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January 2009 Sales: General Motors

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GM Reports 129,227 Deliveries in January

  • New products and GMAC financing help stabilize retail share above 21 percent for the second consecutive month
  • Cars and crossovers were 65 percent of GM retail vehicles sold
  • "Presidents Day Sale" begins with 0 percent APR or bonus cash offers on select vehicles for qualified buyers
DETROIT - Driven by an 80 percent reduction in fleet sales, General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 129,227 vehicles in January, down 49 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales were off 38 percent, but retail market share held steady compared with December. GM's retail share performance was assisted by reduced-rate APR financing capacity through GMAC and a GM loyalty cash offer. GM January total car sales of 43,943 were off 58 percent and total truck sales (including crossovers) of 85,284 were down 42 percent compared with a year ago. Additionally, retail sales for GM cars and crossovers combined were about 65 percent of sales mix in the month.

"We're attacking this unprecedented market as aggressively as possible, while offering more vehicles than ever that provide great value and that Americans enjoy owning," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "Our retail market share is a bright spot, holding steady above 21 percent for the second month in a row. That's a full point above the trailing 12-month average. It's important to realize that we accomplished this retail performance as the overall market ran about 6 million vehicles behind where it was last January (on a seasonally-adjusted annual rate) and every manufacturer was deeply impacted."

The newly-launched Chevrolet Traverse crossover continues to gain traction in the market place with total sales of more than 5,200 vehicles. Chevrolet's crossovers, HHR, Equinox and Traverse had 11,666 retail sales, a 10 percent increase compared with last year. The strength of Traverse's launch helped push retail sales of all GM crossovers to 20 percent of all retail vehicles sold by the automaker in January, up about 3 percentage points from a year ago.

"It is important for America to realize that in cars and crossovers, Chevy is fully competitive with Toyota and Honda and continues to gain strength. The Malibu is performing well and the Traverse is building momentum," LaNeve added. "We're doing our part to get vehicle sales moving again. For example, GMAC is providing more reduced-rate APR financing capacity with the Presidents Day Sale, and we're offering bonus cash on select models. Additionally, our national roll-out of the credit union 'Invest in America' program offers supplier pricing and available credit union financing for millions of members."

A total of 923 GM hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month, illustrating the wide range of hybrid product offerings available. GM offers the Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade 2-mode hybrid SUVs, the Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura mid-size sedan, and Saturn Vue compact crossover hybrids.

GM has announced reductions in first quarter production to adjust inventories for marketplace demand. This strategic move helped reduce inventories and related costs for GM and its dealers during this historic downturn, but the lack of production also meant that fleet vehicles, which typically are built to order, have been delayed. GM's fleet sales of just over 13,000 vehicles in January were at their lowest levels since 1975.

GM inventories dropped compared with a year ago. At the end of January, only about 801,000 vehicles were in stock, down about 103,000 vehicles (or 11 percent) compared with last year. There were about 363,000 cars and 438,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of January. Inventories were reduced about 70,000 vehicles compared with December. Importantly, of the pickup trucks in stock, 96 percent of the GMC Sierras and 97 percent of the Chevrolet Silverados are all-new 2009 models.

Certified Used Vehicles

January 2009 sales for all certified GM brands continue to be robust after a strong gain a month earlier. GM Certified Used Vehicles, Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, combined sold 39,293 vehicles.

GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry's top-selling certified brand, posted January sales of 33,695 vehicles, up 1 percent from January 2008. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 947 vehicles, up 73 percent. Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 3,864 vehicles, up 20 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 538 vehicles, up 25 percent, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 249 vehicles, up 93 percent.

"The certified used vehicle programs are starting the year strong despite the tight credit market and slowdowns in consumer spending and retail demand for both new and used vehicles," said LaNeve. "We continue to offer consumers the largest selection of certified vehicles and a worry-free purchasing experience that comes with one of the best warranties in the business and a factory-certified, 117-point fully-inspected vehicle."

GM North America Reports January 2009 Production; Q1 2009 Production Forecast at 380,000 Vehicles

In January, GM North America produced 65,000 vehicles (6,000 cars and 59,000 trucks). This is down 232,000 vehicles or 78 percent compared with January 2008 when the region produced 297,000 vehicles (106,000 cars and 191,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 3,000 vehicles in January 2009 and 13,000 vehicles in January 2008.)

The region's 2009 first-quarter production forecast is 380,000 vehicles (118,000 cars and 262,000 trucks), which is down about 57 percent compared with a year ago. GM North America built 885,000 vehicles (360,000 cars and 525,000 trucks) in the first-quarter of 2008.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), one of the world's largest automakers, was founded in 1908, and today manufactures cars and trucks in 34 countries. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 252,000 people in every major region of the world, and sells and services vehicles in some 140 countries. In 2008, GM sold 8.35 million cars and trucks globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Hummer, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

Note: GM sales and production results are available on GM Media OnLine at

http://media.gm.com/us/gm/en by clicking on News, then Sales/Production. In this press release and related comments by General Motors management, we use words like "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "forecast," "objective," "plan," "goal" and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, representing our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to comply with the requirements of our credit agreement with the U.S. Department of Treasury; the availability of funding for future loans under that credit agreement; our ability to execute the restructuring plans that we have disclosed, our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt; and changes in general economic conditions, market acceptance of our products; shortages of and price increases for fuel; significant changes in the competitive environment and the effect of competition on our markets, including on our pricing policies. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q provide information about these factors, which may be revised or supplemented in future reports to the SEC on Form 10-Q or 8-K.

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What a horrible month. GM seemed to have taken the worst of it, down nearly 51% DSR. What gets me is that the Aveo and Cobalt are both down 71%. Given they are the cheapest cars and volume sellers, they must really be aging poorly, or a factory burnt down somewhere. The money's going to run out quick with more months like that, I hope they can turn it around.

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Wow, check out the Excitement! brand, its totally the most important brand. I bet all those Aveo customers are eagerly awaiting the G3.

Why aren't Saturn sales broken down by model like the other 46 brands GM sells?

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What a horrible month. GM seemed to have taken the worst of it, down nearly 51% DSR. What gets me is that the Aveo and Cobalt are both down 71%. Given they are the cheapest cars and volume sellers, they must really be aging poorly, or a factory burnt down somewhere. The money's going to run out quick with more months like that, I hope they can turn it around.

No fleet sales to lean on this month for the products mentioned.

The difference between GM and the rest of the industry is more GMAC impotence than anything else.

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No fleet sales to lean on this month for the products mentioned.

The difference between GM and the rest of the industry is more GMAC impotence than anything else.

Didn't GMAC receive $5 B late last year? What happened to that money?

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Didn't GMAC receive $5 B late last year? What happened to that money?

Margaritas?

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Didn't GMAC receive $5 B late last year? What happened to that money?

Perhaps Margs :)

Or, they've stuffed it in their 'mattress' (i.e. Reserves) awaiting the day that the economy allows Cerberus to continue their role as Master of the Universe. (See the rest of the TARP boondoggle for their inspiration)

Until then, expect GM's 'house' financing to be a mixture of half-measures and tight credit decision-making. (I wouldn't lend people money on GM or Chrysler cars either, so I can't blame them)

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Didn't GMAC receive $5 B late last year? What happened to that money?

As I understand it they immediately lowered their criteria for borrowers. That was December. So the money should have been flowing again all January.

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As I understand it they immediately lowered their criteria for borrowers. That was December. So the money should have been flowing again all January.

Apparently the walls between consumers and lenders are still not transparent as they were hoped to be.

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The lack of fleet sales reveals GM's "true" size. Too much capacity and too many weak brands dividing the remaining sales. GM doesn't need 2 Lambda plants or 2 Epsilon plants. Cobalt down 70%? Why are you surprised? It's into its 6th year in a very competitive segment. And it looked too much like its predecessor when it was new. Is Hamtramck profitable at a 50K run rate? Too many plants, too many workers, no vision, no urgency.

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Many in GM are wishing they had those fleet sales now. Even if they only made a small profit, it was still a profit. Oh you should hear the lamenting and the gnashing of teeth.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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Margaritas?

:rotflmao:

I know this isn't a Toyota sales thread, but that was the 'best evah' reply!

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Wow, check out the Excitement! brand, its totally the most important brand. I bet all those Aveo customers are eagerly awaiting the G3.

Why aren't Saturn sales broken down by model like the other 46 brands GM sells?

They are. And yes look at the Excitement brand. The G8 almost outsold the Aura despite having a much higher price. It's doesn't look like either saturn or buick is a more important brand to me, yet that's where the money is going.

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Ouch. Another ugly month. HHR sales down almost 80%. Another fleet victim. You can pretty much look at that sales chart and see who the fleet queens are, not that we didn't know already. HHR, Aveo, Cobalt, G6 (down 82%). One of the few bright spots, if you can call it that, was the Enclave. It was only down 20%! Brutal, brutal, brutal.

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The Fit and Civic are good products, the Cobalt and Aveo are not, so it isn't surprising at all that GM's small cars are getting killed. That is what happens when you put all your resources into full size SUVs, and don't invest in small cars. Pontiac down 60% means they are dead, too many underfunded brands that GM can't afford to keep alive. Saab didn't even sell 1,000 cars, it is time to cut down to 4 brands, and hope they can rebuild. If they do nothing, GM won't be around in 2 years.

Hyundai looks like they get it, the Genesis worked, it legitimized the brand and now people are willing to consider and even buy a Hyundai.

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GM has made arrangements to regain control of GMAC

Federal Regs regarding TARP funds will reduce both GM's & Cerberus' stake in GMAC. I believe both will have their shares narrowed to 30% or less of the 'bank' that GMAC has become.

GM cannot own more than a certain smaller % of GMAC for the time being.

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The G8 did pretty good considering the economy and auto sales for the month. The G6 sold 2400 and it sold 1300...

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Many in GM are wishing they had those fleet sales now. Even if they only made a small profit, it was still a profit. Oh you should hear the lamenting and the gnashing of teeth.

Fleet sales (in moderation) are good business...

Too bad GM is reducing it's apparent fleet division to a niche.

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Hyundai looks like they get it, the Genesis worked, it legitimized the brand and now people are willing to consider and even buy a Hyundai.

So GM shouldn't build RWD cars, but Hyundai should?

And FWIW, the Hyundai buy back offer saved Hyundai's ass, not the Genesis.

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Wow, this is pretty ugly. What's real crazy is how GM only sold about 12000 more units than Toyota last month.

Obviously this has a lot to do with our bad economy, people losing jobs, and many buyers (including rental car companies) who need or want a car not being able to get it financed. But if you really look at these numbers and begin to realize just how badly some of these mainstream models like the G6 and Impala did without the benefit of fleet sales, it really starts to sink in just how badly GM was positioned to weather this kind of a storm when it came to their cars.

Nothing bothers me more than when I hear or read people making that infamous comment that "GM builds cars people don't want to buy" - but in a way there is a little bit of truth to that statement unfortunately. When you look at GM and compare them to Toyota for January sales, you start to really see where they totally aren't competitive in the small and mid size market. Yes, the new Malibu is nice, and I have a feeling that the new Cruze (and Volt) will probably be pretty nice little cars, but where in the hell were these cars five years ago?

Times are awful for the entire industry, but I think it has really exposed how truly weak GM is in some very critical segments. What a disaster.

Edited by gmcbob
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So GM shouldn't build RWD cars, but Hyundai should?

And FWIW, the Hyundai buy back offer saved Hyundai's ass, not the Genesis.

I have always said GM should make rear wheel drive cars. Although I think importing the G8 from Australia is a half-assed way to do it, they should have designed something from scratch like they did with the original CTS, but for Chevy/Buick use. I also think GM should build more small to medium rear drivers, rear drive cars don't have to be full size or over 4,000 pounds. If they build the best car in the world, they'll find customers, if they build mediocre and try to sell the deal, they won't. They need to start advertising cars and not mentioning price or discounts.

What Hyundai did right is build an excellent car that was able to change the perception of their brand, and got people to look more closely at Hyundai and see the value in their cars. The Santa Fe, Veracruz and Sonata all have pretty good interiors and powertrains and are priced lower than comparable Japanese brands. Plus the long warranty and assurance plan, I can see why Hyundai is a growing brand.

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Apparently the walls between consumers and lenders are still not transparent as they were hoped to be.

if half the households in America werent afraid of losing their jobs, people would buy.

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Many in GM are wishing they had those fleet sales now. Even if they only made a small profit, it was still a profit. Oh you should hear the lamenting and the gnashing of teeth.

fleet sales are fine. what GM effed on was fleeting out cars that were 5,6,7 years into production without updates. i.e. GM totally sucks at keeping products fresh. people thought fleeting was what killed resale. UM NO. its old product that reduces showroom demand that kills resale.

If I were running GM I would be pounding pavement to make big fleet sales right now to keep unit volumes up and possibly be increasing share. Few carmakers will be profitable in the next year, so its better to gain share with losing some dough than it is to not sell cars. The current demand for used cars will drive the used car prices up eventually, it already has, and resales are holding pretty well or going up on many cars out there. So fleeting and taking market from Toyo and Hyundai and Kia with some Cobalts and G6's and LaCrosses I hardly find a problem.

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Wow, this is pretty ugly. What's real crazy is how GM only sold about 12000 more units than Toyota last month.

Obviously this has a lot to do with our bad economy, people losing jobs, and many buyers (including rental car companies) who need or want a car not being able to get it financed. But if you really look at these numbers and begin to realize just how badly some of these mainstream models like the G6 and Impala did without the benefit of fleet sales, it really starts to sink in just how badly GM was positioned to weather this kind of a storm when it came to their cars.

Nothing bothers me more than when I hear or read people making that infamous comment that "GM builds cars people don't want to buy" - but in a way there is a little bit of truth to that statement unfortunately. When you look at GM and compare them to Toyota for January sales, you start to really see where they totally aren't competitive in the small and mid size market. Yes, the new Malibu is nice, and I have a feeling that the new Cruze (and Volt) will probably be pretty nice little cars, but where in the hell were these cars five years ago?

Times are awful for the entire industry, but I think it has really exposed how truly weak GM is in some very critical segments. What a disaster.

GM should be readying the plan for a fully funded remake of a new Malibu for 2012 model year. The new design and cheap interior will become big flaws in the market in not too long. New Impala should be 2010-11. Cruze will help but its too late too. Even the trucks need an interior complete redo.

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