General Motors Sales Down, Cruze Best-Ever for January

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- The Lordstown-build Chevrolet Cruze enjoyed its best January sales month in the model's history, General Motors Co. reported this morning.

Dealers took delivery on 16,828 Cruze units last month, up 15.9% from the 14,524 sold in January 2013 of the GM model. The Cadillac SRX also posted its best January ever, with 4,446 deliveries last month, up 1.5% from a year earlier.

Overall, GM dealers delivered 171,486 vehicles in the United States in January, down 12%. Retail sales were down 10% year-over- year, although retail deliveries of passenger cars were up slightly. Fleet deliveries declined 185, due to a planned reduction in rental vehicle sales, the company said.

Historically, January is the industry’s lowest sales month of the year, GM noted. Extreme winter weather in the South, Midwest and Northeast this January further depressed GM and industry sales, according to the company. The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate for light vehicles is expected to be an estimated 15.3 million units, down from 15.6 million in December.

“We are building long-term value for our customers and it starts with award-winning new products,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations. “We have major launches underway and we are going to accelerate brand-building and other growth initiatives, which include executing our winning strategy to sell more pickup trucks with larger cabs, more features and advanced technology.”

The Cruze sales were second only to the Chevrolet Silverado-C/K pickup, which totaled 28,926 in January, down 18.4% from 35,445 a year earlier.  

Half of GM’s light-duty pickup sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 were premium-content models that transacted at prices of $40,000 or more. That compares with about one-third of sales in the 2013 calendar year and 20% in 2012. The mix continued to improve in January, the automaker said.

GM expects light vehicle sales for the year to be in a range of 16 million to 16.5 million units, which would be the industry’s best year since 2007, when 16.2 million vehicles were sold. GM expects to earn modestly higher market share in this environment.

SOURCE: General Motors Co.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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