General Motors Corp reported a bigger-than-expected 53 percent drop in February U.S. sales on Tuesday and announced a steep reduction in targeted second-quarter production compared with a year ago.

GM, which has requested up to $30 billion of government loans to survive the industry downturn, said it estimated that overall U.S. light vehicle sales for the month of February fell to near 8.9 million units on an annualized basis. That would represent the worst monthly result since 1981.

GM's U.S. sales totaled 127,296 vehicles in February, down 52.9 percent from 270,423 units a year earlier.

Car sales were down 50 percent while truck sales were off 55 percent.

GM said it had 781,000 vehicles in U.S. dealer inventory at the end of February.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim, editing by Matthew Lewis)