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William Maley

Fourth-Quarter 2018: General Motors

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GM’s U.S. Crossover Sales Topped 1 million in 2018

  • CHEVROLET AND GMC TOGETHER LEAD U.S. INDUSTRY
  • PICKUP SALES FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR DOUBLE-DIGIT GAIN IN COMMERCIAL DELIVERIES VS. 2017
  • RECORD FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR AVERAGE TRANSACTION PRICES

DETROIT – General Motors (NYSE: GM) announced today that it delivered 2,954,037 vehicles in 2018, including more than 1 million crossovers, almost 974,000 pickup trucks and more than 280,000 large SUVs.

“We have built the most successful pickup, SUV and crossover business in the industry and we gained considerable momentum in the fourth quarter of 2018 as dealers began delivering the all-new Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Cadillac XT4,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations.

GM’s fourth quarter deliveries totaled 785,229 units and the company’s share of the industry’s retail sales grew every month from October through December.

“We feel confident heading into 2019 because we have more major truck and crossover launches coming during the year and the U.S. economy is strong,” McNeil added. 

GM delivers more than 1 million crossovers in the U.S. in 2018

  • GM crossover deliveries totaled 1,034,808 in 2018, up 7 percent versus 2017, and the following five nameplates had record calendar year sales:
  • GMC Terrain up 34 percent 
  • Chevrolet Traverse up 19 percent  
  • Chevrolet Equinox up 15 percent 
  • Chevrolet Trax up 13 percent 
  • Buick Encore up 6 percent  
  • The first-ever Cadillac XT4 became the best-selling vehicle in its segment just two months after launch. Cadillac will be introducing all-new models every six months, on average, through the end of 2021.

Total sales of all utility vehicles, including large SUVs, totaled 1,295,700, up 7 percent. The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban were up 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively, and the Cadillac Escalade ended the year with a retail segment share twice that of its closest domestic competitor.

Chevrolet and GMC pickup sales leadership continues

  • The Chevrolet Colorado had its best year ever, with 134,842 pickups sold, up 19 percent versus 2017.
  • Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, and the GMC Sierra and Canyon, rose 3 percent versus 2017 to a total of 973,463 pickups.
  • GM has now sold more pickups in the United States than any other competitor for five consecutive years. Through November, the next closest competitor had sold 821,558 pickups.

A fast start for new Chevrolet and GMC pickups  

GM’s all-new light-duty pickups, the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, have invigorated the segment and helped the company pass its domestic competitors in key areas:

  • GM’s retail share of the light-duty pickup segment has increased every month since August, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates, and GM led the segment every month during the fourth quarter.
  • GM has had the highest ATPs in the segment since October, according to J.D. Power PIN, driven by incentive discipline and a strong mix. More than 90 percent of the all-new 2019 model-year sales in the quarter were crew cab models, and at GMC, more than 70 percent of deliveries were premium Denali and AT4 models.
  • GM’s incentives as a percent of ATP were the lowest among domestic competitors during the fourth quarter.

These results reflect the successful sell-down of the previous generation Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s, and strong demand for the all-new models. During the fourth quarter, the all-new models accounted for 17 percent of GM light-duty deliveries, as planned. By the end of January, the new models are expected to be the majority of light-duty sales.

“We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019,” McNeil said. “The light-duty launch has been one of the best in our history, with a very smooth production ramp-up of the new models and a faster than expected sell-down of the old models. We are following that up with all-new HD trucks, and the first-ever Chevrolet Silverado medium-duty chassis cab trucks for commercial customers.”

In December, Chevrolet confirmed that its next-generation Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD will be on sale in the second half of 2019. The medium-duty Silverados are now shipping to dealers.

Double-digit Commercial delivery increase

  • GM posted an 11 percent year-over-year increase in Commercial deliveries in 2018, following average annual growth of 7 percent from 2012-2017.
  • Fleet sales for the year were up 9 percent versus 2017, and were down 4 percent for the fourth quarter.
  • Commercial and government deliveries in 2018 were more than half of fleet sales, as planned.

Chevrolet Bolt EV sales

  • GM increased production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV during the fourth quarter to meet strong global demand, including higher than expected demand in South Korea and Canada, and to begin rebuilding U.S. dealer inventories.
  • GM expects higher year-over-year sales in Bolt EV’s major markets in 2019. 

GM operating highlights

  • GM estimates that the light vehicle SAAR in the fourth quarter was 17.7 million units. Light vehicle sales for the calendar year are estimated at 17.3 million units.
  • GM’s retail mix was 80 percent for the fourth quarter and 79 percent for the year.
  • ATPs were a record $36,974 in the fourth quarter and a record $35,839 for the year, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates.
  • GM’s incentives as a percent of ATP for the fourth quarter were 12.7 percent, down 1.0 percentage point year over year, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. For the year, incentives were 13.0 percent of ATP, down 0.3 percentage points.
  • Year-end 2018 inventory was 755,000 units, essentially equal to a year ago.

General Motors Fourth Quarter 2018.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Woah!

XT5 sales dropped 7,747 in 2018, they sold 7,785 XT4's.  Hmmm, I think that isn't a coincidence. 

 

Overall the sedans got beat up for the quarter an the year, no surprise there.  Acadia and Envision down over 20% for the year in a crossover market is a bit worrying, although that Envision is dated and overpriced, they need to rethink that model ,or just push people toward Cadillac dealers for crossovers.  Terrain, Traverse and Equinox had strong years, they do advertise he heck out of those but I also wonder if rising car prices and rising interest rates has people looking more at a Terrain vs an Acadia because of ow the payments have spiked.

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2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

XT5 sales dropped 7,747 in 2018, they sold 7,785 XT4's.  Hmmm, I think that isn't a coincidence. 

 

Overall the sedans got beat up for the quarter an the year, no surprise there.  Acadia and Envision down over 20% for the year in a crossover market is a bit worrying, although that Envision is dated and overpriced, they need to rethink that model ,or just push people toward Cadillac dealers for crossovers.  Terrain, Traverse and Equinox had strong years, they do advertise he heck out of those but I also wonder if rising car prices and rising interest rates has people looking more at a Terrain vs an Acadia because of ow the payments have spiked.

7

Envision is overpriced and small compared to the Terrain sitting in the same showroom. Feature for feature, even though the Terrain itself is pricey, it is a better value than the Envision.  The Acadia is such a snoozer of a vehicle.  If you're looking for a 5-passenger crossover, the Terrain is probably sufficient and looks better. If you need 7 passenger, there is the lovely looking Enclave sitting next to it.  Plus, the base engine in the Acadia sucks, so anyone wanting to get the good V6 has to cough up the money to get to at least a mid-level vehicle.... and then they get hit with GM's assinine pricing.   If you're buying something the Acadia's size, you go to the Jeep or Honda dealership and don't look back.

I think the issue with the XT5 is that it is time for a visual refresh.  I never really cared for the looks of it from the start, but refreshing it to the new Cadillac face would help significantly.  I still prefer the previous SRX over the XT5.

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All true and with the Envision you can get an Acura RDX or Lincoln MKC for the same money and those are better cars, or get a Volvo and that is probably the best of the bunch.  These crossover segments are so saturated too and they just keep adding more.

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34 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

All true and with the Envision you can get an Acura RDX or Lincoln MKC for the same money and those are better cars, or get a Volvo and that is probably the best of the bunch.  These crossover segments are so saturated too and they just keep adding more.

The RDX is a fine car on paper, but I do not like the way it drives...the brakes on it are scary. 

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WOW.  Assuming those numbers are accurate, GM sedans are not selling well at all.  Fewer than 700,000 sold for 2018?  No wonder GM is ditching FWD sedans for FWD crossovers.

It is good that the XT4 has found an audience without completely cannibalizing the XT5.  Some Cadillac buyers wanted to go smaller I guess.  Save the CT6.

I do wonder why (given the Buick/GMC dealerships) the Envision AND the Terrain are on sale on the same lot.  Same with the Enclave and the Acadia.  The Buick/GMC dealerships should just sell the Enclave and the Terrain since both are the better vehicles in their respective segments.

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2 hours ago, riviera74 said:

 

I do wonder why (given the Buick/GMC dealerships) the Envision AND the Terrain are on sale on the same lot.  Same with the Enclave and the Acadia.  The Buick/GMC dealerships should just sell the Enclave and the Terrain since both are the better vehicles in their respective segments.

Buick and GMC with regard to CUVs seem to be like Buick and Olds in the 80s-90s with sedans.  Two slightly different flavors of essentially the same product....two middle filler brands between Chevy and Cadillac. 

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22 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

Buick and GMC with regard to CUVs seem to be like Buick and Olds in the 80s-90s with sedans.  Two slightly different flavors of essentially the same product....two middle filler brands between Chevy and Cadillac. 

If all the crossovers were built in the same factory, I completely agree.  Problem is is that Buick has the Encore built in Korea and the Envision built in China.  I get the Encore, but the Envision could be SO MUCH BETTER.  The truly sad part is that GM (and Ford and FCA) are essentially justified in ditching sedans for crossovers and SUVs because sedans do not sell well anymore.  Even Toyota and Honda and Nissan cannot sell sedans like they were accustomed to 10-15 years ago.

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Posted (edited)

 Too many boring AWD/FWD transverse 4cyl or V6 automatic appliances...I know that is what the market seems to want, but does GM really need 4 brands worth of them?   Different styling, same boring hardware underneath... 

Not that different than GM in the 80s-90s when they had so many similar, overlapping subcompact, compact and midsize FWD transverse 4cyl and V6 sedans and coupes...so much forgettable mediocrity.

Edited by Robert Hall
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I wonder how much of the SUV change over is just the general aging of the population. Hauling Albert's parents around it is much easier to get them in and out of the Encore than it is to get them in and out of the Cruze. 

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9 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I wonder how much of the SUV change over is just the general aging of the population. Hauling Albert's parents around it is much easier to get them in and out of the Encore than it is to get them in and out of the Cruze. 

I'm still on the younger side of life and getting in and out of a smaller SUV/CUV is much preferred than getting out of my Focus. I thought my Escape's seat height was perfect for my height. The step in and out was almost exactly my standing height so I didn't step up or down to get in and out of it. 

I want another. 

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21 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I'm still on the younger side of life and getting in and out of a smaller SUV/CUV is much preferred than getting out of my Focus. I thought my Escape's seat height was perfect for my height. The step in and out was almost exactly my standing height so I didn't step up or down to get in and out of it. 

I want another. 

You're getting old. 😜

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I'm still on the younger side of life and getting in and out of a smaller SUV/CUV is much preferred than getting out of my Focus. I thought my Escape's seat height was perfect for my height. The step in and out was almost exactly my standing height so I didn't step up or down to get in and out of it. 

I want another. 

I get it...after almost 25 years of having an SUV as a daily driver, I find it perfectly natural.  My WK2 GC sits a bit higher than my WJ GC (20 vs 16 inch wheels/tires), but it's still very easy to get in and out compared to a car.. I was 24 when I first started driving SUVs daily (Bronco II)...and now I'm 48..and feel my age in my knees and hips.. though I do miss driving cars w/ manuals. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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On 1/5/2019 at 8:51 AM, Robert Hall said:

 Too many boring AWD/FWD transverse 4cyl or V6 automatic appliances...I know that is what the market seems to want, but does GM really need 4 brands worth of them?   Different styling, same boring hardware underneath... 

Not that different than GM in the 80s-90s when they had so many similar, overlapping subcompact, compact and midsize FWD transverse 4cyl and V6 sedans and coupes...so much forgettable mediocrity.

I do wonder if the next major change of GM will be to retire a couple name plates, which ones is up for debate, but since China seems to love Buick over Cadillac, Could we see a future GM that is Chevrolet / Buick only? :scared:

Makes me wonder what the Escalade would look like with a Waterfall nose on the SUV. 🤔

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11 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

I get it...after almost 25 years of having an SUV as a daily driver, I find it perfectly natural.  My WK2 GC sits a bit higher than my WJ GC (20 vs 16 inch wheels/tires), but it's still very easy to get in and out compared to a car.. 

They're just nice entry/exit heights.. Trucks aren't the same. My dad's Taco I have to step up into and jump out of a bit and it's stock height. Getting in and out of that isn't as nice as I feel like it should be for a "small" truck. 

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19 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I do wonder if the next major change of GM will be to retire a couple name plates, which ones is up for debate, but since China seems to love Buick over Cadillac, Could we see a future GM that is Chevrolet / Buick only? :scared:

Makes me wonder what the Escalade would look like with a Waterfall nose on the SUV. 🤔

Can't retire Cadillac as it is supposed to be a global brand, at least it is here and in China.  GMC could be retired as it is an American market product, and you pretty much have a Chevy or Buick clone of everything they sell, and you can always utilize Cadillac for more SUVs also.

Originally the plan was to make Buick cars and GMC trucks and they wouldn't fight over each other in the dealership.  But now that Buick is mostly an SUV brand and sedans are going away, they just overlap.

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29 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

They're just nice entry/exit heights.. Trucks aren't the same. My dad's Taco I have to step up into and jump out of a bit and it's stock height. Getting in and out of that isn't as nice as I feel like it should be for a "small" truck. 

Yeah, some trucks were low..I remember the S10s and Rangers my Dad and brother had were easy to get in and out of...my Dad's old Power Wagon I learned to drive in had a high step up.   I've never been a truck person, though..never needed to haul stuff more than I can fit in an SUV. 

5 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think Buick could be in danger in the US.  One thing is clear is that they will be an all SUV brand in the US soon. 

Which then begs the question do they need both GMC and Buick in the US, since they overlap so much. 

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23 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Which then begs the question do they need both GMC and Buick in the US, since they overlap so much. 

That has been the other thinking is could we see GMC / Buick go away in the US leaving a Chevrolet / Cadillac brand for the US market and a Buick / Cadillac setup for China or would it be a Chevrolet / Buick lineup for China.

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They won't be closing GMC in the US anytime soon. It prints money for GM. How else are they going to convince people to pay $45k for an Equinox with a different face?

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

They won't be closing GMC in the US anytime soon. It prints money for GM. How else are they going to convince people to pay $45k for an Equinox with a different face?

Heh-heh, Chevy is trying to convince people to pay $50k for an Acadia that looks like a Camaro mated with a Murano (Blazer)....  

Edited by Robert Hall
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48 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Heh-heh, Chevy is trying to convince people to pay $50k for an Acadia that looks like a Camaro mated with a Murano (Blazer)....  

Why do you think I love Jeep so much...such a good value for the money in comparison IMHO. 

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I saw the new Edge and Blazer in person, I didn't snap pics cause they're that ugly. Spare you the eye strain.

The Edge looks exactly like the EcoSnooze...EcoFlail...The UNEconomicalSport... Not a good look. 

And the Blazer is a Frankenstein. Why...just whyzzz... Even my brother - he's into SUVs with X6 and Merc crossover coupe style  because I qoute he 'likes their fat asses'

WTF... The two domestic automakers, they cancel their best looking stuff left and right and leave behind in exchange really questionable looking crossovers....BUTT that is the reason...

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