Courtesy of Autoweek.
It isn't often that General Motors' U.S. sales exceed those of the year-ago month. It happened in August for the first time since January, so you could forgive a few smiles of relief around GM headquarters.
But not too many smiles. Along with the sales increase, GM also reported that it has scheduled an 11.8 percent cut in fourth-quarter production.
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. had a better month — up 17.0 percent over August 2005.
U.S. industry sales in August totaled 1,487,627, a scant 0.2 percent ahead of last year's 1,484,033. GM's gain made the difference.
For the year to date, the count for the industry was 11,356,194, down 4.3 percent from the first eight months of 2005.
Last August, the Detroit 3 were all offering employee pricing for everyone. This year, only the Chrysler group did so. Ford Motor and Chrysler group sales were down this year.
Sales of GM's domestic brands rose 3.8 percent this August; their market share was 24.2 percent, up 0.8 of a percentage point. Ford's domestic brands lost 2.2 points and the Chrysler group dropped 0.6 of a point.
What's behind GM's sales rise?
Five of General Motors' seven domestic brands helped the corporation post its August sales gain.
The losers were Buick, down 1.0 percent, and Pontiac, off 8.7 percent.
On the plus side for August were GMC, 11.1 percent; Saturn, 9.4 percent; Hummer, 5.4 percent; Chevrolet, 5.2 percent; and Cadillac, 4.0 percent. Add Swedish cousin Saab to the mix, and GM was up 3.9 percent in August. Saab gained 16.2 percent over last year.
For eight months, sales of GM's domestic brands were down 12.1 percent. GM's sales were down 12.2 percent when Saab is included.