GM September Sales up 22%

Despite year-over-year jump, sales dropped 6.5% from August.

General Motors today reported that September sales of its Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands increased 22% over the previous year.

The four brands sold 172,969 units in September, compared with 141,691 units in September 2009, according to the automaker.

GM said the sales results "reflect an effective and quick model-year transition -- a dramatic departure from last year's changeover." Of GM's retail sales for the month, 53% were 2011 model-year vehicles, up from 27% last year.

"We said our goal for this time of year was to achieve an orderly transition from past model to the new model year, and we've achieved that," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. sales operations. "This helps us lower our overall selling costs and positions us to come out of the gates quickly during the new model year."

Factoring in GM's Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn brands, which the automaker shed as part of its 2009 bankruptcy, its overall September sales increased 10.5%. Sales of the four brands dropped nearly 99% year-over-year.

While the year-over-year numbers look good, GM's September sales were 6.5% lower than its sales in August. And the year-over-year increase was helped by a drop in sales in September 2009, which marked the end of the Cash for Clunkers program.

At the end of September, GM's dealer inventory was approximately 478,000 units -- 26,000 higher than August, and 55,000 higher than September 2009.

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