General Motors notched its highest December sales total since 2007 last month, which was the good news. The bad? The company’s 245,733 sales translated into a growth rate of just 4.9 percent, a mark that was some three times lower than the sales expansion of the industry as a whole in December. And that actually represented an improvement as compared to the General’s annual sales performance—GM’s 2012 sales total of 2,595,717 vehicles were only enough to lift the automaker’s numbers by 3.7 percent versus 2011.
On a divisional basis, the final numbers looked like this:
- Buick—180,408 sales, up 1.6 percent
- Cadillac—149,782 sales, down 1.7 percent
- Chevrolet—1,851,646 sales, up 4.3 percent
- GMC—413,881 sales, up 4 percent
Yet there were a few other bright spots to report, including one that’s a bit of a surprise: Last year, GM became the first U.S. automaker to sell more than 1 million vehicles in this country that were capable of achieving at least 30 mpg in highway driving. There are more to come in 2013, too, according to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, who said that: “Our investments in advanced powertrains are clearly paying off, and our smaller vehicles are resonating with customers. In 2013, we’ll introduce new diesel, eAssist and plug-in vehicles in the United States and expand the availability of turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
“This will give us the most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers in the industry.”