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GM Retail Sales Up 5.9 Percent in March, 7 Percent in First Quarter

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The 2016 Chevy Malibu at the Dayton Auto Show

The 2016 Chevy Malibu at the Dayton Auto Show

General Motors’ March sales were up 0.9% overall with a total of 252,128 vehicles delivered, all in spite of a concerted effort to reduce daily rental sales. Retail sales were up 5.9% with 193,524 vehicles sold, thanks primarily to big increases from both Chevrolet and GMC, both of which have seen retail sales growth in every month since April 2015.

GM’s overall sales in the first quarter are flat from 2015, totaling 683,698 vehicles versus 684,039 sold through the first three months of 2015. Retail sales have grown considerably, on the other hand, up 7% at a total of 546,537 vehicles sold. In the first quarter, retail car sales are up 14% and truck sales are up 8%, and GM’s retail market share is up one full percentage point.

All of this while GM has reduced daily rental sales by 43,000 units in the first quarter alone, down 36% from Q1 2015.

“The strong retail and Commercial sales GM has been delivering are the result of a multi-year strategy to strengthen our brands, attract new customers and grow profitably,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “We are growing retail sales faster than the industry, and we are doing it with disciplined incentives and inventories, and lower rental deliveries. Our business is very healthy, and we are going to manage it with conviction to keep it that way.”

Retail-wise, Chevrolet’s sales were up 6.8% in March, and GMC’s sales increased 12.8%. Those brands’ overall sales were also up 1.4% and 6.9%, respectively. While Buick’s sales were down in March and in the first quarter, the early success of the Cascada and the impending launches of the 2017 Buick LaCrosse, Buick Envision crossover, and new-look Buick Encore will likely help the brand reverse course.

Cadillac sales were down 5.1% overall in March and are down 4.1% overall through the first quarter.