General Motors generated its best September sales in nine years on strong demand for its Chevrolet pickups and crossovers.
The automaker on Tuesday reported light-vehicle sales of 279,397 cars and trucks, up 12 percent from a year ago -- its best September since 2008 and its largest year-over-year increase since 16 percent in October 2015.
GM's growth was driven by a 39 percent increase in crossover sales and a 10 percent uptick in trucks including pickups, vans and SUVs, while car sales declined 8 percent.
"Our new crossovers from Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac have been very well-received and Chevrolet had an outstanding month with the Silverado and Colorado," said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations, in a statement. "We are entering the fourth quarter with strong momentum, great products and a healthy economy."
Chevrolet led the way for GM, up 17 percent on strong double-digit increases for the Silverado pickup and Equinox and Traverse crossovers. GMC followed, up 9.4 percent. Cadillac's 1.1 percent increase was its first sales gain since May, while Buick's 20 percent decline marked its third-consecutive double-digit loss of the year.
Buick's stalling sales are a result of the discontinuation of the Verano as well as a more than 50 percent reduction in fleet deliveries year to date.
Retail deliveries, which accounted for about 80 percent of GM sales, were up 8 percent. Commercial and government deliveries were up 25 percent and 38 percent. Fleet sales represented 20.9 percent of GM's September sales, up 2.7 percentage points from a year ago.