TTAC Called It: GM Sept. Results Propped-up by Fleet Sales

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
ttac called it gm sept results propped up by fleet sales

Well, obviously. But it should be remembered– as CNNMoney does– that the new Chevrolet Malibu was supposed to mark the dawn of a new era. The General promised that it would end its reliance on residual-killing stack ’em high and sell ’em cheap fleet sales. So much for that then. “When launching the car last fall, GM said its goal for the Malibu was to sell no more than 20% to rental car companies, down from 40% for the old models. But the auto maker said Wednesday that of 19,725 Malibus sold last month, 10, 462, or 53%, were sold to fleets. Fleet sales include those to rental car companies, along with government and corporate fleets.” Other candidates: Pontiac G5 (+27 percent), Vibe (+91 percent), HHR (14.4 percent) and Vue (+9.7). And so on. In fact, except for (but maybe not) the Lambda-based crossovers, there isn’t a single GM model that gained ground in September that doesn’t seem like a fleet queen. “During the month, sales of vehicles to fleet customers jumped 17% compared to September 2007, while retail sales dropped 26%.”

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  • Conslaw Conslaw on Oct 02, 2008

    Well at least GM can get the fleets to buy its cars. Chrysler can't even do that anymore. Ford is not what it once was, either. I rented a car this summer from Hertz, used to be owned by Ford and was a Ford bastion. The car they initially tried to put me in was a Toyota Camry. Their minivans were mostly Siennas, and they had quite a few Corollas and Priora (Priuses).

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Oct 02, 2008

    For those who would like a "who does how much fleet, and where" Frank did an article on the mid-year numbers from Fleet-Central. IIRC the Camry is only 10-12% total fleet. I think RFs point stands. GMs retail-even with "employee pricing" was right in the same hole as everyone else. And Honda and Toy are holding the line on incentives. There is no evidence that the consumer is responding to GMs products. I've been expecting this, they piled up numbers with a fleet run last fall (Aug-Oct) and the psychophants and the auto-press got all excited about a big GM turnaround. I predicted they would tank soon after and when the November numbers showed up the "turnaround" talk evaporated. Look for more of the same, they have learned zip. Cheerio, Bunter

  • Captain Tungsten Captain Tungsten on Oct 02, 2008

    "I beg to differ. It’s clear from the article and the numbers that GM’s using fleet sales MORE THAN BEFORE. In other words, releative to itself. Relative to its own promises" - RF I'm not arguing that GM didn't do what you claim, but I think you are stretching to read that into the CNN article. It may be clear to YOU from the article, and their writing does appear to try to draw you to that conclusion, but the article doesn't actually SAY that, nor give any good evidence of that. And none has popped up in this thread today (i miss Frank....snif...) The press release reports an increase in the transaction price of the Malibu, which shouldn't be true if the bulk of the Malibu fleet sales went into daily rental (and THAT assumes that daily rental pricing has stayed flat, remember that the industry has pulled a lot of volume out of there already) If the Malibu fleet sales are profitable (as some are), where is the problem? Again, without more information, there is no "there" there.... And, from my recent experience, the GM fleet queen is the Trailblazer. I dare you to rent a midsize car from Avis and NOT get a Trailblazer.

  • Buick61 Buick61 on Oct 02, 2008
    RayH : October 2nd, 2008 at 8:35 am I was reading a thread about GM falling 16% on GMInsideNews for shoots and giggles last night. Not one person mentioned the “great” showing might be a result of fleet sales, although around post 70, someone guessed they’d do that next month. Oh for crying out loud. About an hour before you posted this, GMI put up an entire thread devoted to this story. The sudden anti-GMI jihad on TTAC is seriously wack.