For yet another month, GM’s sales [full April sales report in XLS format here, press release here] managed to be both promising and disappointing, depending on how you cut them. GM’s “core brands” were up 20 percent cumulatively, with Cadillac and Buick leading the way with 35.7 percent and 36.4 percent increases respectively (Chevy up 17.4 percent, GMC up 18.4 percent). And though GM is especially eager to boost sales numbers at its two premium brands, thanks to their low baseline sales, the solid percentage gains resulted in surprisingly small volume improvements. The General’s overall volume was up only 6.5 percent compared to April 2009, a month when the just-canceled Pontiac outsold both Buick and Caddy.
Buick’s big boost came from the LaCrosse, which sold 5,236 units for an increase of 272 percent over last April. Enclave approached the 5k mark, with 4,599 units moved last month, for a more modest gain of 23 percent. Lucerne lost 38 percent of its April 2009 volume, at 2,346 units.
The big news is Cadillac-land is the SRX, which vaulted over last April’s modest sales of the outgoing model, with a 587 percent improvement to 3,904 units. Actually, that’s the big positive news. The really big news is that Cadillac’s bread-and-butter CTS is utterly stagnant with consumers right now, actually sliding 15 percent to 3,278 units. This despite GM recently making the CTS the poster child for “the return of affordable auto leases”. STS and XLR sales fell by 54 and 73 percent respectively, while DTS and the Escalades all added between 20 percent and 30 percent, to keep Cadillac’s overall volume up. Still, with new CTS Sportwagons available, and a Coupe coming soon, Cadillac needs to see its most important sedan pick up the pace if it wants to stay on Ed Whitacre’s good side.
GMC’s Acadia narrowly improved on last April’s sales, up 2.4 percent to 4,877 units. That performance just barely pipped GMC’s Terrain, which sold 4,404 units. Sierra was GMC’s top-selling nameplate again though, up 13 percent to 9,360. Canyon moved only 527 units, Yukon was down 21 percent to 1,942 and Yukon XL added 46 percent to 1,693.
Chevrolet’s Malibu improved 13 percent, making it the most popular car in the Chevy lineup at 16,536 units. Impala fell 8 percent, to 16,144. Cobalt had a strong April, with volume up 29 percent to 13,701. Equinox sold 11,987 units and Traverse added ten percent for a total of 9,020 units. Camaro continued its strong sales streak, moving 9,150 units. Silverado was Chevy’s top-selling nameplate, at 29,618 units, and even the Colorado avoided a Canyon-like dropoff, logging just over 2,000 sales. Tahoe volume fell 23 percent to 6,309, while Suburban added 15 percent to 5,087 units. HHR fell 19 percent to 5,383 units.
According to GM, fleet sales for its four “core” brands totaled 58,000 units, a two percent drop compared to April 2009.