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July 2014: General Motors Co.


William Maley

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GM’s Truck and Crossover Sales Surge Past 1 million Units in 2014

  • GM total vehicle sales up 9 percent in July – Best July since 2007 
  • Crossovers up 26 percent, SUVs up 32 percent, vans up 65 percent
  • Commercial sales grow for ninth consecutive month

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 256,160 vehicles in the United States in July, for the company’s highest July sales since 2007. Total sales were up 9 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales – those to individual customers – were up 4 percent. Commercial deliveries were up 69 percent and all other fleet deliveries were up 21 percent.

 

Sales of crossovers and trucks, which include pickups, vans and SUVs, surged by double-digits, pushing combined sales to 1,048,114 through July. GM was the first automaker to pass the million-unit milestone in both 2014 and 2013.

 

“Sales of utility vehicles soared in July because American families feel better about the economy than they have in a long time, and they are finding an incredible variety of redesigned and all-new models in our showrooms,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Small, compact, medium, large – sales were strong across the board.”

 

During July, GM sold 100,122 crossovers and SUVs, bringing the calendar-year-to-date total to 587,250 units – the best month for utility vehicle sales since August 2007. Compared with 2013, crossover deliveries increased 26 percent in July and they are up 5 percent year to date. Large non-luxury SUVs were up 25 percent in July, and they are up 15 percent year to date. Including the Cadillac Escalade, SUV sales are up 32 percent.

  • The Buick Encore, one of the industry’s first small crossovers, saw a 28 percent sales increase compared with July 2013.
  • GM’s medium-sized Chevrolet, GMC and Buick crossovers, which were redesigned for the 2014 model year, were up 14 percent compared with last July, led by a 25 percent increase in Chevrolet Traverse deliveries.
  • Combined sales of Chevrolet and GMC large SUVs, which are all new for the 2015 model year, were up 25 percent compared with a year ago. GM’s estimated share of the large SUV segment is 77 percent on a retail basis.
  • Cadillac Escalade deliveries nearly doubled and Cadillac’s estimated share of the large luxury SUV segment is now about 37 percent on a retail basis.

“GM and the U.S. economy left July carrying good momentum,” McNeil said. “The economy has bounced back strongly from the harsh winter, consumer confidence has reached a post-recession high, energy prices remain moderate and job growth continues. The stage is set for strong sales through the balance of the year.

 

“In particular, there is a lot of pent-up demand for our new large SUVs and we expect pickup deliveries to be strong, as they usually are in the second half of the year.”

 

July Sales Highlights (vs. 2013 except as noted)

  • The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in July was an estimated 16.7 million units, topping 16 million units for the fifth consecutive month.
  • Total Chevrolet deliveries were up 8 percent, on the strength of trucks, crossovers and a 4 percent increase in retail car sales. This year marked Chevrolet’s best July sales since 2007.
  • Chevrolet Corvette deliveries more than tripled for its best July since 2004, and the Camaro was up 25 percent, for its best July since 1995. In addition, the Volt was up 13 percent, the Malibu was up 9 percent and Sonic was up 6 percent. Silverado sales were equal to a year ago.
  • Buick had its best July since 2006, with sales up 8 percent.
  • Every GMC nameplate posted a sales increase, including the new Sierra, driving sales 22 percent higher. GMC had its best July since 2006.
  • GM’s average transaction prices (ATPs) in July were in line with June 2014, and they are up more than $2,000 per unit versus a year ago, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. GM’s large pickup ATPs were equal to June.
  • Incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 11.2 percent, the lowest of all domestic automakers, according to PIN. GM was up 0.2 points month over month and the industry was up 0.3 points. On a year-over-year basis, GM was up 0.1 points and the industry average was up 0.5 points.

GM’s gains in the commercial segment were driven by pickup and van sales, which were both up 78 percent. Sales to rental customers increased 22 percent due to timing. Year to date, rental sales are essentially equal to a year ago. Sales to government customers were up 8 percent. GM’s fleet mix in July was about 23 percent, which is below the company’s typical mix of about 26 percent.

 

 

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Is there a vehicle by vehicle chart?  All I am seeing is the brand summaries.

 

Cadillac sales being down is a bit baffling to me.  Since when does better product = lower sales?  I guess it must be that CTS moved up in size and price and ATS matches the previous gen CTS prices in a smaller package?  I don't know.  It can't all be explained away by the powertrains and CUE.  Neither of those is THAT bad.

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Agreed, I am a bit baffled also by Cadillac sales. I would like to see a breakout of sales by auto type. I wonder if we have just sold to all those that love Chrome Bling and now what is left is the Monochromatic Luxury crowd which BMW and MB serves well.

 

I love Cadillac's design language, but they really need to drop all the chrome and use it in small tasteful amounts.

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Is there a vehicle by vehicle chart?  All I am seeing is the brand summaries.

 

Cadillac sales being down is a bit baffling to me.  Since when does better product = lower sales?  I guess it must be that CTS moved up in size and price and ATS matches the previous gen CTS prices in a smaller package?  I don't know.  It can't all be explained away by the powertrains and CUE.  Neither of those is THAT bad.

 

Odd, I thought it would come with the vehicle chart. Give me a moment or two to pull that up.

 

Update: Vehicle chart has been posted.

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Is there a vehicle by vehicle chart?  All I am seeing is the brand summaries.

 

Cadillac sales being down is a bit baffling to me.  Since when does better product = lower sales?  I guess it must be that CTS moved up in size and price and ATS matches the previous gen CTS prices in a smaller package?  I don't know.  It can't all be explained away by the powertrains and CUE.  Neither of those is THAT bad.

 

Odd, I thought it would come with the vehicle chart. Give me a moment or two to pull that up.

 

Update: Vehicle chart has been posted.

 

Thanks Bill, Good info. Love the Escalade sales bounce with the new model. Surprised by the drop of CTS / ATS. Head scratch-er as to why.

Over all very solid sales numbers for everyone. Just surprised by the Cadillac #'s.

 

I still think GM was WRONG to kill the EXT / Avalanche Product.

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Cadillac has a few problems, outside of the Escalade which is selling very well.  First the ATS and CTS were really targeted against the 3 and 5-series, almost to where they were copying dimensions of the 3-series, and why buy a copy when you can get the original.

 

Secondly, Cadillac for a lot of years offered mid-size CTS at entry level price and a full size car at a mid-size price.  Now that the ATS and CTS are priced a bit more in line with Lexus and the Germans, the buyers perhaps aren't willing to pay equal money for a Cadillac.  XTS sales are probably down because you can get an Impala or Lacrosse which is pretty similar for way less money, and the traditional Deville buyer is dying off.  This is why the XTS should be a one and done car.

 

Thirdly, Cadillac marketing is weak, they mostly run that one "runway" ad where they show 5 different cars in a gray on a black background and barely touch on many features of the cars or try to make the brand sound appealing.  The marketing department definitely isn't doing the products any favors.

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Looking at the sales figures, I think Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Buick each have one sedan too many and one crossover too few. There's just not much consumer interest in most GM cars.

Quoted for truth!

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