General Motors sales surge 19 percent in September

General Motors Inc. posted a 19% increase in sales in September compared to the same month last year, a welcome rebound after August’s slide. America’s largest automaker has been struggling to recover from the largest safety crisis in its history.

GM delivered 223,437 vehicles in the US in September. Sales to individual customers, i.e. retail deliveries, were 17% higher, while fleet deliveries rose 30%. Fleet sales have risen for 11 consecutive months.

GM’s U.S. vice president of Sales Operations, Kurt McNeil, said:

“GM saw strength almost across the board in September, and outpaced the industry with the newest trucks and SUVs at exactly the right time. We will have improved availability of heavy-duty pickups and large SUVs in the months ahead, and the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are arriving in showrooms as we speak. This sets us up to finish the year on a very strong note.”

General Motors Silverado

The Silverado had a spectacular month.

The Chrysler Group, which belongs to Turin-base FIAT, also had a good month, posting a 19% jump in sales for September. The Ford Motor Company, on the other hand, disappointed with a 3% fall in September sales.

September was a good month for most carmakers in America, which registered a total of 1.2 million vehicles sold (seasonally adjusted 16.4 million), 9% higher than in September last year. The Silverado had its best September since 2008.

Silverado sold well

GM’s increase was mainly driven by strong sales of the Silverado, the full-size pickup truck (the ‘reigning North American Truck of the Year’). Fifty-four percent more Silverados were delivered in September compared to September 2013, representing more than half the company’s increase for the month.

Chevrolet’s U.S. vice president, Brian Sweeney, said:

“Our Chevrolet dealers took advantage of pent-up demand in the full-size truck segment and by offering customers more choices, we’re bringing more truck buyers to Chevrolet at the expense of some of our competitors. We intend to continue this momentum with new models such as the Rally Edition – released in August – and the High County HD, which shipped to dealers last month.”

Ford’s idling of its Dearborn truck factory helped Silverado’s sales. Ford’s plant is being retooled.

Almost 80% of all retail customers who purchased a large SUV in September bought a Chevrolet or GM product, the company said.

GM’s strategic plan

GM’s CEO, Mary Barra and her executive team said the automaker has a strategic plan to become the most valued automotive company in the world.

Ms. Barra said:

“In the nine months that this leadership team has been together, we have spent a significant amount of time setting our goals for the future of GM and developing a specific action plan,” Barra said. Our strategic plan is a pathway to earn customers for life and create significant shareholder value in the process. Every chance to connect with a customer is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship.”

Video – GM’s strategic plan