GM Sales Down 49 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Ok, 48.8 percent, actually. Or, as GM’s Mark LaNeve puts it in the company press release, “We’re attacking this unprecedented market as aggressively as possible, while offering more vehicles than ever that provide great value and that Americans enjoy owning. Our retail market share is a bright spot, holding steady above 21 percent for the second month in a row. That’s a full point above the trailing 12-month average. It’s important to realize that we accomplished this retail performance as the overall market ran about 6 million vehicles behind where it was last January (on a seasonally-adjusted annual rate) and every manufacturer was deeply impacted.” And that’s about as positive as it gets, folks.

By brand, GMC fared best with “only” a 40.7 percent drop, while Pontiac dropped a whopping 60.5 percent. The sales number also shed some light on GM’s decision to up truck production in March, as light trucks were down “only” 42.5 percent, while cars were down 57.9 percent. Certainly 70 percent drops by Aveo and Cobalt had something to do with that, as did a mind-boggling 82.3 percent drop by Pontiac G6. Meanwhile, news that the Saturn Astra will be canceled for 2009 sent sales of the Opel-sourced hatchback up 283 percent, to 824 units sold in January. That’s more than Pontiac G5, Cadillac STS, and the entire Saab car lineup. And pretty much the only bright note in an otherwise wholly depressing press release.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Matt51 Matt51 on Feb 04, 2009

    Impala is a good car, so is G6. G6 is excellent value with rebates. Looks like people are avoiding GM out of fear of bankruptcy and owning an orphan.

  • Akear Akear on Feb 04, 2009

    Speaking of the Impala it remains Detroit's best selling car. Remember, we are talking about retail sales as well. GM is almost embarrassed by its success. They want people to pay attention to cars like the Aura and Malibu, but year after year it is the Impala that wins the GM sales crown. Maybe there are still people out there that want a traditional American car. I am afraid when cars like the Impala and Lucerne are no longer available sales of the Avalon will increase.

  • Menno Menno on Feb 04, 2009

    Matt51 said: " Looks like people are avoiding GM out of fear of bankruptcy and owning an orphan." Interesting how the whisper-campaigns against all of the once proud and prosperous "independent" US automakers, by GM dealers particularly, has come back to haunt them. "Oh my, don't even consider a Studebaker / Packard / Hudson / Nash / Rambler / AMC / Kaiser / Willys, haven't you read the business pages about how poorly those companies are doing? You don't want to buy a future orphan! The resale value melts like an ice cream cone in the summer sun." Of course, later on it was "Oh, my, you don't want one of those cheap tinny little Jap crap cars like a Toyota / Datsun / Subaru / Mazda / Honda / Hyundai / Kia / Suzuki / Mitsubishi. You want a REAL 'mercun car." Paybacks truly are a bitch, aren't they? Kizmet? Karma? Whatever.

  • 1169hp 1169hp on Feb 04, 2009

    Mikey: Scratch everything positive I said about your purchase. Cause in four years your wretched Impala's "valve body" may need a $1000 cleaning. Sheesh...