LORDSTOWN - The Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze is one of General Motors' sales leaders during a resurgence for U.S. car makers, according to the company's March sales reports released this week.
While General Motors experienced a 12 percent year-over-year sales growth, the Cruze had a 19.9 percent sales growth in March 2012 compared to its sales in March 2011.
Overall, GM reported total sales of 231,052 in March, including 100,000 cars and crossovers that achieve an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon rating or better.
There were 21,607 Cruze vehicles sold last month compared to 18,018 sold in March 2011. The total Cruze sales for March marked the car's seventh month of sales exceeding 20,000 and its seventh consecutive month of higher year-over-year sales.
The total Cruze January through March sales in 2012 were 57,083 compared to the 50,205 vehicles sold during the same three month period in 2011, representing a 13.7 percent increase.
Only the Chevy Malibu and the Chevrolet Silverado C/K pickup had higher sales in March.
The Malibu sold 23,887 vehicles last month compared to 15,551 sold in March 2011, representing a 53.6 percent increase in sales. The Silverado pickup sold 36,491 in March compared to 32,555 that sold in March 2011.
GM's newest small car, the Cheverolet Sonic had sales of 8,251 vehicles in March. In March 2011, the Chevrolet Aveo,which the Sonic replaced, had sales of 2,715 vehicles.
Total GM passenger car sales increased 22 percent, with small and compact car sales up a combined 62 percent.
GM's Lordstown plant produced 26,505 Cruze vehicles in March.
Jim Graham, president of UAW Local 1112, said the steady sales of the vehicle is due to both its high quality and gas prices.
"We anticipate sales to continue going up," Graham said.