(By Balaseshan) General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) reported a 8.2% decrease in April sales due to the timing of rental customer deliveries, and improving economy. Further, the company raised its 2012 sales outlook based on higher-than-expected first quarter industry sales and expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to grow.
Total sales for the month of April were 213,387 vehicles. Retail sales were essentially equal to April 2011. On a selling-day adjusted basis, GM sales were up 3% and retail sales were up 12%.
Sales from Chevrolet declined 8.4% to 155,487 vehicles, while GMC sales increased 4.5% to 32,603 vehicles. Buick sales fell 16.1% to 15,446 vehicles, while Cadillac sales plunged 25% to 9,851 vehicles.
Chevrolet Sonic sales were 38% higher than the vehicle it replaced. Buick Verano sales reached 2,989 units and have increased each month since it went on sale in late November 2011. In addition, Chevrolet Volt sales of 1,462 units were strong nationally but limited by availability of vehicles in California, where GM is launching a model that qualifies for high-occupancy vehicle lane access.
Other highlights include a 7% year-over-year increase for the Cadillac CTS sedan, a 20% growth for the GMC Sierra, a 9% increase for the GMC Terrain, a 5% sales rise for the Chevrolet Silverado and a 7% increase for the Chevrolet Equinox.
On the same basis, Chevrolet retail sales were up 13%, Buick retail sales were up 8%, GMC retail sales were up 17% and Cadillac retail sales were essentially equal to a year ago. There were three fewer selling days in April 2012 than a year ago.
All vehicles inventory for April was 701,389 vehicles, down from 713,008 vehicles last month. Full-size pickups inventory was 226,585 vehicles, up from 231,594 vehicles last month.
Looking ahead into the full year 2012, the company lifted its light vehicle sales guidance to 14.0 million to 14.5 million units from previous forecast 13.5 million to 14.0 million units, based on higher than expected first quarter industry sales and expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to grow.
GM is trading up 0.65% at $23.15 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $19 and $33.47 for the past 52 weeks.