* Chevrolet Malibu retail sales up 192 percent; Pontiac Vibe up 61 percent compared with last September
* Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook crossover total sales up 10 percent; first 226 Chevrolet Traverse sales recorded
* 72,500 Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra pickups sold; beats industry trend as segment-leading vehicles grab market share
* GM's market share estimated at 27 percent, marks second consecutive month of market share gains
* Total Q3 sales up 4 percent compared with Q2, with market share improving by more than 3 percentage points
DETROIT - General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 284,300 vehicles in September, giving GM its best monthly share so far in 2008. GM's share improvement was led by continued strong performances in the mid-car, crossover and full size truck segments. The GM Employee Discount for Everyone sale built awareness for the company's outstanding lineup and offered compelling values to customers. GM's brands are having divisional sales events this month to keep the marketplace momentum building.
A strong lineup of new products, combined with sales and marketing programs geared toward a particularly challenging market, helped GM outpace major competitors this month. GM total September sales were down 16 percent compared to an industry decline anticipated to exceed 20 percent. Of note, GM total third quarter 2008 sales of 828,000 vehicles were 4 percent higher than second quarter sales of 799,000 vehicles and 3 percent higher than first quarter sales of 806,000.
"September marked the second consecutive month where GM performed extremely well in tough market conditions," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "We again gained retail share and our total market share looks to be above 27 percent for the month without an increase in incentives.
"In a market where customers are cautious and seeking value, more and more are choosing a fuel efficient, award-winning GM product," LaNeve added. "Comparing Q3 to Q2, we also saw a lot of positives. Volume was up 4 percent with retail trucks improving 23 percent. Of note were our full-size pickups that jumped 30 percent compared with Q2. Importantly, market share improved more than 3 percentage points quarter-to-quarter."
GM launch products continued to build momentum in September and throughout the quarter.
"We saw great performance in our launch products - Malibu was up nearly 200 percent - and we're very excited to have the first deliveries of the Chevrolet Traverse mid-utility crossover," LaNeve said. "We're also seeing some renewed demand for pickups and anticipate that our divisional sales programs this month will help fuel the market. Sales of the GMC Sierra were up last month. Our mid-car segment vehicle sales were up 23 percent in September. We saw the Chevrolet HHR gain 14 percent. Pontiac saw gains with the Vibe and G5 while Saturn saw increased sales for the Vue and Outlook. "
The success of GM's product lineup, combined with a compelling value offer, helped the company mitigate the industry challenges as total GM car sales declined just 9.8 percent, while trucks (excluding crossovers) declined 22 percent when compared with a year ago.
GM's popular mid-utility crossovers - Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook -- together accounted for more than 14,000 vehicle sales in the month. The first new Chevrolet Traverse crossovers were sold in September, marking the start of deliveries for the fourth vehicle in GM's industry-leading mid-utility crossover lineup.
For the month, a total of 1,957 hybrid vehicles were delivered as GM hybrids continue to gain in popularity in the marketplace. GM's hybrid sales for September included: 636 hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe, 374 GMC Yukon and 91 Cadillac Escalade
2-mode SUVs delivered. There were 382 Chevrolet Malibu, 31 Saturn Aura and 443 Vue hybrids sold in September. GM has sold 9,053 hybrids so far in 2008.
"Customers are responding to our hybrid vehicles - cutting-edge cars and trucks that provide industry-leading value, great fuel economy and the best warranty coverage of any full-line automaker," LaNeve noted. "The public reveal of the production version of the Chevrolet Volt E-REV as the highlight of our GMnext celebration last month showcases GM's leadership in advanced propulsion technology and fuel efficiency."
With its solid sales performances the past two months, GM has aggressively managed inventories to historically low levels. In September, only about 717,000 vehicles were in stock - the lowest September in a decade - down about 179,000 vehicles (or about 20 percent) compared with last September. There were about 275,000 cars and 442,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of September.