By on January 5, 2009

And the scramble for ways to say “it’s not that bad” is on. GM’s Press Release suggests pointing out that deliveries are up compared to October and November. Just don’t bring it up around your friendly local GM dealer/overstock storage depot. They’re still trying to forget October and November. And a four percent drop in inventory compared to last December doesn’t really make their collective 872k unsold units look any better. GM unit Meanwhile, GM’s total annual vehicle sales for 2008 fell below three million, at 2,980,688. That’s a 23 percent drop since 2007.

Digging deeper, the news reflects most of the major trends in the industry. Though total car sales dropped only 24.9 percent, light trucks continue to crater at a higher rate of 34.8 percent. On the Brand front, Saab and Hummer are as dead as they can be, with total sales down 57.1 and 59.3 percent respectively. Pontiac, Buick and GMC are trending downward slightly less sharply, registering still-troubling declines of 45.6, 38.1 and 34.5 percent respectively.  Chevrolet was by far the best performer, down only 25.8 percent (still, nearly 50k fewer vehicles than December 2007). Chevy cars in particular are the bright point, dropping “only” 4 percent. On the other hand, the next biggest volume brand for cars is Pontiac, which recorded 14,381 car sales. That’s a 48.2 percent drop in car sales compared to last December.

By model, the Malibu is up 42.2 percent compared to last December’s non-sales of the old model. No surprises there. Curiously, the Impala is up 18.8 percent actually outselling the Malibu 21,148 to 17,355. Once again, the love that dare not speak its name (fleet sales) rears its head.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

15 Comments on “GM Sales Fall 31 Percent In December...”


  • avatar
    NickR

    Would it be strange for me to say that’s better than I anticipated? I think I will shield my eyes when you post Chrysler’s figures.

  • avatar
    63CorvairSpyder

    Thank God for the “Red Tag(ink) Sale”. The dealers must love the “Nothing” deals they did write.

  • avatar

    @NickR: Put on your HAZMAT suit – Chrysler’s posting a 50+% faceplant.

  • avatar
    BMW325I

    @ jgh : looking forward to Chrysler December sales

  • avatar
    50merc

    OK, they’re down 31 percent but the previous December was extremely strong — right? Last I heard, GM was still “on the road to recovery.” (Or was that “perdition”?

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    This is typical of GM. If you look at the last few years they tend to go about three down months for every “good” month. Basically they get so desperate that they give them away.

    The overall trendline is the only one that matters.

    Meanwhile…there has been a long line of rail car carriers on the siding just north of our plant in southwest MI for at least three weeks. I don’t know who’s vehicles are in them but I really am curious as to whether these cars are on the books as “sold”.

    Bunter

  • avatar

    At least they are about to do something about inventory: the Q1 2009 production plan is down to a paltry 420K units in North America and only 1.3M units worldwide.

    A few years ago in North America alone they produced more than worldwide now.

  • avatar

    GM is never going anywhere unless Chevrolet takes it there, it’s by far their strongest brand and should have recieved the lion’s share of attention and investment the past decade instead of brands like Saturn.

    Make exceptional Chevrolets and back them with a big warranty like Hyundai/Kia and things could still work out.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    I agree – Chevrolet and Cadillac have a future. GM would be better off just slamming the door on Pontiac-Buick-GMC.

  • avatar
    ronin

    Surprised?

  • avatar
    bumpy

    “GM’s total annual vehicle sales for 2008 fell below three million, at 2,980,688.”

    GM has been shedding roughly 500k a year since 2004 or so. I think you have to go back to the late ’50s to find a yearly total that low.

  • avatar
    akear

    It is funny as the Delta and Epsilon platfrom continue to flop the Impala is still Detroit’s sales king. I read GM even sells more Malibus to the fleets than the Impala!!

  • avatar
    npbheights

    Since we talked about Cadillac all day yesterday, what about them? How much lower were Cadillac’s sales?

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Meanwhile…there has been a long line of rail car carriers on the siding just north of our plant in southwest MI for at least three weeks. I don’t know who’s vehicles are in them but I really am curious as to whether these cars are on the books as “sold”.
    Once a dealer accepts delivery they are sold to the respective dealership. They are not counted as retail sales until that dealership sells or delivers to a retail customer. So the short answer is most likely no they are not sold. Most likely waiting to be shipped.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Via WSJ: While Ford continued to reduce its sales of low-margin sales to rental-car companies and other fleet customers, GM used fleet sales to prop up its December total as retail sales to individual customers at dealerships fell about 41%.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • EBFlex: What fiscal conservatives they are out there.
  • EBFlex: Productive at what? Making businesses and residents flee? Even the snake oil salesman at Tesla can’t stand...
  • EBFlex: “ No, no he’s not. He’s dangerously ignorant” Which part was I “ignorant” about? The child rapists or the...
  • Old_WRX: just to show that he is “doing something” While not having to actual do anything.
  • ttacgreg: One of these days this question has to be asked. How may EV’s can be hooked up to the grid? How much...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber