Fri 11:15 am: GM reports strong sales, Cruze dips slightly

General Motors Co. U.S. auto sales increased 15.9 percent last month compared to January 2012, but Lordstown-built Cruze sales dipped 3.5 percent.

Company-wide sales fell just short of 194,700, while Cruze sales topped 14,500 compared to 15,049 last year at this time.

“We haven’t seen a January this strong since January of 2008,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S.

sales operations. “Our retail sales were stronger than even our total sales, up 24 percent.”

“The year is off to a very good start for General Motors,” said McNeil. “There’s a sense of optimism among our dealers that only comes when you pair a growing economy with great new products. … Now in 2013, we’re entering the sweet

spot of our product plan in a growing economy.”

Over the course of 2013, Chevrolet will launch the the Cruze diesel, also set to be built in Lordstown, along with the

all-new Impala, SS, Silverado, Corvette and Spark EV.