DETROIT -

General Motors Co. on Tuesday reported total March sales of 231,052 vehicles in the United States, up 12 percent year over year.  

The monthly total includes a record 100,000 cars and crossovers that achieve an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway rating or better.  

“The economic recovery and a deep bench of fuel-efficient cars and crossovers have been driving our sales for more than a year, but the combined impact has never been stronger than it was in March,” said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations.  “Since the last time fuel prices spiked, both the economy and GM’s product portfolio are undeniably stronger.  We’re now strong across the board in cars, crossovers and trucks.” 

Total GM passenger car sales increased 22 percent, with small and compact car sales up a combined 62 percent. Compact crossover sales were up 47 percent and mid-size car sales were up 38 percent. Full-size pickup sales were up 14 percent.

The Chevrolet brand increased its sales 17 percent year over year, and every Chevrolet car line was up.  Sales of the Sonic have increased steadily since it launched in August 2011, with March reaching 8,251 vehicles.  Volt sales of 2,289 were 50 percent higher than December 2011, which had been the vehicle’s best month since launch.  Cruze deliveries of 21,607 marked the car’s seventh month of sales exceeding 20,000 units and its seventh consecutive month of higher year-over-year sales.

Other March highlights include a 12 percent year-over-year increase in GMC sales driven by strong Sierra and Terrain results, a 34 percent increase in Chevrolet Equinox sales, a 15 percent increase in Cadillac CTS sales, and a very strong month for the new Buick Verano, with sales of 2,497 units.

The company’s retail deliveries increased 14 percent compared with March 2011 and accounted for 74 percent of GM sales.  Deliveries to fleets increased 6 percent