It's been a while since the Chevy Volt has has a headline-worthy sales month, but with 3,351 units sold in August, General Motors figures now is the time to trumpet how the plug-in hybrid is doing in the marketplace (see press release below). In the US, the Volt had an 18.4 percent increase over August 2012 numbers, and easily beating the Volt's previous best sales month from October 2012, when 2,961 were sold. For the year, the Volt has so far sold 14,994 units, 11.1 percent more than the same time in 2012.

Interestingly, the Nissan Leaf also hit a new US sales record in August, but it wasn't enough to outsell the Chevy. Still, with 2,420 of the EVs moving off the lot. that's a 253.3 percent year-over-year increase and moves the Leaf's year-to-date total to 14,123.

Sales of these plug-in vehicles are increasing thanks to serious price reductions.

Sales of both of these plug-in vehicles, the dynamic duo of the new breed, are increasing in part thanks to serious price reductions. The Leaf dropped its price and started domestic production at the beginning of the year, and the Volt finally followed suit last month (but the MSRP decrease was $5,000, compared to $6,400 for the base model of the Leaf). Even in a market of cheap-to-lease EVs, it's good to see the original plug-in vehicles selling more than ever.

As always, we will have a detailed report on last month's green car sales, including other plug-in models, soon. Except, of course, the list will be missing information on the Tesla Model S, since Tesla doesn't play the monthly sales numbers game.
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GM's Retail Sales Increased 22 percent in August

Record month for Cadillac XTS, Buick Encore and Verano, Chevrolet Volt, Spark, Sonic and Equinox

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 275,847 vehicles in the United States in August, up 15 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales increased 22 percent while fleet sales were down 8 percent.

Total and retail deliveries increased by double-digits at all GM brands. In total, Cadillac was up

38 percent, Buick was up 37 percent, GMC was up 14 percent and Chevrolet was up 10 percent. Deliveries to retail customers were up 38 percent at Cadillac, 22 percent at Chevrolet, 16 percent at GMC and 24 percent at Buick. Buick's retail sales were up for the 16th month in row, and it was the brand's best August since 2003. Cadillac's retail sales were the brand's best August since 1989.

"The second half of 2013 is off to a very solid start for GM and our model-year change over and new product launches are going smoothly," said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations.

"We have a lot of momentum and we feel good about the direction of the U.S. economy as we prepare to launch even more new products, including all-new heavy duty pickups and large SUVs for Chevrolet and GMC, a completely redesigned Cadillac CTS and the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray."

GM's sales last month were the highest of 2013 and the best since September 2008, when the global financial crisis began to accelerate. Two years later, on Sept. 8, 2010, Chevrolet launched the Cruze in North America, marking the beginning of an aggressive rollout of new products that will see nearly 30 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC nameplates either all new or redesigned by early 2014.

Since then, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and the 2013 Cadillac ATS won the North American Car of the Year award, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala was named the top sedan in the country by a leading consumer publication, GM topped the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study and the company has returned to competitive levels of leasing. GM and its dealers have also embarked on a multibillion-dollar program to renovate sales and service facilities in all 50 states.

"If our first Cruze customer were to walk into a Chevrolet dealership today, he wouldn't recognize the place," McNeil said. "The same holds true for Buick-GMC and Cadillac. The cars and trucks, the sales and service experience – everything is being elevated so we can offer customers the best ownership experience in the business."

August Sales Highlights (vs. 2012)

Crossover sales were up 34 percent. The GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX had their best- ever August sales and the Chevrolet Equinox and Buick Encore had their best months ever.
Full-size pickup sales were up 15 percent. Large SUV sales were up 29 percent.
Passenger car deliveries were up 8 percent. Retail deliveries were up 27 percent, driven by
a 93 percent increase for the Chevrolet Malibu and a 76 percent increase for the Chevrolet Impala. The Impala has increased its retail share of the large car segment by about
3 percentage points, according to J.D. Power PIN data.
The Chevrolet Volt had its best month ever, as did the Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Sonic, Cadillac XTS and Buick Verano.

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