After writing earlier today that the three biggest banks appear to be well on the road to recovery, we get some separate news indicating that General Motors is also moving forward. Although the U.S. automaker has much further to go before it could be described as having recovered, it appears to be doing much better than it was a few years ago. Today, the company is bragging that Chevy had its best first quarter ever. Here are a few bullets from its press release on how well the brand did:

  • Chevrolet sold 1.1 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand's best first-quarter results ever.
  • Cruze sales increase 117 percent over 2010, to become best-selling Chevrolet nameplate
  • In the United States, Chevrolet sold 416,505 vehicles in the quarter, an increase of 23 percent. In February, Chevrolet was the highest-volume brand in the U.S. market.
  • In China, Chevrolet sold a record 159,303 vehicles in the quarter, an increase of 17 percent.

So why did so many Chevys sell? Obviously strong U.S. demand helped in part, but those still accounted for less than half of total sales. The strong quarter would not have been possible with its overseas demand. As indicated above, China is buying Chevys. The Cruze is also doing quite well globally. GM actually introduced the vehicle abroad before it hit the streets in the U.S. late last year. Becoming GM's best-selling nameplate with so little time in the U.S. market is a pretty impressive feat.

Read the full press release at GM.

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