GM Surprises Everyone By Growing Sales Without Incentives

general motors headquarters

Photo: LadyDragonFlyCC via flickr

General Motors posted a 1.1 per cent sales increase in February, largely defying expectations for a 5 per cent decline as the company substantially lowered incentive levels.The Detroit, Mich., based automaker said it sold 209,306 vehicles during the month, lifted by results in its Chevrolet division, which gained six per cent during the month.

“Chevrolet’s six per cent sales increase, which was driven by new models, as well as a stronger economy, helped GM exceed last February’s remarkably strong result,” said G.M. Vice President Don Johnson.  “It’s an affirmation of our progress.  We are continuing to execute the same disciplined sales strategy that was the key to our success in 2011.”

However, all four of G.M.’s brands posted sales declines when excluding purchases made by fleets. Cadillac saw retail sales contract 20.2 per cent during the month, while retail sales at Chevrolet were down 1.3 per cent.

Sales of the Chevrolet Volt rebounded from a depressed January sales pace and increased 264 per cent year-on-year, but remained below the sales volume seen in December, when it topped 1,500 units. 

Sales incentives at the company decreased 3.5 percentage points in February compared to year ago levels. As expressed as cost of incentive to average ticket price, incentives stood at 9.5 per cent.

General Motors forecasts light vehicle sales will top 1.1 million in February. 

“Commercial sales are a good barometer for the economy,” Johnson said.  “GM’s commercial deliveries increased 35 per cent in February, driven by strong sales of heavy-duty pickups.”

Today’s announcement follows similarly strong reports out of Michigan competitors Chrysler and Ford, which saw sales advance 40 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively. Both automakers also beat expectations.

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