GM reports 16% December increase, calendar 2010 sales up 21%

General Motors rounded out 2010 on a high note. December ended with a 16-percent rise in sales versus the same month in 2009 and GM's four core brands managed to sell 21-percent more vehicles in 2010 than 2009. Factor in the four brands that were axed and the General still sold 118,435 more vehicles, or six-percent, more this year than last. Much of the success at year's end is thanks to strong crossover sales. GM says that CUVs were up 42 percent compared to a year ago. Pickup truck sales were 29-percent higher, but cars weren't quite as strong. GM saw car sales falter by six percent thanks to waning fleet sales, even while retail sales jumped by 14 percent versus a year ago. Hit the jump for more details. [Source: General Motors]
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General Motors 2010 Calendar Year Sales Up 21 Percent; December Sales Increase 16 Percent – Best Month of 2010


* GM's four brands sell 118,435 more vehicles in 2010 than eight brands did in 2009
* GM December retail sales up 27 percent, best month in 2010
* Chevrolet sales improve 16 percent in 2010
* Buick sales rose 52 percent in 2010 – the highest improvement of any major brand
* GMC increased sales 29 percent for the year
* Cadillac sales gain of 35 percent in 2010 is the highest for major luxury brands

DETROIT – General Motors dealers reported 223,932 total sales in December, a 16-percent increase from a year ago for the company's four brands. The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 27 percent higher than a strong December a year ago. For the calendar year, total sales for GM's four brands increased 21 percent to 2,202,927, while retail sales rose 16 percent for the year. GM's four brands sold 118,435 more vehicles this year than the company did with eight brands in 2009, and will gain total and retail market share for the year.

The December total sales result includes an anticipated reduction in fleet sales to rental companies. For the month, overall fleet sales represented 17 percent of GM's total sales.

According to Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations, the company's annual sales performance shows the strong focus of the new company.

"Our sales this year reflect the impact of GM's new business model," Johnson said. "The consistency of results that we achieved demonstrates the focus on our brands, dealers and customers, and how we compete aggressively for every sale, every day."

In December GM's industry-leading lineup of fuel-efficient crossovers continued to gain in popularity with consumers. Sales of GM crossovers rose 42 percent versus December 2009. For the year, GM crossover sales were 50 percent higher than in 2009. GM sold 567,458 crossovers in the United States in 2010, far more than any other automaker.

Since 2005, the crossovers' proportion of the U.S. market has almost doubled to about 22 percent of the industry. In the same period, crossovers as a proportion of GM sales have increased more than threefold and now represent 26 percent of the company's sales volume.

"The crossover market is a great example of how consumers can have their cake and eat it too," Johnson said. "More and more, consumers are choosing to purchase fuel-efficient crossovers like the 32-mpg highway-rated Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain because they get everything they want – comfort, utility and quality."

In December, sales of the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain set records for each model (22,764 and 9,303 respectively) and led GM's crossover gains – a result of improving availability. For the year, sales of these compact crossovers were up 74 percent and 331 percent respectively, enabling them to gain market share in the compact crossover segment where sales rose an estimated 27 percent year-to-date through December. In the mid-luxury crossover segment, the Cadillac SRX gained more share than any entry, with sales up 152 percent for the year.

GM's full-size pickup truck sales improved 29 percent in December versus a year ago, when the company was clearing out a high proportion of past model-year trucks. During the month, 89 percent of GM's full-sized pickup trucks sold were 2011 model year vehicles compared to 22 percent new model year trucks (2010) during the same month last year. In 2010, combined sales of the Chevrolet Avalanche, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups increased to 520,444 units – up 17 percent compared to 2009.

Total sales of GM passenger cars declined 6 percent during December, driven by anticipated lower fleet sales. However, retail sales of GM passenger cars rose 14 percent for the month, led by improving demand for the all-new Chevrolet Cruze, Buick Regal and Cadillac CTS Coupe. For the year, sales of GM passenger cars improved 20 percent.

Month-end dealer inventory in the United States stood at about 511,000 units, which is about 25,000 lower compared to November and about 126,000 higher than December 2009.

2010 Year-to-Date Key Facts:
* Calendar-year-to-date total sales for GM's four brands are up 21 percent, with retail sales rising 16 percent.
* GM's four brands have sold 118,435 more vehicles in 2010 than were sold with eight brands in calendar year 2009
* GM compact crossovers, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, increased sales by 110 percent
* GM mid-size crossovers, Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia sales rose 23 percent
* GM's mid-luxury crossover, Cadillac SRX, increased sales 152 percent
* At 567,458 sold in 2010, GM sells the most stylish, fuel-efficient crossovers in the U.S. market, an increase of 50 percent for the year
* GM's full-size pickup truck sales of 520,444 were 17 percent higher in 2010, compared to 2009
* GM's four brands sold 804,511 passenger cars in 2010, a 20-percent increase over 2009.

Brand Key Facts:
* Chevrolet: Chevrolet delivered 147,960 total vehicles in December, a 9-percent increase versus last year. Retail sales for Chevrolet rose 21 percent for the month – the best retail sales month since August 2009. Retail sales were propelled by improving Cruze sales, and strong Silverado and Equinox retail sales, which were up 30 and 90 percent respectively. Equinox had its best sales month ever, aided by increased inventories. Year-to-date total Chevrolet sales increased 16 percent (read more).

* Buick: Buick, the fastest growing major automotive brand in the United States, reported 17,095 total sales, a 40-percent increase compared to a year ago. This includes a 48- percent rise in year-over-year retail sales – the fifteenth consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains for the brand. Total Buick sales increased 52 percent during the calendar year (read more).

* GMC: GMC reported total sales of 42,159, a 35-percent increase compared to the same month last year. This marks the fifteenth consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases. Retail sales were 40 percent higher than last year, spurred by Sierra, Acadia and Terrain – up 40 percent, 46 percent and 73 percent, respectively. For the year through December, GMC total sales improved 29 percent (read more).

* Cadillac: Cadillac, the fastest-growing luxury brand in the United States, reported total sales of 16,718 for December – 13 percent higher than last December, with retail sales increasing 28 percent. December was the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year total and retail sales gains. SRX retail sales were up 16 percent compared to a year ago and had its best month ever. CTS retail sales rose 70 percent, driven by strong demand for the all-new CTS Coupe. The Escalade family had its best retail month since December 2008, up 30 percent versus a year ago. Total sales for Cadillac are up 35 percent for the year (read more).

* Fleet sales for GM's four brands were 37,658 for the month, a 21 percent decline from the prior year, due to a 35 percent reduction in sales to rental fleets. Commercial fleet sales rose 8 percent during the month, the ninth straight month of gains.

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