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General Motors sales down 8 percent in April

Retail sales steady, fleet sales off

DETROIT – General Motors sales fell 8 percent for the month of April. 

Executives say retail sales in dealerships held steady for the month and blamed the decline on lower volumes in fleet sales to rental car companies. 

"We expect gradual improvement in the economy going forward," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Over time, strength in the manufacturing sector and strong retail sales will lead to more job creation. That will help more consumers put the recession behind them, gain even more confidence and drive vehicle sales higher for both the industry and GM."

Based on the rosier forecast for the industry the company is adjusting its sales forecast for the year by a half-million units.

GM is increasing its full-year light vehicle sales forecast to 14.0 million – 14.5 million units from 13.5 million – 14.0 million units.

Sales for the automaker's Chevrolet brand were down more than 8 percent from a year earlier.

Buick and Cadillac took the biggest hits with declines of 3.9 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

Sales for GMC were up 4.5 percent, driven by a 20 percent increase in sales of the Sierra pickup truck.

Customer interest in the new Chevy Sonic economy car remained strong.

GM's sales decline comes in spite of having the largest incentives in the industry, more than $3400 per vehicle, even as incentives for the industry hit a 7-year low.