The plug-in vehicle sales situation is heating up, and Chevrolet is looking especially good now that its plug-in hybrid Volt has had it best sales month ever. Looks like Bob Lutz knew what he was talking about.

Chevy sold 2,289 Volts in March, up from 1,023 last month and 608 in March 2011. This beats the previous high-sales mark by almost 800 units. In December 2011, Chevy sold 1,529 Volts.

Meanwhile, Nissan sold 579 Leafs in March, up from 478 Leafs in February and just 298 in March 2011. 579 is not a record, though, as the best Leaf sales month ever was in June 2011, when it sold 1,708 units.

Both Chevy's and Nissan's overall vehicle sales for March were up around 12 percent. Official press releases from both companies are available after the jump. Our broader look at monthly green car sales is on the way.
Show full PR text
Chevrolet and GMC Drive GM's March Sales up 12 percent
Buick and Cadillac retail sales increase


DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported total March sales of 231,052 vehicles in the United States, up 12 percent year over year. The monthly total includes a record 100,000 cars and crossovers that achieve an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway rating or better.

"The economic recovery and a deep bench of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers have been driving our sales for more than a year, but the combined impact has never been stronger than it was in March," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Since the last time fuel prices spiked, both the economy and GM's product portfolio are undeniably stronger. We're now strong across the board in cars, crossovers and trucks."

Total GM passenger car sales increased 22 percent, with small and compact car sales up a combined 62 percent. Compact crossover sales were up 47 percent and mid-size car sales were up 38 percent. Full-size pickup sales were up 14 percent.

The Chevrolet brand increased its sales 17 percent year over year, and every Chevrolet car line was up. Sales of the Sonic have increased steadily since it launched in August 2011, with March reaching 8,251 vehicles. Volt sales of 2,289 were 50 percent higher than December 2011, which had been the vehicle's best month since launch. Cruze deliveries of 21,607 marked the car's seventh month of sales exceeding 20,000 units and its seventh consecutive month of higher year-over-year sales.

Other March highlights include a 12 percent year-over-year increase in GMC sales driven by strong Sierra and Terrain results, a 34 percent increase in Chevrolet Equinox sales, a 15 percent increase in Cadillac CTS sales, and a very strong month for the new Buick Verano, with sales of 2,497 units.

The company's retail deliveries increased 14 percent compared with March 2011 and accounted for 74 percent of GM sales. Deliveries to fleets increased 6 percent.

Highlights

March 2012 Total Sales

Total Change vs. March 2011

March 2012 Retail Sales

March 2012 Retail Sales Change vs. March 2011

CYTD

Total Sales

CYTD

Total Sales Change vs. 2011

CYTD 2012 Retail Sales

CYTD 2012

Retail Sales Change vs. 2011

Chevrolet

173,073

16.8%

118,134

16.5%

448,134

7.6%

301,217

0.7%

GMC

34,337

12.2%

30,348

13.8%

91,884

1.2%

79,528

(1.7%)

Buick

13,105

(16.3%)

12,642

5.7%

37,336

(16.5%)

35,376

(5.3%)

Cadillac

10,537

(13.4%)

10,303

1.9%

30,996

(23.6%)

29,852

(14.4%)

Total GM

231,052

11.8%

171,427

14.2%

608,320

2.7%

445,973

(1.4%)



Total sales at Buick and Cadillac were down in total for the month, but retail sales were higher. Buick's retail sales were up 6 percent on the strength the all-new Verano and the 36-mpg LaCrosse with eAssist. Cadillac retail sales were up 2 percent on the strength of an 18 percent gain by the CTS and continued strong retail sales of the SRX and Escalade.

GM is continuing to aggressively roll out new products to sustain its momentum. At the New York International Auto Show this week, the company will unveil five new or redesigned vehicles, including 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, Cadillac SRX, Buick Enclave and GMC Terrain Denali crossovers, as well as the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala sedan.

By the end of 2012, GM will have all-new or redesigned cars and crossovers in segments that represent 60 percent of the retail light vehicle industry.

Inventory

Units @

Feb. 29, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

Units @

March 31, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

All Vehicles

667,096

80

713,008

86

Full-size Pickups

210,463

116

231,594

124



Industry Sales

March SAAR (est.)

Q1 2012 SAAR (est.)

Full Year 2012 (est.)

Light Vehicles

14.3 million

14.5 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.

Nissan North America Sets All-Time Single Month Sales Record with March Sales Up 12.5%

Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today reported March U.S. sales of 136,317 units versus 121,141 units a year earlier, an increase of 12.5 percent, and a record for any month in the company's history. Nissan Division sales also set a new sales record, up 14.8 percent for the month at 126,132 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles were down 9.8 percent from the prior year, to 10,185 units.

NISSAN HIGHLIGHTS

Nissan Division also posted its best all-time month in March with 126,132 sales, an increase of 14.8 percent over the previous record of 109,854 units set last March.
Sales of the Nissan Altima hit a new monthly record, finishing at 41,050 units, up 27.1 percent over March 2011. The new record comes on the eve of the introduction of the all-new 2013 Nissan Altima, which will be unveiled tomorrow at the New York International Auto Show.
Nissan Rogue also set an all-time volume record with March sales of 16,972 units up 19.7 percent over the prior year.
Nissan Juke sales also set a new all-time record, with 4,165 deliveries marking a 1.9 percent increase over March 2011.
Sales of the Nissan Versa set a new March record at 15,587 units, up 40.7 percent over the prior year.

"Our record March sales show that Nissan's combination of quality and value continues to put us at the top of more customers' shopping lists," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "With new versions of five of our highest volume models coming in the next 15 months, including the all-new 2013 Altima, we're going to keep our foot on the accelerator for even better gains in the months to come."

INFINITI HIGHLIGHTS

Infiniti today reported sales of 10,185 units for March, a decrease of 9.8 percent from 11,287 units a year earlier.
The all-new Infiniti JX 7-passenger luxury crossover went on sale late in March, and had sales of 540 units.
On Thursday, April 5, at the New York Auto Show, Infiniti will unveil a zero emission concept that will preview the stylish, high-performance, electric luxury car that is set to launch in 2014.

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. March 2012 had 28 selling days, while March 2011 had 27 selling days.

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 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 Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles 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 the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

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


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 157 Comments
      Pip
      • 2 Years Ago
      You have to realize the numbers of the LEAF are "delayed" the purchase of the leaf comes when the actual owner buys it from the dealership after its been delivered. LEAFs are still on a order and wait with only a few "orphans" available directly off a lot. That said, the order time to delivery is still about 3 months, so the mammoth sales of March will be reflected in the June sales numbers.....which also shows why June of last year was the LEAFs biggest selling month. These vehicles were mostly likely ordered in December of last year.
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Pip
        Hi Pip, we order our leaf on February 28th and it's arriving to the dealer this week (it was scheduled for April 3rd). That means the actual delay was less than 35 days.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just saw Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn interviewed live on CNBC. He said that Leaf sales can be expected to trend up significantly starting in September because of consumer cost impacts of moving from Yen based Leaf pricing to a Dollar based Leaf pricing as Nissan moves to US based production of the Leaf. This would seem to imply a good whack to the list price of the Leaf in the US for the 2013 model in the fall (presumably). Ghosn said they still think they can shoot for 20,000 sales of Leaf's in the US for 2012. Seems pretty optimistic (they'd have to sell more than 2000 Leafs a month from here on out to do that). It was a good interview, Ghosn is always good talking. Will post a link when I can get one.
        Ziv
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Does Smyrna open before December? How will the pricing change if Smyrna isn't opened yet? I am not sure I understand how Ghosn sees getting to 20,000 US sales this year. Can't wait to see the price reduction when Smyrna is up to speed! Cheaper BEV's/EREV's would help a huge amount!
          DaveMart
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Ziv
          It's US battery production that is due to start in August, which will reduce costs, and then that will speed up when car production opens at the end of the year. They basically are not going full bore on shipping to the US at the moment because it is more profitable, or less of a loss, to sell them elsewhere. I'd assume from what Nissan say that they might be aiming to step up sales to 4-5,000 a month in the closing months of the year in the US, after a quiet start. For people going for the tax credit that means less of a wait too, if they can't be bothered to go through the rigmarole of pre-deducting it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obama just bought 2,289 Chevy Volts for his friends, family and staff. ;) But seriously, these numbers are likely affected by politics and the upcoming election. GM resuming production a week early bodes well for Obama for sure.
        • 1 Month Ago
        Here we go again. It's not about politics, it's about cars! It's about technology! It's about alternatives to burning dead dinosaurs! Those that want to make this a political discussion have likely never even looked at a Volt, much less driven one.
        marcopolo
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Leigh Christie Thank you for confirming that the President has at least 2,289 friends,...oh... and and it's good to hear that he chooses gifts, "Made in the USA " ! Now as Bill Ford jnr has often threatened, let's role call the vehicle buying choices of all those 'Representatives of the US people" up on Capitol Hill ?
      At_Liberty
      • 2 Years Ago
      The only thing that is aflame with the Volt is DEMAND !
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      May have something to do with the lease deal they started last month.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        I'd really like to think this is a sustainable increase. I certainly hope it is. But I suspect it has more to do with the "Quad Zero" lease available and California getting the revised version that qualifies for the carpool lane sticker. Very impressive though . . . Congrats, GM!
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          I think it's sustainable. Quad Zero means you don't need to be paying huge sums to the Feds to afford the car. HOV stickers are going to be around for a while. Remember, we've not even hit the summer season, when people really start looking to buy. When that happens, the numbers could even improve (assuming GM has stock on hand).
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @throwback
        And the solo carpool lane eligible models. This is a huge deal in some areas, areas where "alternative" cars like the Volt sell.
      Smurf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Surprisingly, Fox News was one of the first web sites to report these numbers. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/04/03/chevy-volt-sales-double-in-march/ The article had no negative spin. What the heck is going on over there at Fox?
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        When Bush Sr. buys a Volt, it's not like Fox can call Bush an idiot... So when the Volt puts a big number down, at that point, the nonsense has to stop.
        PR
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        Wow, it is even an actual original Fox News story, and not just a reprint of some other content from somewhere else. This is all 100% Fox News content.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        GM told them to behave. Fox are not about to make a break now from their proud record of servility to corporate interests. If this were 1860 they would be foursquare behind the plantation owners.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Remember how the republican party was formed by free whites wanting slavery to end and free blacks wanting slavery to end? Or remember how before 1964, the bible beating religious southern people all voted democrat?
          At_Liberty
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Make that : GM's *lawyers* told them to behave... them being the more, er, ill-informed, hosts...
          sirvixisvexed
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I should add: You're right, Fox News WOULD be foursquare behind the plantation owners; only they would be Democrats.
        me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        fox news website is a little better than the tv or fox nation ( kkk website there! )
        mapoftazifosho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        If you can't kill it...take credit and pretend you never said anything negative!
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smurf
        They are hoping to survive. I am sure (especially since they individually will never make the kind of money they make now anywhere else) that the rumors around Murdoch's empire have them a little nervous. Heck, all they need is another injection of funding from the Saudis and they'll be right as rain, back backstabbing America left and right. You can't keep a good demogogue down.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nice to see the Volt sales were up at a record (even with fleet sales of 160 subtracted out its still an all time record and exceeds 2000). It's good to see Leaf numbers increasing from March I was hoping they'd get back up near 1000 but 579 is better than 300 - hopefully they'll increase further as time moves on. Up until March if you wanted a plug in with HOV lane access in CA (where most plug-ins are sold) your choice was a Leaf, but now you can choose a Volt or a Plug-in Prius as well - this could be keeping Leaf sales deflated some.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Nissan needs to drop the price down a few thousand. Getting the price to under $25K after tax-credit is important. Hopefully they'll be able to do that with the Smyrna plant operating with cheaper labor.
        SVX pearlie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        In CA, natural gas also grants HOV access - one of our friends bought a NG car for the HOV lanes.
          Sasparilla Fizz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SVX pearlie
          Good point, I always forget about that. It'll be a good couple of years for natural gas prices to fillup with. Honda has their Civic GX (believe that is minus most of the trunk like the Focus Electric).
        Ziv
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        I agree about the Leaf sales being a bit better but not as good as we would wish. Whether it is a Volt, Leaf, FFE, or the future Tesla S and the Fisker Atlantic, the more electric cars there are out there, the better off we all are. Bring on the economies of scale for electric intent parts and public chargers. Even the Volt can improve their electric miles % by using the chargers on the days where you are going to be doing 60 or 70 miles and you can charge while you eat lunch.
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          Ziv, that's basically how EVs work - drive from plug to plug. The advantage of the Volt is that you don't need 240V to top off, and it's not like you'll be stuck if you can't charge. Tho if you're getting a Volt, you really ought to talk with your electric company and your HR department. There's probably some kind of break your company could get, for "green" marketing if nothing else. The pennies a day it'd cost them to let you charge your Volt just shouldn't be an issue. Worst case, let them invoice you a few bucks every month.
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          SVX, you know this stuff better than I, but if I do get a Volt this year, I will probably top off my pack whenever I can to keep my % of miles from electricity as high as possible. I can't plug in at work so just about anywhere that will let me plug in for lunch will get my business. 120V will help, but 240V will be even better!
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ziv
          If one works a regular 8 hours at the office, plugging in on 120V would do just fine to "top off" the Volt. The battery pack isn't that big that it needs 240V.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sasparilla Fizz
        Ford Focus EV and BMW Active-e too, I believe. I've seen several Active-e's already and one Ford Focus EV. I think the main slowdown for the LEAF is Nissan is working down the pent up demand. But I don't see the sales going away. There's a demand for a good affordable EV around town, and the LEAF does a good job with that. It'll be interesting to see what the Model S does. The fat part of the EV market so far has been in small cars. Basically EV econoboxes. But many of the early adopters have money to spend, if Tesla offers a full-featured equivalent (even if they overstate it a bit) how many of those EV early adopters will go to it?
      David
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great to see some good news for the Volt.
      AddLightness
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who else is tired of the politics surrounding these cars?
      josephdennie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just wait until envia's new lithiium batteries get put into the chevy volt....the volt will turn into a monster no doubt.
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @josephdennie
        I'm hopeful for Envia but don't count your chicken's before they hatch. There is a lot of promising technology that doesn't make it from the lab to the assembly line.
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @josephdennie
        envia doesn't have a battery and it wont go into the Volt. but EV potential is certainly great even though the Volt is poor.
          MTN RANGER
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          Maybe not the current Volt, but version 2.0 in 2015 will definitely have a new battery chemistry (or maybe a choice). Since GM is a major Envia investor, it is not wise to exclude this possibility.
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          I suppose that's a fair comment. it's just that that would be doing something right and from long bitter experience, that's not what GM does...
      garylai
      • 1 Month Ago
      @SNP - I don't know what you're talking about. I drove 70 miles in my Leaf, mostly on highway with climate control on, just last week without recharge and had plenty of range left. I'm driving my Leaf about 1,000 miles a month, exactly the same as the gas car it replaced. Thanks for nothing for continuing to perpetuate ignorant false statements. @Grendal - Any technology takes time to catch on. The Leaf alone is currently selling better than the Toyota Prius did in its 3rd year of production. When you look at worldwide sales, the Leaf has sold 27,000 cars to date. It's worldwide sales are continuing on at about 2,000 per month, about the same as they were last month.
      SNP
      • 1 Month Ago
      It's actually not that hard. For most customers, they think of the initial cost/maintenance, then the likelihood of driving 50,100,200 miles in any direction and what they would save in doing so. Then comes design and luxuries. It's actually pretty simple. With the Leaf, you can cant even make it 50miles and you'd have to be towed back. Nissan even offers it for free, so they admit it's highly likely. That's why leaf sales are so low. There's nothing else to it. People like the brand, it's just the car.
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