GM's U.S. Auto Sales Up 22% in January

Excluding brands it is selling or has sold, the year-over-year rise was 23% for GM's four brands.

General Motors, the biggest U.S. automaker, said on Feb. 1 that sales in the United States roared higher in January, driven by sharply stronger demand for its cars and trucks.

GM reported 178,896 total sales in January in the U.S. market, up 22% from a year ago.

Excluding brands it is selling or has sold, the year-over-year rise was 23% for GM's four brands.

"The gain was driven by solid retail sales which were 36% higher than a strong January a year ago," said the company, which emerged from a government-financed restructuring under bankruptcy protection in 2009.

"January was a good month and signaled a solid start to the new year for each of our divisions," said Don Johnson, vice president of U.S. sales operations.

"Our results were driven by gains across the board in all segments, with our newest models leading the way."

In addition to the strong retail performance, GM said sales to commercial customers rose 7%. Those gains offset a seven percent drop in overall GM fleet sales, led by an 11% tumble in sales to rental fleets.

Retail sales of GM's cars, trucks and crossover sport utility vehicles all rose 34% or more during the month: up 39%, 34% and 35%, respectively.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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