General Motors Corp. on Tuesday reported a slight 0.4 percent rise in its U.S. vehicle sales for April, as incentives on SUVs, vans and pickup trucks failed to bolster results as much as expected.
A glitch in GM's sales computer system forced the world's largest automaker to delay its monthly sales report, which had initially been due out on Monday.
GM said April sales rose to 393,663 vehicles, up from 392,004 a year ago, excluding results for its Saab brand and sales of large trucks.
Some Wall Street analysts had expected GM to post 4 percent to 5 percent higher sales for April.
GM's shares fell 28 cents or 0.6 percent to $48.01 on Tuesday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange.
GM's "Truckfest" incentive program, which included up to $4,500 cash back plus interest-free financing on most GM models, boosted light truck sales by 1.5 percent to a new industry record. However, GM's car sales fell 2 percent.
On Monday, Ford Motor Co. posted a weaker-than-expected 4.6 percent drop in sales for its U.S. brands, while the Chrysler arm of DaimlerChrysler AG reported a 1 percent gain, slightly stronger than analysts forecast.
Higher gas prices have convinced some consumers to delay buying a new car, or consider more fuel-efficient models. Thirty-eight percent of consumers said that the high price of gas played a role in deciding what new vehicle to buy, according to a survey by Harris Interactive and Kelley Blue Book.
"Many new car buyers are opting for vehicles that are more fuel-efficient than what they originally intended on buying," said Charlie Vogelheim, the executive editor of Kelley Blue Book, a vehicle shopping guide used by many car buyers.
However, GM officials said that truck sales remain strong, and sales of SUVs could hit record highs this year.
"We are not seeing any impact with regard to gasoline prices," Paul Ballew, GM's head of industry analysis, told reporters and analysts on a conference call. "There are pockets of strength in the industry. The good news is we continue to see very strong sales of trucks."
Ford officials said on Monday that higher tax refunds also failed to provide as much as a lift in sales as expected.