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    • By William Maley
      GM Was the Fastest Growing Automaker in March, Driven by Chevrolet and Buick
      Strong Retail Share Gain for the First Quarter DETROIT — General Motors (NYSE: GM), which grew its retail sales faster than any other full-line automaker in 2016, outpaced the industry once again in March. The company also gained retail share in the first quarter of 2017.
      “The economy is strong and we see more growth ahead for our brands,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations. “More people are working, consumer confidence is at a 16-year high, fuel prices are low and Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac have a wave of new crossovers to compete in the industry’s biggest and hottest segments.”
      At Buick, crossovers are expected to account for more than 75 percent of retail deliveries in 2017, up from 66 percent in 2016, driven by the Encore, Envision and Enclave. GMC, which has the highest average transaction prices (ATPs) of any non-luxury brand, will launch the all-new 2018 Terrain in late summer, complementing the redesigned Acadia that went on sale in late summer 2016. Cadillac will benefit from a full year of production of the new XT5 crossover, which is now the second best-selling vehicle in its segment. Chevrolet, which grew retail market share in 2015 and was the industry’s fastest-growing brand in 2016, is particularly well positioned. Chevrolet had its best March and first quarter retail sales since 2007.
      “Chevrolet will have the industry’s broadest and freshest lineup of utility vehicles led by the all-new 2018 Equinox and Traverse, plus we have a unique three-truck pickup strategy and a dominant position in large SUVs,” McNeil said. “We also have a first-mover advantage in many segments. It will be years before key competitors are able to launch rivals to the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Colorado and Trax.”
      Highlights (vs. 2016)
      First Quarter Overview
      GM’s retail sales were 546,838 units, up 1.9 percent, and retail market share was up 0.2 percentage points to an estimated 16.8 percent. The gains were primarily driven by crossovers, which were up 21 percent. Truck deliveries were up half a percentage point. Chevrolet increased its first quarter retail share by an estimated 0.1 percentage point, as did GMC. Commercial deliveries were up 4 percent, and daily rental deliveries were down 8 percent, or about 6,000 units. Total fleet sales were down 3 percent. Total sales were 689,521 units, up 1 percent, and market share was up an estimated 0.3 percentage points to an estimated 16.7 percent. Average transaction prices were approximately $34,000, in line with last year’s first quarter. March Overview
      Retail sales were 203,113 units, up 5 percent, and market share was up 0.6 percentage points to an estimated 16.1 percent. Chevrolet’s estimated retail market share increased 0.4 percentage points and Buick was up 0.3 percentage points. Total sales were 256,224 units, up 2 percent, and market share was up an estimated 0.4 percentage points to 15.9 percent. Commercial deliveries were up 3 percent driven by a 67 percent increase in Malibu deliveries and strong pickup and large van sales. Daily rental sales down 18 percent, or more than 5,100 units. Fleet sales were down 9 percent. Brand Highlights (vs. 2016)
      Chevrolet Crossovers
      On a retail basis in March, the Trax was up 51 percent, the Equinox was up 26 percent and the Traverse was up 24 percent. For the quarter, Trax retail sales were up 54 percent, the Equinox was up 16 percent and the Traverse was up 7 percent.  Bolt EV sales in the quarter were 3,092 units, with limited availability. The days to turn is exceptionally low at 14 days. Chevrolet Trucks
      Chevrolet had its best first quarter truck sales since 2008, up 6 percent. Key drivers were the Suburban, up 26 percent; the Tahoe, up 11 percent; and strong full-size van sales to small business customers and fleets. Silverado sales were essentially equal to a year ago. Chevrolet retail truck sales in the first quarter were up 2 percent, with the Tahoe up 9 percent, the Colorado up 7 percent and the Suburban up 5 percent. Silverado sales were essentially equal to a year ago. The Tahoe and Suburban had their best March total sales since 2008, and their best first quarter total and retail sales since 2008. The Colorado had its best first quarter retail sales since 2005.   Chevrolet Cars
      Retail deliveries were very strong in March, up 9 percent. The drivers were the Cruze, up 63 percent; the Sonic, up 14 percent; the Spark, up 50 percent; the Volt, up 15 percent; and the Camaro, up 2 percent.  During the quarter, retail car deliveries were down 11 percent, reflecting industry-wide changes in customer demand. However, Cruze retail sales were up 22 percent during the quarter; the Spark was up 37 percent; and the Volt was up 39 percent. The Volt had its best first quarter total and retail sales ever.  Buick Sales
      Buick had its best March retail sales since 2005, with sales up 22 percent. The LaCrosse was up 60 percent on a retail basis in March, the Encore was up 17 percent and Regal was up 7 percent. On a total sales basis, it was Buick’s best March since 2006, with deliveries up 15 percent. First quarter retail deliveries were the highest since 2004, driven by a 29 percent increase in crossover sales. The Encore has posted seven consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains, and it had its best-ever March and first quarter sales. The Envision had its best month since launch. GMC Sales
      Total GMC sales were up 12 percent in March, driven by a 47 percent increase in crossover deliveries. The Acadia, which was redesigned last year, was up 84 percent and the Terrain was up 14 percent. The Yukon XL was up 17 percent. March was the highest-ever month for Denali models, at 29 percent of GMC retail sales. Total GMC sales for the first quarter were the best since 2000, with deliveries up 10 percent. First quarter retail deliveries were up 4 percent, with the Acadia up 30 percent and Sierra HD models up 22 percent. Cadillac Sales
      Cadillac XT5 retail sales in March were 22 percent higher than the outgoing SRX, and ATPs were about 9 percent higher. Cadillac’s ATPs continue to be in the upper echelon of luxury brands at more than $54,000. Full-year Guidance
      We believe strong car-buying fundamentals are reflected in the retail component of the light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate), which was 14 million in March, up 0.3 million versus a year ago. The retail SAAR for the first quarter was 14.3 million, up 0.1 million. Ten all-new or recently redesigned crossovers are expected to drive GM’s sales and share higher in 2017. GM’s deliveries to daily rental companies are expected to decline for the third year in a row. The company expects inventory in the second quarter to be lower than the first quarter, in a range around 90 days’ supply. The decline reflects strong sales, lower car production and strategic, launch-related growth in truck and crossover stocks. The company expects to end 2017 at essentially the same inventory levels as 2016 on a days’ supply basis, but with fewer cars and more trucks and crossovers in stock. As expected, incentives were down sharply from February 2017, according to J.D Power PIN estimates. Spending as a percentage of average transaction price (ATP) declined from approximately 14.9 percent to about 13.5 percent. The launches of new crossovers and adjustments to passenger car inventories will help moderate incentive spending going forward.
    • By William Maley
      GM Grows Total and Retail Sales in February, Market Share up Sharply, Transaction Prices Set February Record

      DETROIT — Record sales of crossovers, large SUVs and pickups in February drove General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) retail market share up more than one-half percentage point versus a year ago. Average transaction prices, which reflect what customers pay after sales incentives, also set a February record.
      “Our retail-focused go-to-market strategy is delivering robust results,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “All of our brands grew their average transaction prices by healthy amounts, and we delivered solid growth in the industry’s fastest-growing and most profitable segments.”
      February Highlights (vs. February 2016)
      GM’s total sales were up 4 percent to 237,388 units compared with an estimated 1 percent decline for the industry. This equates to a market share of 17.5 percent, an increase of 0.9 percentage points. Retail sales totaled 188,715 units, up 5 percent, compared with a flat industry. This equates to a market share of 17.7 percent, an increase of 0.7 percentage points. GM’s average transaction prices (ATPs) rose $570 per unit to $34,900, a February record. Three years of J.D. Power PIN data show that GM has led the industry in ATPs in 35 of 36 months through February. GM internal data shows that incentive spending was essentially flat year over year. This is in sharp contrast to recently published PIN estimates that noted an increase of 2.7 percentage points to 15 percent of ATP.  Commercial deliveries were up 7 percent, driven by an 11 percent increase in pickup sales and a 75 percent increase in Chevrolet Malibu sales. It was the best February Commercial sales since 2008. Government sales were up 4 percent and daily rental deliveries were down 2 percent. Total fleet sales were up 2 percent. Small business deliveries, which are included in retail sales, were up 13 percent, driven by a 22 percent increase in full-size pickups and a 39 percent increase in large vans. GM estimates the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 17.5 million units. Brand Highlights (vs. February 2016)
      Chevrolet had its best February retail sales since 2007 and its best February total sales since 2008. Crossovers deliveries set a February record for the brand. Three Chevrolet models ― the Trax, Equinox and Volt ― had their best February total and retail sales ever. Traverse had its best-ever February total sales, and its best February retail sales since 2011. Deliveries of the Chevrolet Bolt EV approached 1,000 units. The national rollout of the crossover is just underway. The Chevrolet Suburban had its best February retail sales since 2008, and the Silverado had its best February total and retail sales since 2007. Buick had its best February retail sales since 2004, driven by the all-new Envision and the Encore, which set a February record. GMC had its best February retail sales since 2002, with trucks and crossovers up 18 percent and 15 percent, respectively. Standouts include the Canyon, up 21 percent; the Sierra, up 19 percent; the Acadia, up 22 percent; and the Terrain, up 8 percent. GMC Denali penetration, at 26 percent of GMC retail sales, was the highest for any February in history. GM estimates that Chevrolet and GMC earned more than 40 percent of all full-size pickup retail sales, with ATPs up nearly $600 per unit. Cadillac XT5 retail deliveries were 6 percent higher than the SRX it replaced. Average transaction prices are 8 percent higher than SRX. GM 2017 Outlook
      GM is optimistic that the company, and Chevrolet in particular, will continue to gain retail market share in an industry expected to remain at or near record sales levels.

      “Looking ahead, we will stay focused on strengthening our brands, growing retail sales and share, reducing daily rental deliveries and maintaining our operating discipline,” McNeil said. “Our strong small business deliveries are a clear sign of growing confidence in the economy.”
      In 2016, GM was the industry’s fastest-growing full-line automaker on a retail sales basis, and Chevrolet has been the fastest-growing full-line brand for two consecutive years. Ten all-new or recently redesigned crossovers are expected to drive GM’s sales and share higher in 2017, including the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, which will compete in the industry’s largest segment. GM’s deliveries to daily rental companies are expected to decline as a percentage of total sales for the third year in a row. GM intends to match production with customer demand, and the company’s overall operating discipline should help drive continued improvements in brand health and resale values. Year-end inventories, which include in-transit vehicles, are expected to be in the same range as 2016.
    • By William Maley
      Nearly 20 years ago, GMC decided to create a luxury version of its Yukon SUV called the Denali by putting on some chrome wheels and leather upholstery. Today, Denali is available on most of GMC's lineup and makes up 25 percent of total sales. It also makes GMC a lot of money.
      Motor Authority reports that the Denali trim gives GMC highest transaction price of any non-luxury brand in the industry. To put it another way, if GMC was its own automaker, it would be ranked 150th in the Fortune 500 list. How is this possible? You only need to look at GMC's top vehicles. Close to three out of four Yukons sold are Denali with price tags beginning at $65,000 and climbing. 50 percent of Sierra HDs are Denalis with average transaction prices ranging from $60,000 to $75,000.
      Source: Motor Authority

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Nearly 20 years ago, GMC decided to create a luxury version of its Yukon SUV called the Denali by putting on some chrome wheels and leather upholstery. Today, Denali is available on most of GMC's lineup and makes up 25 percent of total sales. It also makes GMC a lot of money.
      Motor Authority reports that the Denali trim gives GMC highest transaction price of any non-luxury brand in the industry. To put it another way, if GMC was its own automaker, it would be ranked 150th in the Fortune 500 list. How is this possible? You only need to look at GMC's top vehicles. Close to three out of four Yukons sold are Denali with price tags beginning at $65,000 and climbing. 50 percent of Sierra HDs are Denalis with average transaction prices ranging from $60,000 to $75,000.
      Source: Motor Authority
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