GM Car Sales Rise, People Buying Efficient Cars

General Motors reported that US car sales were up 26% in April, largely due to purchases of fuel-efficient cars and compact crossovers.

April was the best sales month for the Chevy Cruze (up 180% over the Chevy Cobalt it replaced) and the Chevy Equinox (up 53%) and GMC Terrain compact crossover (up 61%) were record sales. 

GM says that because of $4 per gallon gas prices, people are trading in larger vehicles for smaller, more fuel-efficient ones.

The company sold 232,538 vehicles in April, up 27% from the same month last year. Sales are 35% higher for 2011 thus far.

Ford is also experiencing hot sales for the Ford Focus, which gets nearly 40 miles per gallon.

Because of the earthquake/ nuclear meltdown in Japan, Honda has postponed the launch of its 2012 Civic Hybrid, which is manufactured there, and Toyota is running at half capacity there. Toyota makes the Prius hybrid in Japan. Many of the parts for efficient vehicles also flow through Japan.

Efficient cars could sell close to the sticker price as more people want them and parts and cars are harder to get.

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