William Maley

October 2016: General Motors Co.

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Chevrolet and Buick Post Big Retail Sales and Share Gains Keeping GM the Fastest-Growing Full-line Automaker

  • Chevrolet U.S. retail sales up 6 percent for best October since 2004
  • Buick U.S. retail sales up 7 percent for best October since 2003
  • GMC sets brand’s all-time record for October ATP at $43,988

DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) sold 208,290 vehicles in October to individual or “retail” customers in the U.S., up 3 percent from last year, despite two fewer selling days. Based on initial estimates, GM outperformed the entire U.S. retail industry by a wide margin.

Led by Chevrolet and Buick, GM’s U.S. retail market share rose to its highest October level since 2009. Based on initial estimates, GM’s retail market share jumped 1.6 percentage points in October to 18.1 percent, the largest retail market share gain of any manufacturer. GM has gained retail market share in 16 of the past 19 months.

Chevrolet’s October U.S. retail sales were up 6 percent compared to last year, the brand’s best October since 2004. Buick’s October U.S. retail sales were up 7 percent, the brand’s best October since 2003.

Chevrolet gained 1.4 percentage points of U.S. retail market share in October to 12.3 percent.  Chevrolet has gained U.S. retail market share in 9 out of 10 months this year, and remains the industry’s fastest-growing full-line brand.  Buick gained 0.2 percentage points of retail market share in October.

In addition, GMC set an all-time October record for the brand’s ATP or Average Transaction Price of $43,988, up more than $1,800 over last October’s performance. 

GM’s total U.S. sales in October were 258,626 vehicles, down less than 2 percent from last year. In addition, GM’s daily rental sales were down approximately 8,000 vehicles or about 19 percent in October compared to last year, as planned.

“GM’s October performance reflects the strength of our retail business and our operating discipline. We gained profitable retail share in October while spending less than the industry average on incentives and commanding the industry’s best average transaction prices for any full-line automaker,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We will continue our disciplined approach and focus on retail in a strong industry.” 

In October, GM’s incentive spending as a percent of ATP was 11.7 percent, below the industry average of 11.8 percent.

GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $36,155 in October, more than $4,650 above the industry average and more than $1,000 above last October’s performance. 

Through the first ten months of the year, GM retail sales are up 1 percent, compared to last year. GM has gained 0.6 percentage points of retail share during that timeframe, the largest retail share gain of any full-line automaker. Year to date, Chevrolet retail sales are up more than 2 percent and the brand’s retail share has grown 0.5 percentage points to 11.2 percent. Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown nearly 4 percent and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.

GM continues to benefit from a strong U.S. economy.

“Key fundamentals like job security, rising personal incomes, low fuel prices and low interest rates continue to provide the environment for a very healthy U.S. auto industry,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist. “The U.S. auto industry is well positioned for sales to continue at or near record levels for the foreseeable future.”

October Retail Sales and Business Highlights vs. 2015 (except as noted)

Chevrolet

  • Chevrolet had its best October since 2004 and best year to date sales since 2006
  • Chevrolet cars sales continue to grow faster than the passenger car industry
  • Malibu, Camaro, Corvette, Spark and Volt were up 39 percent, 14 percent, 8 percent, 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively
  • Malibu had its best October since 1980
  • Camaro had its best October since 2009
  • Colorado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trax were up 42 percent, 35 percent, 49 percent and 37 percent, respectively
  • Tahoe and Suburban had their best October since 2007
  • Colorado had its best October since 2004

GMC

  • ATPs growing three times faster than industry pace
  • Acadia, Canyon, Yukon XL and Yukon were up 17 percent, 15 percent, 3 percent and 26 percent, respectively
  • More than 25 percent Denali penetration for the brand
  • Sierra had its highest ATP ever at $46,876
  • Canyon had its best October ever
  • Acadia had its best October ever
  • Yukon had its best October since 2007 and 14th month of year-over-year growth
  • Yukon XL had its best October since 2007

Buick

  • Best October since 2003 and best year to date since 2005
  • LaCrosse was up 13 percent with new model off to a strong start
  • Envision had best month since launch

Cadillac

  • Escalade retail sales up year to date more than 6 percent
  • October ATP was a record $55,058, up more than $2,300 from last October
  • Record year to date ATP of $53,542
  • Year-to-date retail luxury market share in line with 2015 performance

Average Transaction Prices (ATP)/Incentives

  • GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $36,155 in October, more than $4,650 above the industry average in October and more than $1,000 above last October
  • GM’s October incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 11.7 percent, below the industry average of 11.8 percent, but down 1.4 percentage points from last month and well below many other competitors

Fleet and Commercial

  • Commercial fleet up 13 percent vs. September, and up 3 percent, selling day adjusted, YOY
    • Malibu up 95 percent compared to last October
    • Mid-size trucks up 218 percent compared to last October
  • Federal Government sales up 53 percent
  • Rental down 19 percent for October, and 29 percent year to date, according to plan

Industry Sales

  • GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in October was approximately 18.0 million units. On a calendar year-to-date basis, GM estimates the light-vehicle SAAR was 17.4 million units

General Motors October 2016.jpg

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ATS, CTS and XTS look dead in the weeds.  Judging by Impala and LaCrosse sales we are approaching the end of the large sedan.  I bet the Malibu is the largest Chevy or Buick car by 2025.  Maybe since GM loves to market cars as the "First Ever" G6, CT6, First Ever XT5, etc, they should run an advertising slogan for the "Last Ever" Impala and tell people to get them while they last.

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Yeah it seem most people(and people I know and talk to) either want a smaller and efficient car or a SUV or truck for s larger vehicle. Nobody really seems to want large cars. If they want larger they want SUVs or trucks. 

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9 hours ago, smk4565 said:

ATS, CTS and XTS look dead in the weeds.  Judging by Impala and LaCrosse sales we are approaching the end of the large sedan.  I bet the Malibu is the largest Chevy or Buick car by 2025.  Maybe since GM loves to market cars as the "First Ever" G6, CT6, First Ever XT5, etc, they should run an advertising slogan for the "Last Ever" Impala and tell people to get them while they last.

Cars are down across the board, not just at GM.  Look at Acura and Lexus, their sedans are way off also.

FCA has pretty much signaled that they will stop building main stream sedans, other than more specialty type vehicles like the 300 and the Charger.

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10 hours ago, smk4565 said:

ATS, CTS and XTS look dead in the weeds.  Judging by Impala and LaCrosse sales we are approaching the end of the large sedan.  I bet the Malibu is the largest Chevy or Buick car by 2025.  Maybe since GM loves to market cars as the "First Ever" G6, CT6, First Ever XT5, etc, they should run an advertising slogan for the "Last Ever" Impala and tell people to get them while they last.

 

U must be sitting at your computer with a razor blade to your wrists after seeing the numbers coming out of Benzo's car division. NEW CARS... the C-Class and E-Class both down double effin digits while that ChEAP ASS POS CLA is up.. I'll give U that. I guess if Cadillac decided to rebadge a Sonic then us real Americans would have domestic rival .. but better considering the CLA is.. did I say it??? A Effin POS

 

How does it feel that the Cadillac division is sporting a $55,058 ATP? 

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1 minute ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

 

U must be sitting at your computer with a razor blade to your wrists after seeing the numbers coming out of Benzo's car division. NEW CARS... the C-Class and E-Class both down double effin digits while that ChEAP ASS POS CLA is up.. I'll give U that. I guess if Cadillac decided to rebadge a Sonic then us real Americans would have domestic rival .. but better considering the CLA is.. did I say it??? A Effin POS

 

How does it feel that the Cadillac division is sporting a $55,058 ATP? 

In all fairness sedans are down across the board. The rational takeaway here is that consumers desires are changing.

We had a thread here not that long ago that talked about how people by and large were bypassing sedans for new car purchases.

7 hours ago, ccap41 said:

Yeah it seem most people(and people I know and talk to) either want a smaller and efficient car or a SUV or truck for s larger vehicle. Nobody really seems to want large cars. If they want larger they want SUVs or trucks. 

I think people are perhaps putting the cash they might put towards a premium sedan for something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee or the like. Jeep has done an excellent job marketing their products.

4 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

 

. but better considering the CLA is.. did I say it??? A Effin POS

A POS people are willing to put real money towards. If the name of the car game is putting money to metal....the Benz people seem to be getting it done in this case.

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Anyway.. GM profit centers are up like a mofo... the Chevy division had a helluva great month all around with the Impala and Malibu really only being the down games. AGAIN I truly believe that those two are hitting each other. They are so alike that Chevy has them cannibalizing sales. A colleague of mine bought a Malibu recently after going in to get an Impala as a DD. They bought the Malibu because it had a perfect size... better fuel economy and .. quite frankly being less expensive

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7 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

Anyway.. GM profit centers are up like a mofo... the Chevy division had a helluva great month all around with the Impala and Malibu really only being the down games. AGAIN I truly believe that those two are hitting each other. They are so alike that Chevy has them cannibalizing sales. A colleague of mine bought a Malibu recently after going in to get an Impala as a DD. They bought the Malibu because it had a perfect size... better fuel economy and .. quite frankly being less expensive

Your remark in the other thread about how much fleet Ford had and lot little GM had made a lot of rational sense to me.

If anything, it is amazing how ell both the Malibu and Impala are doing given how much everyone's sedans are taking a hit on the sales floor.

Also, I tend to take a longer term look at it-GM is doing a lot of things right from a corporate philosophy standpoint IMHO, like continuing to invest heavily in Cadillac and Electric-Hybrid cars.

They are kind of the polar opposite of Audi, who is having to cut investment after the TDI scandal.

The other thing they are doing right is having a first rate entry level segment of cars that they are selling at the mainstream Chevrolet dealers and not Saturn dealers. By developing buying habits as GM/Chevrolet customers they are setting themselves up well for move up sales as young college graduates or people who are starting life in the military get older or move on to better jobs.

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3 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Your remark in the other thread about how much fleet Ford had and lot little GM had made a lot of rational sense to me.

If anything, it is amazing how ell both the Malibu and Impala are doing given how much everyone's sedans are taking a hit on the sales floor.

Also, I tend to take a longer term look at it-GM is doing a lot of things right from a corporate philosophy standpoint IMHO, like continuing to invest heavily in Cadillac and Electric-Hybrid cars.

They are kind of the polar opposite of Audi, who is having to cut investment after the TDI scandal.

The other thing they are doing right is having a first rate entry level segment of cars that they are selling at the mainstream Chevrolet dealers and not Saturn dealers. By developing buying habits as GM/Chevrolet customers they are setting themselves up well for move up sales as young college graduates or people who are starting life in the military get older or move on to better jobs.

I agree, but as much as I love my Impala I can't help but think that the proper strategy for it would be after 2018 to go the way of RWD via Alpha or Omega. Omega would be the obvious choice, but I wonder if JDN and co would have an issue with this.. thus Alpha. The CTS currently is almost spot on in size with the Zeta based SS/G8. Really it should be thrown about the corporation in LWB form for the Impala and Commodore.. but the Commodore has gone Epsilon...  Back to Chevy.. the Impala as a RWD sedan would give some breathing room for the Malibu, and add to the Alpha sales. IMO.. that would be VW-ish.,.. and a new profit center utilizing one platform via RWD in the same way that Epsilon does. Camaro, ATS, CTS, Impala, Commodore, Riviera... oh.. so many more..  

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22 minutes ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

I agree, but as much as I love my Impala I can't help but think that the proper strategy for it would be after 2018 to go the way of RWD via Alpha or Omega. Omega would be the obvious choice, but I wonder if JDN and co would have an issue with this.. thus Alpha. The CTS currently is almost spot on in size with the Zeta based SS/G8. Really it should be thrown about the corporation in LWB form for the Impala and Commodore.. but the Commodore has gone Epsilon...  Back to Chevy.. the Impala as a RWD sedan would give some breathing room for the Malibu, and add to the Alpha sales. IMO.. that would be VW-ish.,.. and a new profit center utilizing one platform via RWD in the same way that Epsilon does. Camaro, ATS, CTS, Impala, Commodore, Riviera... oh.. so many more..  

This really sees entirely rational. At the same time, why fix something that isn't broken? Chevy got the current Impala really, really right. if people really want upscale and RWD, the CTS sells at an attractive enough price point that people could step up easily enough to a CTS and the added prestige of a Cadillac.

And the last thing we want to do right now is cannibalize Cadillac sales.

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If anything I would put money aimed at Chevrolet into two categories-

#1. Giving customers more choices and options with the Trax, as it is at a good financial point for a lot of entry level buyers. I would also increase marketing and dealer training here. Chevrolet needs to do non traditional marketing, as TV advertisements and print advertisements have become largely worthless.

#2. Give dealers in depth training and figure out a better way to market Volt.  Volt has advantages over the Prius and yet Prius way outsells the Volt. When the price of fuel goes back up, Chevrolet needs to be in a position to take advantage of this.

Also with the TDI scandal, Chevrolet is planning on converting people with Cruze diesel which is good as far as it goes. However, the 2019 standards for NOX are much harsher, and I do not feel this is a rational long term strategy for them.

Given that a lot of the current crop of TDI customers are urban, wealthier, better educated and more politically liberal than the average car buyer, Volt might be a much better fit.  It certainly has better long term prospects.

It also plays right into the Bolt, a car that GM has also nailed and that should be a winner for them. If GM can get a lead early in Electric cars....

Tesla still has major financial hurdles to jump. Chevrolet has a huge inherent advantage in its already established dealer network.

 

Hmmm...and If GM could regain the market equity it had in the Riviera name plate from the 1970's, they might be really on to something.

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Interesting that the Cruze is still doing okay....even at it's higher cost. Can't be too fooled though, as my local dealers only have LT  models that they lease, nothing else. Downside of that is going to be the resale when the glut comes back.......

Besides the Impy, things are looking good there. It will take Caddy a little while, but those numbers will climb too......

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On 11/5/2016 at 1:55 AM, daves87rs said:

Interesting that the Cruze is still doing okay....even at it's higher cost. Can't be too fooled though, as my local dealers only have LT  models that they lease, nothing else. Downside of that is going to be the resale when the glut comes back.......

Besides the Impy, things are looking good there. It will take Caddy a little while, but those numbers will climb too......

Caddy is still dealing with a lot of electrical issues with its vehicles, something that people here don't want to admit but yes, ti is an issue.

Which is one reason Lexus or perhaps Acura would be the only Luxury car I would actually put in my driveway.  And even then, only the TLX is competitive at all for Acura.

Glut will be severe on a lot of products. Only about half a dozen or so actual passenger cars are up for the year, and a couple of them are specialty products like the Type F jaguar and Miata.

Given that it is inevitable for the price of fuel to increase, a recession may well be in the works, a lot of car makers are making bland products, and there is a glut of sued vehicles on the market...

Car makers may have a tough row to hoe for awhile.

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My brother's ATS is already in the shop for the second time with CUE issues, 8k miles.   he still loves his ATS though, just getting tired of the Impala Limited loaner cars they keep giving him haha. 

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3 minutes ago, Stew said:

My brother's ATS is already in the shop for the second time with CUE issues, 8k miles.   he still loves his ATS though, just getting tired of the Impala Limited loaner cars they keep giving him haha. 

Is he taking it back to a Cadillac dealer?

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1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

Is he taking it back to a Cadillac dealer?

Yep, they keep having to do software updates because it keeps freezing up.  I wouldn't be surprised if they end up replacing the whole unit.  Other than that it has been a great car so far. 

Edited by Stew

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21 minutes ago, Stew said:

My brother's ATS is already in the shop for the second time with CUE issues, 8k miles.   he still loves his ATS though, just getting tired of the Impala Limited loaner cars they keep giving him haha. 

And this is perhaps the real reason that I will be buying an Acura or Lexus if I buy a gently sued Luxury car to replace the Jetta.

Was doing an informal survey on luxury cars among co workers, one of my co workers is in his fifties and has never bought anything but GM products. He is so angry about the multiple electrical issues both of his daughters Cadillacs have had that he told me they could not give him a Cadillac. 

16 minutes ago, Stew said:

Yep, they keep having to do software updates because it keeps freezing up.  I wouldn't be surprised if they end up replacing the whole unit.  Other than that it has been a great car so far. 

Still inexcusable in a high dollar car.

Edited by A Horse With No Name
Spelling.

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8 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

And this is perhaps the real reason that I will be buying an Acura or Lexus if I buy a gently sued Luxury car to replace the Jetta.

Was doing an informal survey on luxury cars among co workers, one of my co workers is in his fifties and has never bought anything but GM products. He is so angry about the multiple electrical issues both of his daughters Cadillacs have had that he told me they could not give him a Cadillac. 

Still inexcusable in a high dollar car.

I do agree it is pretty ridiculous.  Still, for the price he got it for (less than half of what it would have costed new and a 15 with 4800 miles on it) it helps with the sting some haha. 

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5 minutes ago, Stew said:

I do agree it is pretty ridiculous.  Still, for the price he got it for (less than half of what it would have costed new and a 15 with 4800 miles on it) it helps with the sting some haha. 

Luxury car depreciation is a wonderful and frightening thing.

I am debating now what I want to do next summer. I am really enjoying riding my bicycle, but am Also thinking about Autocrossing again.

Thinking about buying an NC (third gen) Miata, maybe 2011-2014 or so.  I also live near the Ohio auto auction and know several people that own car lots. there are Jags and 5 series BMW products selling for less than Miatas and plane Jane F150's and Wranglers after a few years.

Infinity, Cadillac, Lexus and Acura seem to be the only brands that hold resale value long term unless you are looking at something like AN AMG car from Benz.

And even then, the older Infinity products seem to be the choice of the stance bros/young twentysomething guy with a wifebeater and tats crowd around here. Not much to help the luxury image. I guess since all of the nineties Hondas have rusted into oblivion here in Ohio, the ricers graduate to G35 and G37....

Used CTS seems to be the strongest selling Cadillac in terms of the sued market once you get several years old....

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1 hour ago, Stew said:

Yep, they keep having to do software updates because it keeps freezing up.  I wouldn't be surprised if they end up replacing the whole unit.  Other than that it has been a great car so far. 

I know I've only been to one Cadillac dealer and it was a stand alone Cadillac dealer but their loaner cars were Cadillacs as well. I would be pissed if I bought a Cadillac from a dealer and their dealer loaners were freakin' chevys. Not that the Impala is a bad car or anything but he paid premium money for the premium car for a reason.

The dealer I went to actually has a really good loaner/used vehicle program. They use them as loaners for a certain number of miles or 1 year and then they can sell it as a used car with all the dealer service and warranties and whatnot. That's the dealer I drove an ATS 2.0 at. I loved how the car drove but I was in a lesser trim that I didn't like...and it was that baby blue color. No way would I have bought a car in that color but I just wanted to drive the car.

1 hour ago, Stew said:

I do agree it is pretty ridiculous.  Still, for the price he got it for (less than half of what it would have costed new and a 15 with 4800 miles on it) it helps with the sting some haha. 

Yeah it definitely helps the sting in his case but people buying them new off the lot and still having those same issues hurts the brand image really bad. World class chassis or not.. if the car has bugs it'll turn people away.

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9 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I know I've only been to one Cadillac dealer and it was a stand alone Cadillac dealer but their loaner cars were Cadillacs as well. I would be pissed if I bought a Cadillac from a dealer and their dealer loaners were freakin' chevys. Not that the Impala is a bad car or anything but he paid premium money for the premium car for a reason.

The dealer I went to actually has a really good loaner/used vehicle program. They use them as loaners for a certain number of miles or 1 year and then they can sell it as a used car with all the dealer service and warranties and whatnot. That's the dealer I drove an ATS 2.0 at. I loved how the car drove but I was in a lesser trim that I didn't like...and it was that baby blue color. No way would I have bought a car in that color but I just wanted to drive the car.

Yeah it definitely helps the sting in his case but people buying them new off the lot and still having those same issues hurts the brand image really bad. World class chassis or not.. if the car has bugs it'll turn people away.

Unfortunately this is not a stand-alone dealership and IMHO shows the reason why Cadillac needs to really set their dealership experience apart from the Chevy, Buick, and GMC worlds. 


Cue is maddening for sure.  The interface actually is pretty good and easy to use and learn.  If it just worked as advertised without the hiccups and freezing it wouldn't be half bad.  And they certainly need to up their game to bring in more customers.

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      Mexico has been the dividing point between GM and Unifor. The union objected to GM's decision to lay off 600 workers at CAMI when it moved production of the GMC Terrain to Mexico. Unifor wants CAMI to be the lead plant for Equinox production by "giving it more production if Equinox sales rise and making it the last to scale back production if sales fall." But GM has invested $800 million into the plant for retooling to build the new Equinox. The automaker believes this should be enough commitment and putting it into writing isn't necessary. According to the source, there is no such language in any of the other union contracts.
      The strike has gotten so bad that the Government of Ontario has stepped in, urging both groups to resolve this rift.
      “I feel like we’re engaged in a poker game, but the interests of Ontario are sitting on the table right now,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario's Economic Development Minister.
      “It’s an uncomfortable place to be, obviously, and we’d really like to urge the parties to find a resolution to this as quickly as possible before permanent damage is done.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Reuters
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