In a sign of slowdown in the recovery of the industry and the U.S. economy at large, General Motors said on June 1 that its U.S. sales fell 1.2% in May from a year earlier.
The producer of Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and Buick brands sold 221,192 vehicles compared to 223,822 in May 2010, when the economy was beginning to pick up growth after recession.
GM suggested the May decline was in part due to a lower number of "selling days" during the month this year -- 24 days -- compared to last year's 26.
Even so, growth was clearly slower: for the first five months of the year, U.S. sales of 1.05 million units were up 18.2% from the same period in 2010.
Buick and GMC sales were strongest, with Buick up 23.8% for the month, while sales of Chevrolets -- GM's main brand -- and Cadillacs fell. Buyers continued to focus on models with better fuel efficiency, said the company.
Fleet sales -- a low-price, high-volume sector -- were down 16% from May 2010.
"Customers continue to demand better fuel economy and our commitment to produce high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles is paying off," GM's U.S. sales vice president Don Johnson said in a statement.
"We expect that fuel prices will continue to be volatile and we're prepared to continue meeting the needs of an ever-changing market."
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011
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