* Sales fall 2.2 pct overall, retail sales rise 1 pct
* Chevy, Cadillac, Buick, GMC brands rise 5.6 pct
* Sales of divesting, closing brands fall 47.9 pct
* GM plans 75 pct increase in Q1 production
DETROIT, Dec 1 (Reuters) - General Motors Co [GM.UL] posted a 2.2 percent drop in U.S. sales in November from a year earlier, weighed down by brands it plans to divest or close, and said it would raise production in North America by about 75 percent in the first quarter.
Sales totaled 151,427 vehicles in November, down from 154,877 a year earlier, GM said.
Sales in the Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick brands that GM is retaining rose 5.6 percent to 139,672, while sales in its other brands fell 47.9 percent to 11,755, it said. Sales in the four core brands accounted for 94 percent of retail sales.
The results were not adjusted for two fewer selling days in November compared with the year-ago period.
GM said it planned to build 650,000 cars and trucks in the first quarter of 2010 in North America, up 75 percent from the same period in 2009 when the automaker was in a financial crisis and slipping toward a reorganization in bankruptcy.
The automaker, which emerged from a government-funded bankruptcy in July, said the U.S. auto industry’s annualized sales for the month of November were expected to be about 11.1 million vehicles including medium and heavy duty trucks.
That would be the highest monthly seasonally adjusted annualized rate of sales since September 2008, excluding the July and August months that were boosted by the U.S. government “cash for clunkers” incentive program.
GM is in the process of dropping its Pontiac and Saturn brands and selling Hummer in its restructuring. The automaker’s board was meeting on Tuesday to discuss the future of Saab after a deal to sell the Swedish brand to luxury car maker Koenigsegg collapsed last week.
Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer and Saab accounted for 8 percent of November sales combined, down from 15 percent a year earlier. (Reporting by Soyoung Kim and David Bailey, editing by Matthew Lewis) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; + 1 313 967 1903; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))