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General Motors’ U.S. sales jump 18% in the first quarter

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A GMC pickup truck is displayed for sale on a lot at a General Motors dealership on January 05, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Brandon Bell | Getty Images

General Motors said Monday that its first-quarter U.S. sales rose 18% from a year ago, to just over 600,000 vehicles delivered, as it continued its rebound from the supply chain problems that limited global auto production in 2021 and early 2022.

“We gained significant market share in the first quarter, pricing was strong, inventories are in very good shape, and we sold more than 20,000 EVs in a quarter for the first time,” GM North America chief Steve Carlisle said in a statement.  

Most of those electric vehicles were Chevrolet Bolts, but GM did sell 968 of its brand-new Cadillac Lyriq EVs, built on the company’s next-generation Ultium EV architecture. GM has been working to ramp up its production of its Ultium-based electric vehicles, with new high-volume Ultium-based models including an electric Chevrolet Equinox crossover due later in 2023.

GM confirmed Monday that it expects to sell 50,000 EVs in the first half of 2023 and “double that” in the second half of the year, as Lyriq production ramps up and shipments of the electric version of the Chevrolet Silverado pickup begin later this spring.

GM is also increasing production of its BrightDrop Zevo 600, an electric delivery van, and said truck rental giant Ryder System has agreed to buy 4,000 of the vans between now and 2025.

The company’s EV sales volumes are expected to ramp up sharply from there in 2024 and 2025.

Meanwhile, the internal combustion products that are paying the bills – GM’s pickups and big SUVs – continue to sell well. Sales of the internal combustion Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups were up a combined 9% from a year ago, helped by a 38% jump in sales to commercial fleets – a market long dominated by GM’s Detroit archrival, Ford Motor.

Ford is expected to report its first-quarter U.S. sales on Tuesday.

With analysts increasingly concerned about high vehicle prices, GM noted that new versions of its affordable Chevrolet Trax and Trailblazer and Buick Encore crossovers will be arriving at dealers over the next several months. All three will have starting prices below $30,000, GM said.

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