General Motors Corp. , the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9. 17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall.
GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar sister company is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. Production In March, GM North America produced 460,000 vehicles (182,000 cars and 278,000 trucks). This is up 59,000 units, or 14 percent, compared to March 2005 when the region produced 401,000 vehicles (162,000 cars and 239,000 trucks).
Production totals include joint venture production of 15,700 vehicles in March 2006 and 22,000 vehicles in March 2005. GM North America built 1. 255 million vehicles (496,000 cars and 759,000 trucks) in the first quarter of 2006. This is up 73,000 units, or 6 percent, compared to first quarter 2005 when the region produced 1. 182 million vehicles (470,000 cars and 712,000 trucks). The region's 2006 second-quarter production forecast remains unchanged at 1. 20 million vehicles (445,000 cars and 755,000 trucks). In the second quarter of 2005, the region produced 1.
247 million vehicles (458,000 cars and 789,000 trucks). Pricing General Motors has made a strategic decision to focus on retail sales and move away from marginally profitable business that in the end is a drag on their sales results and profitability. This is how they say they are providing consumers with the best value in the industry by, building strong brands, improving the quality of their market share and turning around their U. S. business. General Motors dealers in the United States sold 365,375 new cars and trucks in March, down 14 percent compared to year-ago levels.
Total car sales were down 22 percent, and truck sales were down 9 percent. GM's retail sales in March were down 17 percent compared to strong year-ago deliveries. Fleet sales were down 5 percent. Daily rental sales declined by 8 percent compared to last year. Commercial sales were up 7 percent. Consumers in March continued to respond enthusiastically to General Motors' new models. Retail sales of GM launch vehicles were up 30 percent compared to February and accounted for one-third of GM's total deliveries for the month. The full size GM vehicles are taking the market by storm.
The 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe posted 10,126 total deliveries and 9,505 retail deliveries. Total 2007 Tahoe deliveries in March were up 41 percent compared to February. Total Tahoe sales rose 20 percent compared to year-ago levels. The 2007 Escalade posted 2,761 total deliveries and 2,669 retail deliveries. Total 2007 Escalade deliveries were up 68 percent compared to February. Total Escalade sales were up 45 percent compared to year-ago levels. The 2007 GMC Yukon had 3,419 total deliveries and 3,309 retail deliveries in March.
March deliveries of the all-new Yukon were more than double its total sales in February (+109 percent). "Given the strong consumer demand for these great new vehicles, we're (GM) feeling good about our decision to increase and pull ahead production. " GM's retail selling rate in March was 3. 0 million units, a level that is consistent with GM North American Operations' turnaround strategy. The retail selling rate has stabilized in recent months, improving from just above 2. 7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2005.