General Motors announced U.S. vehicle sales tumbled some six per cent to 167,962 units, as retail sales fell at double digit rates for each of its four brands.That was better than analysts forecast, who saw a 7.3 per cent decline.
Lower sales of trucks and crossovers led the decline at the Detroit automaker, with the two categories off six per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.
However, a 30 per cent increase in sales of compact vehicles, including the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze, and Buick Verano, helped stymie the fallout.
“Chevrolet drove our performance once again and sales of our fuel-efficient new cars were especially good,” said GM Vice President Don Johnson. “The strength that the economy and the auto industry showed in the fourth quarter carried into January, so we believe the year is off to a good start.”
Of vehicles on sale for more than a year, 22 of 34 nameplates saw sales fall compared to January 2011. 70-five per cent of year-on-year gains were within the Chevrolet stable.
Hardest hit was GM’s Cadillac division, which dove 29 per cent to 8,924 units, as the STS and DTS saw deliveries fall more than 90 per cent each. The brand plans on launching two new sedans this year to rejuvenate sales.
Inventory at the world’s largest automaker increased to 619,455 from 583,407 at the end of December, pushing the days selling supply to three months, from 67 days. Days selling supply is measured as the current supply divided by the current sales pace.
Earlier today, Ford announced a 7.3 per cent sales gain for January, which fell 60 basis points below estimates.