GM's Truck/SUV Sales Do the Dead Cat Bounce

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
gms truck suv sales do the dead cat bounce

For September, GM’s sales of trucks and SUVs were stranger than weird. As you’d expect, all of the GM full sized SUVs saw sales fall in the 50 percent range or more (Yukon down 49 percent; Tahoe down 52.2 percent, Escalade down 53 percent, Hummer H2 down 65.7 percent). And the small SUVs also died and rotted on the vine, like the Equinox (down 57.1 percent), the Hummer H3 (down 53 percent), the Cadillac SRX (down 48.8 percent), the Torrent (down 56.3 percent). But miraculously (fleetastically?) the Lambda family SUVs held on for dear life – the Acadia, Outlook, and Enclave – and managed to maintain or increase their sales compared with September 2007. The pickup trucks also shocked the heck out of the spreadsheet readers, with more or less consistent sales compared to last year’s September. The Silverado declined only a few percentage points, and sales of the GMC Sierra were actually up 1.6 percent. What gives? The pickup truck market already disintegrated over a year ago. What’s left is probably mostly people that actually need to buy pickups. While the housing construction market is nonexistent and businesses generally are hurting, pickup truck sales may have found their temporary equilibrium with gas prices. Oh, that and $5k and in additional rebates.

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4 of 9 comments
  • SkiD666 SkiD666 on Oct 01, 2008

    Difference in sales can probably be attributed to: People want SUV's People need trucks

  • RobertSD RobertSD on Oct 01, 2008

    GM's incentive spend this month was really high. This, along with Ford's relatively low inventory of F-150s probably allowed GM to pick up some truck marketshare. Similar story with the Lambda's. They're buying marketshare. The question is whether or not they'll still have that marketshare when they stop their sales. I mean, yes, they'll have big rebates in October, but will it get the same feeling and response as the employee discount? And that doesn't even begin to answer the question of making money...

  • Whynotaztec Whynotaztec on Oct 01, 2008

    Some mighty fine used trucks out there now. I just wish I needed a 5 year old F250, the used deals in MA are getting better every day. And I am tempted to buy a loaded 2003 Tahoe, just can't believe that much metal can be so cheap!

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Oct 01, 2008

    Business and Fleet users need utiltarian vehicles. Back in the glorious days cheap gas it was one size fits all with the F150/Silverado/Ram. Look at other devloped nations. Many enterprizes that currently use pickups just something with four wheels that can move X amount of stuff. Some fleets are splitting duties between heavy vehicles (pickup or full size van) and a lighter vehicle with high cube for its class (Xb, Fit, or HHR). Look at Europe for light commercial vehicles evolve when energy is costly. The Freightliner Sprinter or Ford Transit are excellent examples. Heck you can even get a Fiesta hatch as micro cargo van in the UK.