Chevrolet led passenger car sales in the U.S. in 2011 image

Chevrolet led all automakers in U.S. passenger car sales in 2011 and posted its largest year-over-year retail sales increase in 35 years, the carmaker announced today.

GM’s core brand saw strong sales of its Cruze compact sedan, with Chevrolet compact car sales almost doubling compared with 2010. “Leading the U.S. industry in passenger car sales in our centennial year proves that we have transformed the Chevrolet product lineup and are delivering the high-quality, fuel-efficient, expressively designed cars that more and more people want,” Chevrolet Sales and Service vice president Alan Batey said in a statement.

Cruze sales in the United States totaled 231,732 in 2011, contributing to the car’s global success. Cruze is the best-selling Chevrolet nameplate around the world with more than 1 million sold since its launch in 2009. The all-new Sonic subcompact posted a 52 percent increase year over year compared with the vehicle it replaced, while the Camaro dominated the „pony car” segment, with sales rising 8 percent to more than 88,000 units in 2011.

The 2011 sales momentum extended to crossovers and trucks. Total sales for the Equinox crossover were up 28 percent; the Silverado full-size pickup gained 12 percent, and the Suburban full-size SUV rose 9 percent. In 2012, Chevrolet will introduce to the U.S. market the 2013 Spark minicar and the new Malibu sedan.