Overall Saturn Sales Down 3.5% in August, While the Vue Skyrockets 46%

Saturn's overall August sales fell 3.5% last month as retailers sold 20,385 vehicles, down from 21,117 in August of '07. Comparatively speaking, thought, the brand more than held its own in a very tough market. GM's overall sales were down 20.3% last month, Ford fell 26.5%, Toyota's were down 9.4%, and even Honda's sales came in 7.3% lower.

Here's a look at the model-by-model highlights from last month's results:

  • Saturn truck sales were up 29.5%; the brand's cars sales were down 32.6%
  • 3- and 5-door Astra hatchback monthly sales totaled 1,994 - its best month to date - and represented a 28% increase compared with July 2008 (Astra was not available last August).
  • Aura sales down -31.2% to 4,671 sedans; year-to-date (YTD) sales up 12.5% to 44,811
  • Outlook sales were off 1.7%, as retailers sold 3,172 copies of the crossover utility
  • Sky sales were down 13.8% to 897 roadsters; YTD sales down 7.2% to 7,573 units
  • Vue sales rocketed up 46.1% to 9,649 units; significantly, the Vue's sales were nearly half of the brand's total sales last month

"Our award-winning lineup of new products, combined with the GM Employee Discount for Everyone sale that started August 20th, helped drive additional showroom traffic and our dealers are giving us some very enthusiastic feedback. We had our best sales month so far in 2008. Today we're announcing the extension of the sale through September 30, and we've added 19 additional 2009 models to the eligible list of vehicles because our 2008 stock on dealer lots is rapidly disappearing," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing.

"With the recent moderation in fuel prices, we're seeing some relaxation of pent-up demand in pickups and utilities. Our August sales of these segment-leading trucks and utilities has been the best in nearly a year and August marked the fourth consecutive month that truck sales as a percentage of GM and industry sales increased. We also saw double-digit retail increases in our crossovers compared with July," LaNeve added. "We saw great car retail performance in our launch products, including the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS, Pontiac Vibe and G8, and Saturn Astra, and continued strong retail demand for our fuel efficient Chevrolet Aveo and HHR."

Source: GM, Business Week

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