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William Maley

November 2012 - General Motors

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GM U.S. Sales Increase 3 percent in November

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported its highest November sales in the United States since 2007, with deliveries up 3 percent versus a year ago to 186,505 vehicles. Year-over-year sales to retail customers were essentially equal to a year ago and sales to fleet customers were up 16 percent.

“In November, we saw strong car and crossover sales and we continue to make inroads with younger customers, import drivers and buyers focused on fuel economy,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales operations. “Sales at Cadillac and Buick are benefiting from the buzz generated by new products, including the Buick Verano, Cadillac XTS and Cadillac ATS.”

Sales of GM passenger cars increased 19 percent in November compared with a year ago. Crossovers were up 9 percent and sales of trucks were down 11 percent. Buick and Cadillac had their best November sales since 2006 and 2007, respectively.

  • Passenger car sales were up 77 percent at Cadillac, 22 percent at Buick and 13 percent at Chevrolet.
  • Combined sales of mini, small and compact cars were up 51 percent compared with a year ago, driven by the new Buick Verano and Chevrolet Spark, a 27 percent increase for the Chevrolet Cruze, a 33 percent increase for the Chevrolet Volt and a 12 percent increase for the Chevrolet Sonic.
  • Crossover sales were driven by a 44 percent increase for the GMC Terrain, a 23 percent increase for the Buick Enclave and a 13 percent increase for both the Chevrolet Equinox and the Cadillac SRX.
  • Sales of large pickups were 8 percent lower in part due to unexpectedly high competitive incentive activity, which GM did not match.

The average transaction prices for GM vehicles increased $750 per unit versus a year ago, even though the company’s car and crossover mix increased from 56 percent of total sales to 62 percent. ATPs also increased about $190 per unit from October, when the car and crossover mix was 60 percent.

“The East Coast’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy helped drive the November SAAR materially higher, but it benefited our competitors more than GM, since they rely on the region for more of their sales,” McNeil said.

“It’s clear that the industry will come in at the high end of our full-year sales forecast,” he added. “Exactly how much growth we can expect next year will depend in part on how Congress and the president resolve the fiscal cliff issue. Consumers hate uncertainty, so an agreement on ways to reduce long-term federal budget deficits could remove an impediment to growth.”

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Well, after my niece and I added to Chrysler's numbers last month by each picking up Dodge Chargers, my sister did her part for GM's November sales by picking up a Camaro last Friday. I don't have all the info yet but I do know it is a silver V6. I'm sure she will enjoy it. She has been wanting one since they introduced the Synergy Green cars. In fact, I'm surprised she picked silver.

The Captiva Sport is fleet only, right? I'm amazed at how many of those GM is selling. I see them around quite a bit. What the heck is going on with the Lambda's? Launch issues or just a slow ramp up? Go Verano! Wouldn't mind getting an ATS 2.0T or Verano turbo for the wife next year. :)

Edited by 2QuickZ's

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The ATS is eating away at the CTS, although maybe the XTS is as well, as the CTS does get some of the older "traditional" Cadillac buyers due to lack of other options in the showroom. Although the ATS-CTS-XTS is selling better than what the CTS-DTS-STS did last year.

The Regal seems to be dying quickly, the Verano is a much better value and the sales numbers show it. The Lacrosse down I wonder if is in part to people spending more on an XTS, or if the new Camry/Avalon/ES350 trifecta is out now and hurting Buick, probably the latter.

Chevy is pretty much what you'd expect, I'm assuming the Malibu sales are the 2013, that thing is still a dud in the mid-size segment. Wouldn't surprise me if 40% or more of Malibu sales are fleet, that car is embarrassing. You'd think being the main sedan of GM competing is the biggest, most competitive segment that they would do more.

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I have a theory on Regal/LaCrosse. E-Assist is not popular or desirable.

And Verano is a stronger package than Regal, imo.

Malibu faltering is very bad news. It's like 1998 all over again.

They need to match incentives on the 900's at some point, because after the 13th, I predict they'll be even harder to sell.

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The Verano is a better package and a problem with the Regal, is I always see it in the charcoal grey interior, it is a cold, euro look interior, and too sporty for a Buick. Buick interiors need to be warmer and more toward the soft side of luxury. Look at the sales of the Camry/Avalon/ES350. The beige leather and walnut wood trim look works. The Regal, Lacrosse and Enclave fit what you expect of Buick. So many brands do "sport sedans" but not everyone wants a sport sedan, some want a slush box luxury car, and I've thought for years if someone made a small one it would sell and the Verano does pretty well. Toyota/Lexus sell a lot of slush boxes because no one challenges them, everyone wants to challenge BMW and lose.

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Key segments are still being neglected, just as before the financial meltdown. When is a midcycle refresh coming for the Cruze? Where are the alternative bodystyles for the Cruze? The 1.6L and diesel models will be welcome improvements, but a 5-door hatch (at least) in addition to the sedan is needed in our country.

A compact pickup truck that is affordable, fresh and economical to operate is needed now, not in 2015. The 3.6L is awesome in the Theta line, but the 2.5 should be there as base engine NOW, not next year. The small diesel for the Cruze should go in the Thetas.

And what can we say about the Malibu? A bungled launch can cripple an otherwise decent car, I guess. Is backseat room really worse than all competitors though? Still, the midsize sedan segment is one any player HAS to get right, and I believe they made a bad call bringing it forward. The old car was still doing well enough that they could have waited for all the powertrains. Proof in my book that a "green image" is not on everyone's mind when shopping for this type of car.

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The Verano is a better package and a problem with the Regal, is I always see it in the charcoal grey interior, it is a cold, euro look interior, and too sporty for a Buick. Buick interiors need to be warmer and more toward the soft side of luxury. Look at the sales of the Camry/Avalon/ES350. The beige leather and walnut wood trim look works. The Regal, Lacrosse and Enclave fit what you expect of Buick. So many brands do "sport sedans" but not everyone wants a sport sedan, some want a slush box luxury car, and I've thought for years if someone made a small one it would sell and the Verano does pretty well. Toyota/Lexus sell a lot of slush boxes because no one challenges them, everyone wants to challenge BMW and lose.

I tend to agree with you on the comment re the Regal's interior. Opel offers a beige interior in the Insignia, is that interior color availabe in the Regal?

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The Verano is a better package and a problem with the Regal, is I always see it in the charcoal grey interior, it is a cold, euro look interior, and too sporty for a Buick. Buick interiors need to be warmer and more toward the soft side of luxury. Look at the sales of the Camry/Avalon/ES350. The beige leather and walnut wood trim look works. The Regal, Lacrosse and Enclave fit what you expect of Buick. So many brands do "sport sedans" but not everyone wants a sport sedan, some want a slush box luxury car, and I've thought for years if someone made a small one it would sell and the Verano does pretty well. Toyota/Lexus sell a lot of slush boxes because no one challenges them, everyone wants to challenge BMW and lose.

I tend to agree with you on the comment re the Regal's interior. Opel offers a beige interior in the Insignia, is that interior color availabe in the Regal?

The Regal interior comes in beige too, but just overall, the Regal inside and out (being an Opel) has a Euro sport sedan look. It doesn't really fit with what Buick is trying to be, as the softer side of American Luxury and going after that baby boomer and older group that may otherwise buy a Toyota/Lexus or Chrysler or Lincoln.

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The Verano is a better package and a problem with the Regal, is I always see it in the charcoal grey interior, it is a cold, euro look interior, and too sporty for a Buick. Buick interiors need to be warmer and more toward the soft side of luxury. Look at the sales of the Camry/Avalon/ES350. The beige leather and walnut wood trim look works. The Regal, Lacrosse and Enclave fit what you expect of Buick. So many brands do "sport sedans" but not everyone wants a sport sedan, some want a slush box luxury car, and I've thought for years if someone made a small one it would sell and the Verano does pretty well. Toyota/Lexus sell a lot of slush boxes because no one challenges them, everyone wants to challenge BMW and lose.

I tend to agree with you on the comment re the Regal's interior. Opel offers a beige interior in the Insignia, is that interior color availabe in the Regal?

The Regal interior comes in beige too, but just overall, the Regal inside and out (being an Opel) has a Euro sport sedan look. It doesn't really fit with what Buick is trying to be, as the softer side of American Luxury and going after that baby boomer and older group that may otherwise buy a Toyota/Lexus or Chrysler or Lincoln.

Who ever said Buick is trying to go after the baby boomer market. Sorry but mostly they are dead and set with their final auto's to take them to the grave. Auto makers better damn well focus on those generations that still have earning potential and years left before retirement. The 30-50 crowd wants nothing to do with the Cush Float coccon ride of the baby boomers.

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Um 1964 is the last year of the "baby boom" and I ain't quite dead yet. ;)

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Um 1964 is the last year of the "baby boom" and I ain't quite dead yet. ;)

That is not to say that all Baby Boomers like the Float ride. There are some that preferre a driving machine. At 45 I have not even reached middle age yet and I want my driving machine, not a Lazy Boy ride! :P Personally I think 67 was a perfect Year! :D

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The current baby boomers are about 55-65, and many have disposable income to buy new cars. The average age of a new car buyer is over age 50 after all. Toyota loves this demographic, just as this demographic loves Toyota, while American cars turned to junk in the 70s and 80s, the Baby boomers flocked to imports. Buick historically has been selling to the baby boomer's parents, I think they'd be happy to get 50-60 year olds in their cars. But regardless of age, the Regal doesn't really line up with the attributes of the rest of the line up.

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Regal gets a refresh, the first of which we'll likely see in the next 2 - 4 months.

LaCrosse is due for a redesign, it is the oldest of the Epsilon II vehicles out there, I'm guessing we'll see some news on that by March as well. There is a lot going on for GM in Detroit this year that we already know about... so I don't expect to see either of the Buicks released there, but it is possible. We'll know as soon as we see the show schedule. Expect a quick succession of refreshes... Regal first, moving it up market. Lacrosse second... ditto.

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The current baby boomers are about 55-65, and many have disposable income to buy new cars. The average age of a new car buyer is over age 50 after all. Toyota loves this demographic, just as this demographic loves Toyota, while American cars turned to junk in the 70s and 80s, the Baby boomers flocked to imports. Buick historically has been selling to the baby boomer's parents, I think they'd be happy to get 50-60 year olds in their cars. But regardless of age, the Regal doesn't really line up with the attributes of the rest of the line up.

Baby Boom = 1946-1964

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Regal gets a refresh, the first of which we'll likely see in the next 2 - 4 months.

LaCrosse is due for a redesign, it is the oldest of the Epsilon II vehicles out there, I'm guessing we'll see some news on that by March as well. There is a lot going on for GM in Detroit this year that we already know about... so I don't expect to see either of the Buicks released there, but it is possible. We'll know as soon as we see the show schedule. Expect a quick succession of refreshes... Regal first, moving it up market. Lacrosse second... ditto.

What they should do is merge the Regal and LaCrosse into one car (in between in size) to compete against the Avalon, Azera, etc and then make either a Park Ave on Epsilon 2 that basically erases the XTS, or build a rear drive Park Ave to compete with the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis, etc that is full size $35-45,000.

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The current baby boomers are about 55-65, and many have disposable income to buy new cars. The average age of a new car buyer is over age 50 after all. Toyota loves this demographic, just as this demographic loves Toyota....

Baby Boom = 1946-1964

Like ocnblu alluded to- there is no such thing as "current" baby boomers- it refers to a span of years born. IOW, 48-66 yrs old in 2012.

This isn't a demographics that "loves toyotas"- it's the demographic that buys the most cars, period.

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