The yearly sales totals for almost every respected automaker have begun rolling in, and General Motors likes what it sees. For the first time ever, a United States-based automaker has sold more than 1 million vehicles that achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway.

“Our investments in advanced powertrains are clearly paying off, and our smaller vehicles are resonating with customers,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America in a statement released by the automaker. “In 2013, we’ll introduce new diesel, eAssist and plug-in vehicles in the United States and expand the availability of turbocharged four-cylinder engines.”

In all, there were 13 vehicles under the GM umbrella that achieved an EPA-rated 30 mpg or better on the highway:

    Chevrolet Spark up to 38 mpg
    Chevrolet Sonic: up to 40 mpg
    Chevrolet Cruze: up to 42 mpg
    Chevrolet Volt: up to 98 mpg/e
    Chevrolet Malibu: up to 37 mpg
    Chevrolet Impala: up to 30 mpg
    Chevrolet Camaro: up to 30 mpg
    Chevrolet Equinox: up to 32 mpg
    Buick Verano: up to 32 mpg
    Buick Regal: up to 36 mpg
    Buick LaCrosse: up to 36 mpg
    GMC Terrain: up to 32 mpg
    Cadillac ATS: up to 33 mpg

In total, four vehicles that wear the Bowtie–the Cruze, Sonic, Spark, and Volt–all hit or bested 30 mpg combined as rated by the EPA. GM compact vehicles sales rose about 39 percent in 2012, with contributions coming from the usual suspects like the Cruze, Sonic, and Volt. The launch of the Chevy Spark and Buick Verano also played a role in this climb in sales. GM also boasts that around 40 percent of all vehicles sold are powered by a four-cylinder engine, up 10 percent from 2010. The Chevy Cruze Eco and Sonic, two of the Bowtie’s most fuel efficient vehicles, are both powered by a turbocharged 1.4-liter EcoTec engine and mated to a six-speed manual transmission.  As for the Chevy Volt, dealers sold more than 23,000 units which was good enough to earn the title of the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the U.S. The Chevy Malibu, Buick Regal, and Buick LaCrosse, each of which is powered by eAssist, chipped in more than 30,000 as well.

More of the same is expected for GM in 2013, too. Buick is set to launch the Encore crossover which promises to deliver 33 mpg. Cadillac will join in too when it launches the upscale Volt known as the ELR extended-range electric vehicle. A 2.0-liter clean diesel is also due in the Chevy Cruze and the Spark is getting a fully electrified powertrain. The Spark EV will represent the first vehicle built in the U.S. to feature an electric motor and drive unit. By 2017, GM predicts it will have 500,000 vehicles on the road that rely on electricity one way or the other.

Source: General Motors

By Trevor Dorchies