Cruze Sales Dive in March as New Models Drive In

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Sales of the Chevrolet Cruze fell 58.1% in March compared to a year ago as the next-generation models of General Motors Co.’s small car begin to trickle into more showrooms this month.

GM reported it sold 9,881 new Cruzes compared to 23,598 in March 2015. Total Cruze sales for the first quarter 2016 were 37,241 compared with 60,592  during the period last year, a decline of 38.5%.

The Cruze is manufactured at GM’s Lordstown complex.

The Detroit automaker reported it sold 252,128 new vehicles during March, an increase of .09% versus sales recorded in March 2015. Retail sales, that is, sales  delivered directly to dealerships across the country, stood at 193,524 new cars and trucks, and were up 5.9% versus March 2015.

Retail and fleet sales through March 31 stood at 683,698 new cars and trucks, or flat with the first quarter of 2015, GM said.

GM said that its sales of Chevrolets were up 6.8% while sales of  autos with the GM brand rose 12.8% during March.

“The strong retail and commercial sales GM has been delivering are the result of a multi-year strategy to strengthen our brands, attract new customers, and grow profitability,” Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations, said in a statement.

Ford Motor Co. reported it sold 254,711 vehicles in March, an 8% improvement over the same month a year ago. Sales hit 645,626 new vehicles for the three months ended March 31, a 9% increase over the same period last year.

The Dearborn automaker said that sales of SUVs are off to their best start in the company’s history, up 13% for the month and 15% during the first quarter of 2016.

“Customers continue buying high-end SUVs and trucks, helping the Ford brand increase its average transaction prices by more than $1,600 per vehicle in March –- nearly double the national average,” Mark LaNeve, vice president U.S. marketing, sales and service said in a statement. “We have been seeing solid sales momentum in the first quarter across our entire portfolio, with car, SUV, and truck sales up across the board.”

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