GM: 1 Million 30 MPG-Plus Vehicle Sales In 2012

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2012 Chevrolet Sonic

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General Motors is celebrating being the first U.S. automaker to sell more than one million vehicles in a single year capable of 30 mpg or more on the highway.

Sales of 13 different 30 mpg-capable models totaled one million units in 2012, with four models--the Spark, Cruze, Sonic and Volt--managing more than 30 mpg combined.

A host of smaller, more efficient vehicles in GM's lineup has seen its average fuel economy creep up over the last few years. Two models, the Chevrolet Cruze Eco and Chevrolet Sonic, break the 40 mpg mark in highway driving.

Around 40 percent of GM's lineup now uses four-cylinder engines--ten percent more than 2010's range--and GM expects 39 percent of 2012's sales to be mini, small and compact cars, when the figures emerge.

Flagship of GM's fuel-efficient range is the Chevrolet Volt, with almost 21,000 units finding homes in 2012 by the end of November. Volt sales climbed steadily in almost every month of 2012, while also attracting praise from customers--92 percent say they'd buy another.

Meeting 30 mpg highway might not seem that impressive, but it represents the progress many U.S. carmakers have made to improving gas mileage over the last several years.

It's also a more realistic target to shout about than Hyundai's claims about a range of 40 mpg cars--given the recent debacle over mis-stated EPA fuel numbers.

Still, there's always progress to be made. 30 mpg is a start, but there's plenty of room for improvement...


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Comments (5)
  1. Of all the stats in the article, I find this one the most impressive.
    "Around 40 percent of GM's lineup now uses four-cylinder engines"
    That does seem like a big change.

  2. I agree. That is the major change. I think the shift from V-8 and V-6 to the lighter turbo charged 4 cyclinder is a major shift, especially in the entry luxury/performance segment (lower weight helps everything). BMW, Audi, Caddillac, Acura and Ford are all doing that.

  3. This is a great news. But it is also "sad" in a way.

    Back in 1996 when I bought my Saturn SL2, it was a 4 cylinder engine that easily got over 30mpg in combined driving mode (36mpg on the hwy and 28mpg in the city). Even when I sold it with 168,000 miles with the original clutch, it was still easily producing 32mpg in my daily driving with the 10% ethanol blend. It was also a fun car to drive with its light weight and manual transmission.

  4. sad that GM can only act when they are forced to do so. even with their backs against the wall facing bankruptcy, they still did not get it. wonder where they would be had we not bailed them out while dictating to them what kind of cars they needed to make?

  5. Well, part of that is consumer' fault.

    You can't fault GM for building cars that "sell". Back in 1998, GM couldn't make enough "money printing" V-8 powered SUVs and trucks.

    That is shortsighted, but they were "facts". Once the gas price spiked and economy tanked, buyers changed their "taste" overnight. Well, GM was ill-prepared for it.

    We see some of that already now that price of the gas has been lowered significantly since just before the election...

    Consumers have "short term" memories...

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