By on April 14, 2012

The Nikkei [sub] comes with the good news that “Japan’s automakers have finally resolved the inventory shortages that have hindered their sales in the U.S. market.” According to the Tokyo wire, Japan’s automakers “are in a better position to compete with their Western and Korean rivals,” now that lots are stocked again.

Well, not quite. Japanese inventories are still fashionably slim compared to some Detroit chubbos. Pop some Tums and have a look.

According to data compiled by Automotive News, Honda has a 54 day supply. Around two months are considered normal for the industry.  Toyota however has only a 32 day supply, smaller Subaru has 30.

Let’s take this opportunity to look at all lots.

Days of supply Units Days Apr 2012 Days Mar 2012
Detroit 3: 1,534,900 70 72
European 231,300 53 42
Japanese 827,400 43 46
Korean 122,200 27 34

The Detroit 3 definitely have no shortage of cars with an average of 70 days’ supply on the lots. The Europeans are at the current industry average with 53 days of supply. The Japanese have 43 days’ worth  on the lots, but “the Koreans” have only 27 days.

Units Days 1 Apr 2012 Days 1 Mar 2012
HYUNDAI-KIA 122,200 27 34
SUBARU 35,000 30 33
BMW 32,300 30 33
TOYOTA 230,400 32 36
PORSCHE 3,600 41 41
NISSAN 226,400 47 54
JAGUAR LAND ROVER 9,200 47 48
DAIMLER AG 44,500 51 45
HONDA 244,000 54 50
MAZDA 62,300 54 59
Industry 54 57
FORD 477,300 60 68
CHRYSLER GROUP 354,900 61 66
VOLVO 15,000 63 66
VW GROUP 116,200 67 42
SUZUKI 6,800 72 68
GENERAL MOTORS 713,200 86 80
MITSUBISHI 22,500 88 125
TOTAL 2,715,800 54 57

Indeed, Hyundai-Kia’s supply is the lowest of them all with only 27 days until empty. As indicated by the Detroit 3 number, American makers are generously stocked, but averages can be deceiving.

Ford and Chrysler carry a regulation two month supply on the books.

The absolutely worst of Detroit is GM with a nearly three month supply. Only consolation: Deadman walking Mitsubishi carries two days more. While days to sell are down industry-wide, inventory is increasing on GM lots: From March to April, it took a week longer to move an already sluggish inventory.

GM’s lot queens: Escalade EXT (144 days), Yukon (136 days), Yukon XL (133 days), Sierra (132 days), CTS (124 days), all Cadillac cars (123 days), all Buicks (121 days).

Have a look at this chart: No wonder that GM is losing market share. The cars are all sitting on the lot.

 

 

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51 Comments on “GM Back To Its Channel Stuffing Ways...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    GMs four biggest “lot queens” are all vehicles with fairly low fuel economy. I’d like to see the stats for other automakers. Are the Fords that are sitting around “non-Ecobost” F-150s or Navigators or something? How bout Toyota? A friend of mine recently bought an Accord over a Pilot because of the fuel economy difference.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford:

      Crown Victoria (163)
      Town Car(117)
      MKZ (117)
      Expedition (103)
      Navigator (100)

      Toyota: Not broken out by nameplate

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Wait, they’ve got a 163 and 117 day supply of vehicles that aren’t in production?

      • 0 avatar

        Yessir

        Crown Victoria 2,800 163 146
        Town Car 600 117 113
        MKZ 12,200 117 121
        Expedition 11,100 103 86
        Navigator 2,300 100 67
        MKX 9,100 98 123

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        If that many panthers are sitting around, Sajeev had better take out a jumbo loan and buy them all! That way, he’ll have a lifetime supply – for him, his children, his great grand children, his great, great…

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The Crown Vics sitting on lots are likely already sold, if only on paper that hasn’t been processed yet. There are plenty of police departments that ordered a bunch of cars just because it was there last chance, but they budgets haven’t been approved or funded to actually buy them yet. Dealers in general don’t stock Crown Vics in hope that a police department or taxi company will buy them – they get fleet order commitments and then order the cars to fill them.

        As far as the Expeditions and Navigators go, those are the vehicles most in need of a refresh or redesign in the Ford lineup. They’re still competitive with everyone else’s big BOF SUVs, but they are becoming less attractive in comparison to the vehicles one size down or the constantly updated pickups with crew cabs. 2007 was the last major update to either, so both are very due for some overhauls.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    All GM dealer inventory is built to a dealer order. Channel stuffing, in the context of shipping to dealers who do not order product exists at GM only in the context of persuasion. Dealers always get to choose whether to order vehicles or not.

    • 0 avatar

      Dr. Olds:

      I worked in this industry for decades. I learned how to “persuade” dealers.

      • 0 avatar
        PintoFan

        I suppose that your career at Volkswagen really familiarized you with the inner workings of every auto company under the sun.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I suppose that your career at Volkswagen really familiarized you with the inner workings of every auto company under the sun.”

        It’s no secret that dealers end up having to buy inventory that they don’t want, in order to get inventory that they do want. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/avoidable-contact-dealer-vs-manufacturer/

        Detroit has tended to do this more than most, due to the sprawling number of brands, models and dealerships.

        That being said, a 90 day inventory figure was pretty typical for Detroit prior to the bankruptcies. It looks as if Ford and Chrysler have improved, while GM is about the same as before. I wouldn’t refer to the figures in that chart as examples of “channel stuffing.”

      • 0 avatar
        DPerkins

        I fear that this story and others from friends inside GM indicate that not a lot has changed at GM.

        Despite a near death experience many in the company seem to think its business as usual. The culture did not change.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        Yes, BUT, as with most industries, within a couple years quite a bit of what you ‘knew’ is obsolete.
        I left the car business 3 years and 3 months ago. I managed to sell one Traverse and a Camaro before I left. Although I still have contacts in the ‘biz, I realize that if I were foolish enough to get back into that rat race, I would have a steep learning curve. Almost the entire lineup has been revamped since I left.
        BTW, in my ‘decades’ at GM, I never knew the General Manager to be ‘pressured’ into anything. Perhaps the hype over the SSR caused him to order a few. Two sat for more than a year. Naturally, if we wanted loaded Aveos with auto and air, we had to order a few base models with air OR automatic. But it’s not like we had hundreds, or that we had to eventually melt any of them down.
        Final orders for 2012 models would have had to be placed in March. Those shipments would begin arriving now. Inventories this time of year always piled up. We were blessed to have 8 acres. One never knows what the inventory for the next model year coming out in September will be, and how long your current stock will have to last you. I lived through the strike in ’98, and some of the guys were selling Toyotas off our affiliate’s lot by the end of June.
        I am speaking on behalf of Canada, of course: we tend to be the ignored foster child when it comes to allocation of a hot new model. In 1999, for example, when the Silverado got one of its biggest makeovers in its history, carrier loads full of shiny new Silverados would drive right by us on their way to the U.S. I remember an upset GM fan calling from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario wanting to know if we had any of the new pickups in stock. I told him we were weeks away from getting our first. We both fumed over Sault Ste Marie, Michigan dealers have more than a couple Silverados on their lots already.
        There was a time when there was a run on silver Cavaliers. To balance out orders, GM made dealers pick X amount of assorted other colors to blend in with silver. I guess back in 2000 everyone decided the millenium color was silver!
        No industry stands still. I would never presume to know what GM is thinking today, based on what I new in 2008. Like everyone else, I have to dig the information up myself and exercise the sagacity to extract the truth out of what I might find.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      While the dealer may have the final say, there is always some quid pro quo. I remember my sales manager recently mentioning that in order to get more SVT Raptors (which we can sell quickly at full MSRP) that we had to take a number of E-Series vans (which don’t move nearly as quickly nor as profitably).

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @carbiz, um not to start anything but Viagra was released to the public in 1998, and honestly I wouldn’t be suprized if any company that will cover birth control will cover Viagra. To do otherwise would be mildly hypocritical.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @EducatorDan- Since you brought it up, you may be interested in knowing the old GM was spending $67Million a year on viagra prescriptions alone. I am told it is no longer covered.

      • 0 avatar
        Shipwright

        @ Nullo. Quite true. My local dealership, one of the largest truck selling dealerships in the Maritimes, wanted to sell Raptors. In order to do so Ford made them get their SVT certification. Ford also told them that for every two Raptors they get they would have to take 12 GT500′s. At first the GT500′s sold, but with such as small market it quickly became saturated. now the lot has a bunch of GT500′s of various years just sitting there collecting dust.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    I bet you did! I recall a District Sales Manager who quit because he didn’t want to stiff arm his dealers into taking Omegas! Our Zone Manager told the story and then said, “you have to have a little larceny in your soul to do this business”.

    I hated sitting down with a dealer and explaining “there are just times you have to do what has to be done. This is one of those times.” Fortunately, I had a few bones to throw, a “Factory Official” 98 or Toronado here, some extra Cutlass Supremes there.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    I’m not saying GMs numbers are good, but don’t you want a somewhat high level of inventory going into the summer sales season? Also what caused VW to jump 50% in a month, or is that a typo? If this keeps up the folks at GM can look forward to an extended summer shut down.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    GM is going to retool for new full sized truck lines in the next year. If those new designs “sit on the lot”, then there is an actual news story.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      The redesigned 2014 Silverado/Sierra won’t hit the showrooms until mid year 2013.

      Why would GM build inventory on the existing model one year in advance? Are the plants going to shut down for 9 months to retool for the next gen C/K?

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    How do the number appear wherw they are divided by the number of dealerships?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Nice job GM, killing the Pontiac brand here in the United States and keeping Buick was a great move, as always, Buicks still don’t sell here. The SUV/truck issue probably has more to do with the high cost of gasoline, which is good news because it means cheaper trucks for those who actually need them.

  • avatar
    forraymond

    Is GM the Anti-Christ? Have they ever done anything positive?

    This site is getting to be the Fox News of the Auto Industry Blogs. JEEZ! VW built shitty cars for several years, Mercedes has dropped their quality almost to old American standards, BMW is using 4 Cyl engines and will be making FWD cars – OH THE HORRORS

    What the hell is the deal with the constant denigrating of GM? Did they not hire you at sometime in the past any you are still bitter about it? This goes beyond “news” and is seeming a bit too personal.

    Maybe I am misreading your posts, but give it a rest on how unbelievable inept everything GM does is. Somehow they are still the number one car builder (or two depending what is included).

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Give it up, Forraymond. You’re beating a dead horse. I battled the Toyota Star for years, before finally telling Mark Richardson, the editor of the so-called Wheels section of that rag, what I really thought of him, and I’ve never read that rag since – that was 2003.
      I could write a book on why GM made the mistakes it did and why the public in general and the media in particular reacted the way they have. To completely rip off a line from a major contributor at ‘another’ automotive blog site: “GM COULD BUILD A LIFESIZE, WALKING, TALKING REPLICA OF JESUS HIMSELF, AND THE CRITICS WOULD COMPLAIN THAT HE ONLY DISPENSES MERLOT.”
      That pretty much sums it up.
      Humans are not good at admitting they made an error of judgment. The consumer today is maniacally obsessed with the universe revolving around their own particular a$$es, and although if you asked 10 persons on the street if they had heard about the Corvair, Ralph Nader, or remember the Citation, you’d probably get a majority responding that they had. The media has beaten those issues to death. Now ask the general public about GM’s contributions to refrigeration (Frigidaire), recreational marine (via Mercury Marine), hybrid technology through their (former) bus division, or what GM has done for the aerospace industry through its association with Hughes. Guaranteed, you’ll get crickets chirping.
      The real question is where did the United States go from being a proud nation that supported the home team to being a self-centered, entitled lot that will go out of its way to NOT support the home team?
      All automotive blog sites attract the fanatically disgruntled former GM/Ford/Chrysler owner. It amazes me how exaggerated the stories become about how ‘bad’ Detroit vehicles were 10 or 15 years ago, and how someone will condemn an entire industry based on one or even two bad experiences they had 20 years ago – as if Detroit has stood still in those 20 years!
      As a scientist friend of mine once said, “You can make a bigger name for yourself knocking down someone else’s theory, rather than coming up with your own.” A bored automotive journalist, or journalist-in-waiting, knows that an article slamming GM will get picked up and it will be read. Heck, the Toronto Star will put it on the front page!
      Still, TTAC does get things right more often than not, which makes it one of the more enjoyable sites to visit. (Even at 4 in the morning.)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “Humans are not good at admitting they made an error of judgment. The consumer today is maniacally obsessed with the universe revolving around their own particular a$$es, and although if you asked 10 persons on the street if they had heard about the Corvair, Ralph Nader, or remember the Citation, you’d probably get a majority responding that they had. The media has beaten those issues to death. Now ask the general public about GM’s contributions to refrigeration (Frigidaire), recreational marine (via Mercury Marine), hybrid technology through their (former) bus division, or what GM has done for the aerospace industry through its association with Hughes. Guaranteed, you’ll get crickets chirping.”

        Yes. Car buyers are more concerned that GM made some of the worst cars ever inflicted on the public than they are that various divisions of GM made contributions in other areas. If you’re looking for a baby sitter, do you care about a candidate being origami world champion, or do you care that they’re a convicted child molester?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @carbiz….The Toronto Star is a left wing, victim a day, anti capitalist rag.

        The Star blames all of our problems on the United States. A good potion of GM is owned by the US Treasury. Thats reason enough to hate GM. The Star would be happy if we all rode bicycles. The Star would be happy if we all lived in community owned projects.
        Then wouuld we could pay some artsy fartsy f— a million dollas to sculp a terd and plant in the middle of a taxpayer funded square.

        The Star is anti corporate profit [unless that corp is TorStar,then its okay.

        BTW….carbiz, keep the comments coming.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        @ CJinSD – so let us be clear: you compare some of the corporate (and not so corporate) mistakes that GM has made over the years to having a child molester looking after your children?
        You don’t think you’re perhaps making my case? Your hyperbole makes my point about exaggerated stories taking on a life of their own. I worked at GM’s largest Cadillac dealer in Canada during the Cimarron time. Canadians were paying the equivalent of more than %5 a gallon (in adjusted 1981 dollars). Most owners were quite happy with their purchase, until the media made it their personal mission to point out that it was a Cavalier with leather. (Interesting how Lexus manages to get nary a peep out of those same media outlets about the ES300.)
        Lee Iaccoca’s first book goes into a fair bit of detail about the boardroom panic felt every couple years as the UAW decided which car company was going to be their next victim for ‘negotiations.’ GM ended up paying for Viagra in their benefits clauses because in the heady 1980s, nobody could afford to be struck.
        That and a thousand other cuts are what brought the GM body to its knees in 2008. But most of the responsibility falls squarely at the foot of the media. Even before the internet and the everybody-has-a-soapbox aspect of that, many media conglomerates loved taking pot shots at GM. Cobalt electric power steering troubles – page 1. Corolla, which has the same motor from the same supplier, buried in the Business section on page 8.
        And the sheer audacity of the media in giving Kia and Hyundai carte blanche in everything they do is astonishing. The former Golden Boys, Toyota and Honda, kicked summarily to the curb like last night’s date, while everyone tries to bend at the altar of Korea Inc.
        I haven’t bought a car magazine in about 5 years. I find myself becoming weary of the same tired, old articles, rehashed in a dozen different ways, about Detroit = bad; Japan and Germany = good; Korea = walk on water.
        Tired, predictable and boring. But I guess if a writer has to come up with 3 or 4 pieces a day at 1,000 words apiece – well, spending a week rattling around the cafes and bars around Toyota City ain’t in the budget, so the General will have to do. Again.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “Most owners were quite happy with their purchase, until the media made it their personal mission to point out that it was a Cavalier with leather. (Interesting how Lexus manages to get nary a peep out of those same media outlets about the ES300.)”

        The Cavalier wasn’t just a pretty poor car. It was a worse car than GM could have built for the US market, worse than GM did build for other markets. They made conscious decisions to reserve the good mechanical components for Europe. They rationalized every other decision that made it inferior to its benchmark car, the 1st generation Honda Accord. A year after the Cavalier arrived, the massively improved 2nd generation Honda Accord made the idea that the Cavalier was meant to be an Accord competitor seem patently absurd because GM hadn’t even equaled the Accord they’d had 5 years to reverse engineer. The media didn’t do anything to the Cimarron. They accurately described it and accurately compared it with its similarly priced competitors. If that ruined your con game on a bunch of ignorant rubes, then you’re describing a responsible media doing its job.

        The Lexus is ES is in many ways a fancy Camry. The important term here is Camry, one of the most consistently competent and competitive midsized cars of the past 25+ years. A typical Lexus buyer almost certainly knows that what they have is the nicest Camry they can buy. The Lexus premium is about 10% over a loaded Camry that has almost as many features. The Camry is a good base and the ES350 has a foundation to carry all of its luxuries well as a result. A Cimarron cost 100% more than a loaded Cavalier or Firenza that had almost as many features. The J-car in US spec was a crummy car, and as a result the Cimarron was a crude rat with a gold tooth. If you really think the only difference between a Lexus ES350 and a Cavalier is that journalists don’t make them the butts of the same types of jokes, then I must wonder how you distinguish between food and other household items.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @carbiz- Great post!
        My kids, the youngest born in 1984, know the Ford Pinto bursts into flames! Blame The Simpsons, but those kinds of stories seem to live forever. I am sure they wouldn’t know a Pinto if they saw it.
        As GM rebounds to record profits, Chevrolet has its biggest sales year every, GM reclaims #1 in the world, Europe recognizes the Opel Ampera (Chevy Volt) as the innovative marvel it is, the crowd here just hates the home team. What is most sickening is the profound ignorance of reality inherent in some views.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        “The real question is where did the United States go from being a proud nation that supported the home team to being a self-centered, entitled lot that will go out of its way to NOT support the home team?”

        When cost reduction by the home team became in-your-face obvious in the form of low-grade interior plastics from the dollar store and low-bidder parts that fail soon after the warranty expires. The home team has improved, but consumers have recent memory of penny wise and pound foolish ways of making domestic cars competitive in price and feature list.

        The other change is a general blurring of the lines regarding who is the home team and who are the visitors. Is a Toyota Camry built in the outskirts of Lexington, KY less American than Ford Fusion based on a Mazda6 platform and built in Mexico?

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        “The real question is where did the United States go from being a proud nation that supported the home team to being a self-centered, entitled lot that will go out of its way to NOT support the home team?”

        Approximately the same time the “home team” decided that their customers were rubes and that inertia alone would ensure their continued success; and then proceeded to spend several decades building and selling inferior vehicles.

        American buyers’ move to foreign-badged cars was not a result of media-fueled mass psychosis. It was a rational decision to place their own interests above the interests of a company that clearly didn’t care about them, and a reaction to having alternatives available that provided them with more value for their money.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    How about the Volt inventory?

    GM’s numbers look bad, but the real risk lies at Mitsubishi; “dead man walking” is the right term.

  • avatar
    EEGeek

    I’m trying to figure out how VW Group added 25 days supply in 31 calendar days while increasing sales YoY at more than twice the rate of the market as a whole. There has to be some anomaly in those numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      They’re expecting a hot sales Summer? Loading up on high fuel economy models to take advantage of high gas prices? Filling the lots with final 2012 production before Summer change over to 2013s? The inventory increase doesn’t look bad as long as sales are increasing.

      If VW is going to make good on their US sales goals, they can’t afford to lose sales to lack of inventory. The majority of buyers like to drive their new car off the lot the same day or next day at most, not wait a couple weeks for their factory order to arrive. Dealers probably like it that way too – no use giving the buyer too much time to think it over. Besides, dealers can probably equip them satisfactorily for a majority of buyers and gain sales by letting customers pick their preferred colors off the lot.

  • avatar
    minneapolis_lakers

    Mitsubishi is actually doing pretty well in its main market — Southeast Asia and the Middle East with its bread and butter SUVs and pickups. It made a profit of more than USD$ 139 million last quarter. Compare that to loss-making PSA Peugeot Citroen, its supposed “savior” a few years ago.

    No doubt they are a non-factor in North America, but it seems that Mitsubishi made a decision to focus strategically on emerging markets.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Talk about yellow journalism, if it is (A) Bad & (B) about GM, it is B.S. (Y’all can fill in the initials).

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    So my question here is this, with the chemical plant explosion which appears to be a single point of failure for almost all automakers. How will this excess channel inventory affect sales when the consequences of this chemical explosion come into effect?

    Will then GM be seen as having foresight and Toyota etc running such lean inventories be seen as foolish?

    I agree that it’s stupid to be running such huge overstocks of inventory, I’d love to be a fly on the wall to hear the real reasons for doing this.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Maybe they feel like they can’t idle factories because every time they do they get a call reminding them the major stockholder would appreciate delaying any bad economic news until Nov. 5th…

  • avatar
    lw

    I think the last sentence in the article is getting close to the truth. GM is losing market share, therefore they have high inventory GM’s market share has been in a death spiral for decades and the mantra has been to fix it.

    What should happen is that the trend line predicts the following quarters market share and GM continously reduces production volume until they reach less than 30 days of inventory, then MAYBE market share is stabilized and they stop reducing volume.

    They are obviously doing some of this otherwise they would literally have years of cars to sell, but they need to assume that they will fail faster if they are going to reduce inventory. New models should be produced to sell 20% less volume than what it replaces. Not bringing the new model to market loses 40%of the sales and such…

    Anyone who even hints that market share will increase because of anything that GM controls would need to be shown the door.

    Anyone want to guess GM’s market share once it stabilizes? They are back at the market share they had in 1922 now. 5%? 10%?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, GM is not doing well since the bail out and nationalization. Compared to what was once known as Chrysler, GM is lagging behind in its recovery and sales. In my area there are still hundreds of 2011 models available at various dealers.

      And 2012 is shaping up to be more of the same. By Sept 2012 we’ll see the massive $10,500 discounts on 2012 GM trucks that we saw on the 2011 models, along with other discounts on the multitude of other GM vehicles.

      We can only give so many of these unsold vehicles away as foreign aid to other countries like Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, but other countries that do not have their own oil production don’t want these gas guzzlers. Heck, most Americans don’t want them either.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Trucks will continue to sell well in the US market for the foreseeable future. Yes, gas prices are high, but the F-Series and combined Silverado/Sierra trucks continue to top the list of US vehicle sales by volume, and the Ram trucks are some of Chrysler’s hottest models.

        The big SUVs don’t tend to fare as well. For both the image and capability buyers there is no substitute for a full sized truck, and while they have shown that they’ll seek out more fuel efficient full size truck offerings, they won’t move to other vehicles. For the SUV buyers the trend has been moving away from full size BOF offerings to CUVs that offer similar interior space with better fuel economy at the cost of towing capability that apparently most owners weren’t using anyway.

        What’s interesting about the GM numbers is that none of the models with high days on lot numbers seem to come from Chevy – the Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban and Avalanche seem to be moving while the GMC and Cadillac twins are sitting. The Buick numbers are especially puzzling as the recent fuel efficient models like the Verano, Regal, and LaCrosse with e-assist should be logical choices given the current gas prices.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Initially I thought that the American buyers would ‘forgive and forget’ the GM bail outs perpetrated by both Bush and Obama.

        But aside from the GM loyalists I just don’t see an uptick in GM sales to new buyers, buyers that have never owned a GM product before. GM appears to be the forgotten stepchild of the US auto industry.

        Maybe if we, the people, gave GM to the UAW they would be less inclined to drive it into the grave. I have noticed that the UAW has changed its tune about striking what was once known as Chrysler since they have a vested interest in its welfare now.

        Amazingly enough, Hyundai, Kia and Nissan seem to do extremely well in my region, while the increase in Chrysler line of vehicle sales has been nothing if not miraculous. Toyota and Honda products remain good sellers, as always.

        Channel stuffing or not, GM’s prospect for sustained profitability remains in doubt. There remain acres of unsold 2011 GM vehicles in my area. And with current production levels of 2012 vehicles it looks like there will be acres of 2012 models out there as well by September.

  • avatar
    shaker

    It seems to me that the “days of inventory” spread across fewer brands means lower *actual* inventory than there would have been in the past, and selling these vehicles (at least to the “GM faithful”) should be somewhat easier. Also, fewer incentives will likely be offered than in the past — IOW, GM is not “competing with itself” as much as before the bankruptcy.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    What the hell is the deal with the constant denigrating of GM?

    Because they should know (have known) better. The world was their oyster, and despite warning signs for decades they continued to turn out substandard, irrelevant product. It took Uncle Sugar to help set them straight.

    Anyway, no one I know ‘aspires’ to a GM. They are either very targeted work vehicles (Tahoe boat towing, Chevy work truck, etc), or ‘best deal, entry level’ default vehicles.

    Yes, they build some very competent, competitive vehicles. But the parade has passed, and the Toyota/Honda/VW/Hyundai float is getting all the attention.

    Finally, you have moralists like me. Been screwed by GM crap long ago; never have and never will look at their products again. I work too hard for my money….

    But in 30-40 years my generation will be gone, so maybe they have a chance…..

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      GM as we know it today won’t be around in 30-40 years. GM as we know it today won’t even be around by 2016, analysts have predicted.

      What these same analysts predict is that GM will have morphed into something more akin to what Ford under Alan Mulally is today, having divested itself of its excess baggage and models, by a refocus on its corporate goal. I’m skeptical, but we’ll see. It can’t get any worse than the past 3-4 years have been for GM.

      But what remains to be seen in as little as 3-4 years is if the American public is willing to accept the evolving GM and buy the remaining GM products in sufficient numbers for GM to return to sustained profitability. So far, GM’s market-share won’t get it there especially when considering Opel, the French connection and the Chinese liaisons.

      Since GM sells a huge portion of their production to fleet and rental sales which negatively affects the future used-car market, I don’t see anyone standing in line to buy a year-old GM rental car, no matter how low the price.

      Maybe GM should consider what some analysts have suggested to instill confidence by providing a 10-year/100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. It worked for Hyundai. It might just work for GM providing the UAW doesn’t drive GM into bankruptcy again.

      But as long as the taxpayers have their back, how can GM possibly fail? GM will receive on-going bail outs in the form of special treatment, accounting privileges, and tax accommodations just to keep the heartbeat of America going and the UAW working.

      Whether anyone besides the diehard GM loyalists buy into that is highly doubtful, both here and abroad. Big changes ahead.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    GM has a weak month, and now is on death’s door? Just illogical and ignorant of facts.
    It has been said that market share is good for bragging rights, but volume makes the money, and GM’s volumes are still rising here, and more so around the world, and they sure are making money- $9.2B last year despite losses in Europe.

    Globally GM is solidly #1, outselling #2 VW by nearly a million units and #3 Toyota by over 2 million units. You would not have to be the sharpest tack in the box to see through VW’s hype about a couple hundred thousand trucks bridging the gap. It was not even close.

    Before anyone questions including joint venture China volume they should understand that VW gets about the same % of its globally volume from joint ventures there as well. GM wins, even over Toyota and VW if you just exclude all of their China volumes all together.

    Most importanly, GM has generated consistent profits with the all time record operating profit last year. In fact, GM’s operating profit ranks near the top of any auto company every in history.

    Betting against them surviving would be a poor and uninformed bet.

    As for the taxpayers having their back- good political rhetoric, but completely ignorant of reality. There is no ongoing support for GM and with the new cost structure, there will not be any need.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Betting against them surviving would be a poor and uninformed bet.”

      LOL! I bet against them in 2007-2008 and sold all the GM stock I owned.

      I made money. Others were not as fortunate.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        yeah, I know. I bought 1,000 shares at $10 and sold them a few days later for $1.64 back in ’08. Thank God I originally got out back when the stock was $90!I never did get to use my $72 options!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Yeah, yours is not the only story like that.

        One of the Chaplains I knew from my Air Force days, now in his 70s, was heavily entrenched in GM and Chrysler stock at the end of 2008.

        Like me, it took him a little time to decide to divest from American Auto because it had always been such a secure holding. He lives in an apartment now, instead of a house. His beta-risk was heavily skewed toward American Auto. He lost a great deal of lifetime savings/investments and now lives on social security and AF retirement pay.

        I got out of stocks/bonds/Treasuries mid-2007 to mid-2008 largely due to the urgent insistence of my broker. It took me until mid-2007 to decide for myself to cash out and cash in rather than ride the fickle finger of fate.

        The reason I was so hesitant to divest was because I would not turn 62 until 2009 and could not get social security retirement until then, to supplement my military retirement.

        In my case it all ended well, so all’s well for me. For others not so much.


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