GM Sales Beat Toyota As Well, Down 34 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
gm sales beat toyota as well down 34 percent

GM was able to move 173,007 units last month (press release here, sales chart in PDF format), up 11 percent from March but down 34 percent from last April. Cars fared worst in GM Land, falling 40 percent across all brands, while truck totals were down only 27 percent. Buick outsold Cadillac 8,928 to 8,337, but the defunctified Pontiac outsold both at 10,838. Watch for those numbers to tank next month, though, since the death was announced late enough in April to not affect prices overly. GM’s worst-performing cars were Buick LaCrosse (-62 percent), Caddy STS (-62.6 percent on 711 units sold), Aveo (-63 percent), G5 (-78 percent, 400 units), Cobalt (down by over 8,000 units), Solstice/Sky (barely cracking 500 sales between the two nameplates) and Aura (-66.6 percent). GM’s car high points were the Buick Lucerne (-20.8), Malibu (-14 percent, 14,665 units), Pontiac G8 (-5 percent, 2,013 units) and Astra, down only 9.6 percent (compared to consistently weak sales last year). Chevy’s HHR was up 7.5 percent (don’t ask why it’s categorized as a truck), Tahoe held even at just over 8,000 units and Suburban was down only 6.3 percent.

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  • Pch101 Pch101 on May 02, 2009
    Of course there must be a million excuses why the mighty Toyota finished well behind the General and Ford Actually, there are 2,640 reasons. That's the difference in dollars of the average incentive being paid by GM and what is being paid by Toyota. All of you need to look at the incentives. The domestic incentives are shooting through the roof, and Hyundai's are almost as high as Ford's. Averages for last month: Chrysler Group - $4,288 General Motors - $4,063 Ford (incl. Volvo) - $3,636 Hyundai (Hyundai, Kia) - $3,591 Industry Average - $3,031 Nissan (Infiniti, Nissan) - $2,779 Toyota (Lexus, Scion, Toyota) - $1,648 Honda (Acura, Honda) - $1,439 Honda and Toyota have increased their incentives, too, but they are still lower now than what the domestics pay out when times are good. Honda and Toyota are responding to these times by cutting production, moreso than incentives. Detroit is paying people to take the cars, as usual. Comparing all brands, in April Scion spent the least, $160 per vehicle sold, followed by Subaru at $884. At the other end of the spectrum, Cadillac spent the most, $5,675 per vehicle sold, followed by Infiniti at $5,504. Relative to their vehicle prices, Kia and Mercury spent the most, 20.9 percent and 16.2 percent of sticker price, respectively; while Scion spent 0.9 and Lexus spent 3.3 percent.

  • Mikey Mikey on May 02, 2009

    Sales are a little off on the LaCrosse?Shocking really,unless one would take into account,that W Buick ceased production 6 months ago.

  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on May 02, 2009
    Actually, there are 2,640 reasons. That’s the difference in dollars of the average incentive being paid by GM and what is being paid by Toyota. Going by that logic, Toyota should've been been outsold by Chrysler, Nissan, and Hyundai as well. It was such a point of pride when Toyota overtook GM for worldwide and then North American sales that they did so without relying on dealer and factory incentives. Now we're saying these same incentives that failed to carry GM past Toyota is what allowed GM to pass Toyota for the month? No, the truth obviously lies elsewhere. I'm surprised somebody hasn't gone running around screaming, "FLEET SALES!!!"

  • Pch101 Pch101 on May 03, 2009
    Going by that logic, Toyota should’ve been been outsold by Chrysler, Nissan, and Hyundai as well. I don't follow how you extrapolate that conclusion from the data. On this site, it's an old story, but it bears repeating -- the domestics give away the cars at prices far below the competition. If you want to know why they lose money, that's it. Honda and Toyota are dealing the recession by reducing production. They are selling fewer vehicles in large part because they aren't building as many of them. They would prefer to sell fewer vehicles while maintaining their price points. Compare average inventories, and you can see that they have a lower backlog of unsold cars. They do a far better job of matching production to demand and at maintaining their pricing than can Detroit, and they don't rely upon mass dumping into fleets. We're already rescuing two of the three Detroit companies, thanks to years of ineptitude catching up with them. Is there some point at which their defenders are going to admit their mistakes, learn from them and move on?