Gm Delivered 375k Autos in May; Sales Up 4.7%

By: Lauren Woods

General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 375,682 autos in May and that amount is up by 4.7 percent as compared with the year-ago monthly sales. The figures were announced by the largest American automaker on the first day of June.

On an unadjusted basis, sales increased by 8.8 percent. GM's May retail sales of 279,731 were up 8.5 percent. On an unadjusted basis, retail sales were up 12.8 percent as compared with a year ago.

May sales mirrored the strength of the automaker's new product portfolio. Increased sales of the Chevrolet Impala, Saturn Aura, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave demonstrated GM's strong positioning in the auto industry for fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. The Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra, both full-size pickup trucks of the Detroit automaker, are deemed fuel-efficiency leaders in their class. The pickups pushed GM's large pickup segment sales up ten percent in total and 14 percent retail compared with May 2006.

GM divisions with retail sales increased in May include Saturn, up 59 percent; GMC, up 18 percent; and Pontiac up eight percent. Also, Chevrolet was again the sales leader in the industry with a five percent increase.

In May, GM North America produced 401,000 vehicles. This is down by 25,000 units or six percent as compared to May 2006 when the region produced 425,000 vehicles. The region's 2007 second-quarter production forecast is unaffected at 1.145 million vehicles. Additionally, the region's initial 2007 third-quarter production forecast is set at 1.075 million, up two percent from third-quarter 2006 figures.

Like the wintry breeze from the , the automaker frostily revised its 2007 second-quarter and initial 2007 third-quarter production forecast for its international regions. GM Europe's 2007 second-quarter production forecast is revised at 468,000 vehicles, down 5,000 units from last month's guidance. The region's initial 2007 third-quarter production forecast is set at 389,000 vehicles. GM Asia Pacific, meanwhile, second-quarter production forecast for this year remains unchanged at 568,000 vehicles. The region's initial 2007 third-quarter production forecast is set at 524,000 vehicles. Additionally, GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East forecast is unchanged at 233,000 vehicles. The region's initial 2007 third-quarter production forecast is set at 258,000 vehicles.

"Our May results were extremely positive as we saw strong total and retail sales increases. Our significant market share gains in full-size trucks and crossovers validates the decision we made to invest in industry-leading fuel economy in these important segments," said Mark LaNeve, the vice president for GM North American Sales, Service and Marketing.

"We are particularly pleased with the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, which pushed our full-size truck sales up more than ten percent for the month. As with many of our vehicles, these great all-new trucks offer what the customer is looking for - best-in-class fuel economy, terrific performance and tremendous value. And our newest entry to the crossover segment, the Buick Enclave, is performing ahead of our expectations. Dealers are selling them as soon as they arrive from the plant. Our mid-size crossover segment performance, including the GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook, continues to grow at a blistering pace."

The Saturn brand of the automaker also made a dramatic change with its product renaissance. The said rebirth has tremendously accelerated increased total sales to almost 69 percent compared with a year ago. Saturn's sales are bolstered by the warm public acceptance of its new lineup which includes the Aura and Aura Hybrid, Sky, Outlook, Vue and the Vue Hybrid. Part of the renaissance campaign is the introduction of the Astra as the replacement of the Ion small car. For this year, Saturn brand is said to be the fastest growing brand.

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