GM's July Sales Up 9%, Cruze Sales Down 17.8%

DETROIT -- General Motors says its dealers delivered 256,160 vehicles in the United States in July, genernating the company’s highest July sales since 2007.

Total sales were up 9% compared with a year ago. Retail sales -- those to individual customers -- were up 4%. Commercial deliveries were up 69% and all other fleet deliveries were up 21%.

Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze, built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio, complex, fell 17.8% during June with 20,926 units sold compared to 25,447 in July 2013. Year-to-date, Cruze sales total 166,264, up 4.5% compared to the first seven months of 2013.

Sales of crossovers and trucks, which include pickups, vans and SUVs, surged by double-digits, pushing combined sales to 1,048,114 through July. GM was the first automaker to pass the million-unit milestone in both 2014 and 2013, the automaker noted.

“Sales of utility vehicles soared in July because American families feel better about the economy than they have in a long time, and they are finding an incredible variety of redesigned and all-new models in our showrooms,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations. “Small, compact, medium, large -- sales were strong across the board.”

During July, GM sold 100,122 crossovers and SUVs, bringing the year-to-date total to 587,250 units -- the best month for utility vehicle sales since August 2007. Compared with 2013, crossover deliveries increased 26% in July and they are up 5% year-to-date.

“GM and the U.S. economy left July carrying good momentum,” McNeil said. “The economy has bounced back strongly from the harsh winter, consumer confidence has reached a post-recession high, energy prices remain moderate and job growth continues. The stage is set for strong sales through the balance of the year.

“In particular, there is a lot of pent-up demand for our new large SUVs and we expect pickup deliveries to be strong, as they usually are in the second half of the year.”

The company lists its July sales highlights (vs. 2013 except as noted):

  • The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in July was an estimated 16.7 million units, topping 16 million units for the fifth consecutive month.
  • Total Chevrolet deliveries were up 8%, on the strength of trucks, crossovers and a 4%increase in retail car sales. This year marked Chevrolet’s best July sales since 2007.
  • Chevrolet Corvette deliveries more than tripled for its best July since 2004, and the Camaro was up 25%, for its best July since 1995. In addition, the Volt was up 13%, the Malibu was up 9% and Sonic was up 6%. Silverado sales were equal to a year ago.
  • Buick had its best July since 2006, with sales up 8%.
  • Every GMC nameplate posted a sales increase, including the new Sierra, driving sales 22% higher. GMC had its best July since 2006.

GM’s gains in the commercial segment were driven by pickup and van sales, which were both up 78%. Sales to rental customers increased 22% due to timing. Year to date, rental sales are essentially equal to a year ago. Sales to government customers were up 8%. GM’s fleet mix in July was about 23%, which is below the company’s typical mix of about 26%.

SOURCE: General Motors Co.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.
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