chevy volt and nissan leaf

For anyone playing close attention to the month-to-month sales results from the two leading plug-in vehicles in the U.S., the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, April had some depressing news.

After selling a record number of Volts in March – 2,289 – Chevrolet managed to move just 1,462 in April. This is more inline with previous recent months (1,023 sales in February, 603 sold in January, 1,529 in December) and is almost three times the 493 sold in April 2011.

For the Leaf, Nissan sold just 370 in April, down from 579 units in March and 478 in February. In fact, 370 is lower than the number Nissan sold in April 2011, 573. The Leaf's best sales month ever was June 2011 with 1,708 units.

Now, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has been managing expectations about Leaf sales for a while, saying that the monthly ups and downs should not be taken too seriously as an indication of Leaf popularity until the company's U.S. and UK production facilities come online (in late 2012 for Tennessee, early 2013 for Sunderland). As Ghosn said in New York last month, "I don't want you to take a one-month or two-month sales result in one particular market to try to make your opinion about the evolution of a very important technology for the industry."

UPDATE: we forgot to mention that April had three fewer selling days than April last year, which should be taken into consideration when comparing sales figure to last year's. Also, plug-in vehicles were not as widely available in 2011 as 2012, so it's tough to accurately judge from year-to-year right now.
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NISSAN NORTH AMERICA REPORTS APRIL SALES

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (May 1, 2012) – Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA) today reported April U.S. sales of 71,329 units versus 71,526 units a year earlier, down 0.3 percent. Nissan Division sales decreased 0.9 percent for the month at 64,200 units. Sales of Infiniti vehicles were up 5.4 percent over the prior year, to 7,129 units.

NISSAN HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nissan Division posted 64,200 sales, down 0.9 percent from last April's 64,765 unit total.
  • Sales of the Nissan Versa posted a new April record, with 8,335 deliveries, an increase of 30 percent over the prior year.
  • Nissan Rogue sales also set a new April record at 8,563 units, up 1.8 percent.
  • Nissan's lineup of trucks and SUVs delivered strong gains, with Frontier sales up 21.9 percent, Pathfinder up 26.5 percent, Titan up 25.1 percent and Quest up 96 percent.
  • Nissan Altima sales for April totaled 16,239, as Nissan prepares to begin sales of the all-new 2013 Altima in June. A special introductory program offering 3 years or 45,000 miles of complimentary maintenance for the all-new Altima has seen over 55,000 customers to www.nissanusa.com to configure the new mid-size sedan.

"Coming off of a blockbuster March, April showed signs of strength with record months for Versa and Rogue, and solid gains for our trucks," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division. "With an all-new Altima coming this summer leading five all-new, volume-selling models in a span of just 15 months, we expect Nissan's sales momentum to grow."

INFINITI HIGHLIGHTS
  • Infiniti today reported sales of 7,129 units for April, an increase of 5.4 percent from 6,761 units a year earlier.
  • In its first full month of sales, Infiniti JX deliveries totaled 2,079 units, making it the brand's second-best selling model.

NOTE: To ensure consistency in global sales reporting, Nissan North America calculates monthly variances on a straight-percentage basis, unadjusted for the number of selling days. April 2012 had 24 selling days, while April 2011 had 27 selling days.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, and 2012 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.6 million vehicles in 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

GM Reports April Sales of 213,387 Vehicles, Increases 2012 Sales Outlook

2012-05-01

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported April sales of 213,387 vehicles in the United States. Retail sales were essentially equal to April 2011. GM's fleet sales declined 25 percent due to the timing of rental customer deliveries, as previously indicated. As a result, total sales were down 8 percent.

Based on higher than expected first quarter industry sales and expectations that the U.S. economy will continue to grow, 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.

"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."

GM's two newest vehicles, the Chevrolet Sonic and the Buick Verano, continue to perform well. Chevrolet Sonic sales were 38 percent higher than the vehicle it replaced. Buick Verano sales reached 2,989 units and have increased each month since it went on sale in late November 2011. In addition, Chevrolet Volt sales of 1,462 units were strong nationally but limited by availability of vehicles in California, where GM is launching a model that qualifies for high-occupancy vehicle lane access.

Other highlights include a 7 percent year-over-year increase for the Cadillac CTS sedan, a 20 percent increase for the GMC Sierra, a 9 percent increase for the GMC Terrain, a 5 percent sales increase for the Chevrolet Silverado and a 7 percent increase for the Chevrolet Equinox.

On a selling-day adjusted basis, GM total sales were up 3 percent and retail sales were up 12 percent. On the same basis, Chevrolet retail sales were up 13 percent, Buick retail sales were up 8 percent, GMC retail sales were up 17 percent and Cadillac retail sales were essentially equal to a year ago. There were three fewer selling days in April 2012 than a year ago.

2012 Highlights

April Total Sales

Total Change vs. April 2011

April Retail Sales

Retail Change vs. April 2011

Retail Change vs. April 2011 (selling days adjusted)

CYTD
Sales

CYTD Change vs. 2011

CYTD Retail Sales

CYTD

Retail Change vs. 2011

Chevrolet

155,487

(8.4%)

105,702

0.2%

12.7%

603,621

3.0%

406,919

0.5%

GMC

32,603

4.5%

27,524

4.4%

17.4%

124,487

2.0%

107,052

(0.2%)

Buick

15,446

(16.1%)

13,529

(3.9%)

8.1%

52,782

(16.4%)

48,905

(4.9%)

Cadillac

9,851

(25.0%)

9,525

(11.4%)

(0.3%)

40,817

(23.9%)

39,377

(13.7%)

Total GM

213,387

(8.2%)

156,280

(0.2%)

12.2%

821,707

(0.4%)

602,253

(1.1%)



Inventory

Units @
March 31, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

Units @
April 30, 2012

Days Supply (selling days adjusted)

All Vehicles

713,008

86

701,389

79

Full-size Pickups

231,594

124

226,585

121



Industry Sales

April SAAR (est.)

Q1 2012 SAAR

Full Year 2012 (est.)

Light Vehicles

14.2 million – 14.5 million

14.6 million

14.0 million – 14.5 million



General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words "expect," "anticipate," "possible," "potential," "target," "believe," "commit," "intend," "continue," "may," "would," "could," "should," "project," "projected," "positioned" or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planned significant investment in new technology; the ability of our suppliers to timely deliver parts, components and systems; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provides information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.