BOARDMAN, Ohio - As 2012 came to a close, General Motors says December produced it's best sales showing in five years.
And the Lordstown built Chevy Cruze continues to be a strong contributor to GM's success.
In 2012 the Chevy Cruze helped GM achieve a benchmark unmatched by any other U.S. automaker.
The Lordstown built Cruze remains a leader in GM's small car line up. More than 21,000 Cruzes were sold in December, a 27% increase over the same month last year and total sales for 2012 were up 2.6%
GM's smallest models overall were up 52% in December and that helped GM become the first ever U.S. automaker to sell one-million vehicles in its home market that were rated at 30 or more miles per gallon.
Here in the Valley, the workers who build the Cruze and the dealers who sell it say it's proven to be a world class competitor.
"The car just gets terrific gas mileage. So not only do you have a world class vehicle but you have an effcient vehicle to own and drive. So very competitive," said Doug Sweeney, Sweeney Auto Group.
And GM executives say the company is looking for a standout year in 2013 and beyond. The President of GM North America says over the next 18 months you will see the largest product launch in GM history.
Doug Sweeney says it's an exciting time. "Nine new Buick and GMC products in the next 13 months and I've actually lost count of the Chevrolet products that change in the next 12 to 18 months. It's unprecedented."
One of those new products will be the first Lordstown built Cruze diesel due out in the second quarter. "Because consumers are demanding newer and fresher and more exciting more fuel efficient products and gm is on the cutting edge of that," said Glenn Johnson, UAW Local 1112 President.
A leading auto industry research firm predicts that with more model introductions and a healthier economy, U.S. auto sales could push above the 15-million mark in 2013.