's a $40K chevy cruise with bells and whistles! People with an extreme enviromental cause and more $$ than brains might want this car. Otherwise it makes NO economic sense. The cruise easily gets 40+ mpg and sells for less than half the price. Let's not forget that someone is burning fuel somewhere to make the electricity in the first place. When an automaker comes out with an electric car that makes economic sense I'll buy one because it will save me $$$$$!! DUH!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm close to buying a Volt, but waiting for the 2012.5 units - I'm waiting for the MyLink feature to be available. I've got Ford Sync now and I don't want to lose similar functionality.
      JakeY
      • 3 Years Ago
      Might have more to do with seasonal trends and model year changes than anything. Nissan Dec 2011 sales were 89,937, Jan 2012 sales were 72,517. That's a drop of about 20%. 954->676 Leafs is a drop of about 30%. A bit below average, but nothing too much to worry about. Chevrolet Dec 2011 sales were 161,158, Jan 2012 sales were 123,864. Drop of about 23%. 1,529 -> 603 Volts is a drop of about 60%. There's probably some other factor in the Volt's case.
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the Volt will come out ahead in the US for the 2012 model year. Even if retail demand goes down, GM has so many fleet orders that they will have no problem unloading them. I think the LEAF will not create a subsantial lead in the US until US production comes online for the 2013 model year. Nissan has been shifting Japanese-made deliveries low-margin cars away from the US, not just for the LEAF, but also the Oppama-built Juke that is in shorter supply than the Volt right now. More LEAFs are being sold in Japan than the US now. And Europe is likely to get a larger allocation as transaction prices (and gas prices) are higher there. And Japan and Europe are having a much more aggressive infrastructure buildup. But the yen is killing exports. Renault is also selling like gangbusters, so a significant portion a battery production will likely shift there until the Sunderland plant starts building batteries. But when the Smyrna production comes online with 150k LEAFs and 200k batteries per year, Nissan will pull strongly ahead. Nissan/Renault plans to sell 1.5MM EV's by 2016, and a good chunk of those are likely to show up in the US. http://blog.alliance-renault-nissan.com/blog/renault-nissan-alliance-posts-record-sales-2011-third-consecutive-year
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ine937s . . you are cleary clueless about business an manufacturing . . I guarantee you people are up late tonight trying to pick the date when GM will shut down the assembly line . . it must be bleeding red ink so bad that it is beyond comprehension. This will go down as the Electric Edsel.
        RS
        • 3 Years Ago
        And I am sure that GM's shadow owners in the administration are telling them to keep the line open until AFTER the election, EXACTLY has they instructed Solyndra as its manufacturing line was producing unsold product at a huge loss.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        Speaking of clueless Kevin.... Do you think that new tech makes a profit right out of the gate? Do you think Toyota made a profit on the Prius the first few years?
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        Kevin, I am by no means a Volt apologist, as I think anybody who has been reading my posts will tell you. The assembly line has already been down for over a month, so nobody is trying to shut it down. But if you actually have any comprehension of production capacity, exchange rates, fleet orders and vehicle shipments, you will see for the next few months that the Volt is likely to have a narrow sales lead in the US. GE has ordered 12,000 Volts-- which is more than GM has sold to date. Other business and government fleets across the country account for thousands more sales. GM fans and early adopters will still buy several thousand more. I doubt GM will sell many overseas (where they do not benefit from home field advantage, incentives were not designed to favor it, average trips are shorter, cars are more efficient, more EV's are available, charging infrastructure is more available, etc.), so it is likely they will push sales on the US market. And while GM will likely lose money on their halo car, it is likely a fraction of what they spend on other marketing activities. The Yen is making the business case hard for cars imported to the US. Anybody familiar with Carlos Ghosn will tell you that the guy likes to make profits. More LEAFs are now being sold in Japan than in the US and more exports are going to Europe, where the car sells for more money. Globally, the Volt will not come close to LEAF sales numbers, but in the US for the 2012 model year, it is likely to come out ahead. But the 2012 model year will be over in a few months and Nissan has massive EV production capacity comming online in Tennessee this fall.
        Nick
        • 3 Years Ago
        Macucomber, The Volted drivetrain is going to be integrated into many other GM vehicles, effectively driving the cost down over time.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Nick
          Production prices are likely to go down due to economies of scale regardless of what GM does. GM uses a Japanese supplier to build its hybrid system, with most indications being Aisin (which also builds hybrid systems for Ford and Toyota, which owns 30% of the company). As that supplier makes more hybrids, costs will come down. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aisin Likewise, LG Chem makes the batteries for the Volt, Focus EV, HyundaI Sonata hybrid, and other hybrids. As LG makes more batteries, prices will come down. GM relies on suppliers that have a large enough market outside of what GM buys from them to reach economies of scale. The Delta II platform is shared with a number of other cars and so is the iron block 1.4l (often in turbo form), so GM's costs there should be reasonable. Costs are likely to come down, even if not to the point that the vehicle is profitable. However, the Volt should really be judged by its halo marketing value.
        Spec
        • 3 Years Ago
        The problem with Kevin's view is that he assumes an infinite supply of cheap oil. Sadly, most people do and that is why the world is going to be in trouble a few years down the road.
      • 3 Years Ago
      January is a slow month for car sales. Nough said. Absolutely love the Volt. Best car ever made. Don't listen to the oil company shills trying to deep 6 this vehicle. It's amazing!
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