GM stock traders respond favorably to rise in March retail sales

General Motors (NYSE: GM) stock traders viewed March as a successful quarter for GM in the United States, as retail sales surged 38 percent for its four brands, driven by demand for Chevrolet’s all-new Cruze compact sedan. The stock surged Friday to $32.41 after testing the $30 level for several weeks.

According to the GM news release, demand for Chevrolet Cruze drove the rise in GM March retail sales. The weekly chart of GM stock shows the Friday close on a positive note at $32.41, and the first up-week in over 11 weeks.

Many non-technical stock traders, though, prefer to understand the fundamentals which drove the sales. Fact is, all this was done in spite of a decline in incentives. Dealers reported 206,621 total sales during March, an increase of 11 percent; and this total included a 17 percent increase in retail sales, compared to March 2010.

Also, according to the GM news release, March’s retail sales increase was spurred by a 34-percent rise in passenger car retail sales, led by a 287 percent gain in retail sales of the Cruze over the car it replaced, the Cobalt.

This is not surprising, as a recent TN article reported had the Chevy Cruze as number two behind Mustang among the top-10 most-researched vehicles.

The GM news release was clear, though, that March deliveries to fleets declined 1 percent and represented 27 percent of the company’s total sales – the ninth straight month that fleet sales comprised less than 30 percent of total sales. Looking at the entire first quarter, fleet sales represented 24 percent of the company’s total sales volume, compared to 30 percent in the first quarter of 2010.

As a result, each of GM’s brands – Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac – gained retail and total market share during the quarter. For the first three months, total sales increased 26 percent to 592,545 units compared to a year earlier.


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