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GM sales jumps 11.4% in March on strong demand

04-02-2011 16:37 BJT

CHICAGO, April 1 (Xinhua) -- General Motors Co. said on Friday that it sold 206,621 vehicles last month, up 11.4 percent from a year ago, as higher gasoline prices triggered demand for smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The U.S. automaker said total U.S. sales in March for its four brands jumped to 206,621 vehicles from 185,406 last year.

The GM increase in March was far below analysts'expectation of a 17 percent jump for overall U.S. sales, as well as February's stronger-than-expected 49 percent gain, as GM backed off the high incentives it had been offering. GM said it cut rebates and other incentives in March by 600 to 800 dollars from the previous month.

But the largest U.S. car company said it expected slower sales in March as it pulled back on discounts.

The company said its new Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan led the way in sales, reflecting a shift in demand, as U.S. gas prices jumped 25.1 cents per gallon in the past month, offering a strong boost to the sales of smaller and more fuel-efficient vehicle.

"Our plan was to get out of the gates quickly in the first quarter and we succeeded," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Consumers responded favorably to the value of our broad lineup of fuel-efficient cars, trucks and crossovers."

GM shares were up 2.5 percent or 78 cents to 31.81 dollars on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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