By on June 2, 2009

GM sales dropped last month by 29.6 percent compared to May 2008, according to GM’s press release. Sales volume was up 11 percent compared to April 2009 though. Guess which number GM’s release latches onto with boa constricter force?

GM’s cars continue to take a savage beating, down 37.7 percent compared to just a 20.8 percent drop for light trucks.

By brand, Buick sales dropped the least, shedding only 17 percent of its sales. Of carry-forward brands, Cadillac fared the worst, down 40 percent. Dying brands Saab, Hummer, Pontiac and Saturn were all down by 40 percent or more, with Saab selling only 783 vehicles.

Camaro is selling strong in its honeymoon period, with 5,463 deliveries. Enclave is up nearly 40 percent, Escalade is up 21.3 percent, G8 is up 68.3 percent and Saab’s 9-7X is up 4.6 percent.

Otherwise, everything is down. Way down in some cases (STS -61.6, Aveo -73.6, Cobalt -52.2, G6 -66.7, G5 -70.9, and 9-3 -72.8). Still, this was GM’s best month all year. Not bad for a zombie.

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24 Comments on “GM May Sales Down 30 Percent...”


  • avatar

    What was the number of G8s sold?

    Really wish the feds hadn’t pushed them to kill Pontiac. Though it’s possible they’re losing money on every G8 they sell.

  • avatar
    hitman1970

    3081 G8s sold. Up 74% from last year. It is a shame this car is not going to another brand. Glad I bought my G8 GT before they go for good.

    Toyota down 38%. Honda down 39%. Great month for all.

  • avatar

    Automotive News notes why GM and Ford are off less than Toyota and Honda: a year ago Detroit was already hurting as sales shifted to small cars in response to high gas prices.

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    whats the drop compared to May 2007 and May 2006? That will tell the real story.

  • avatar

    Thanks, hitman1970.

    IIRC, 3,000 a month is no higher than they’ve been recently. So this probably just reflects that a year ago supply was still limited. It’s not enough sales to justify keeping the model.

  • avatar
    hitman1970

    You mean you will start looking at the numbers until they say what you want them to say?

  • avatar
    kowsnofskia

    “You mean you will start looking at the numbers until they say what you want them to say?”

    As the saying goes, if you torture a data set long enough it’ll confess to anything.

    The hype behind these numbers is simply another effort by the mainstream media to distort the current economic situation. GM was already sliding hard at this point last year, so of course the 2009 YOY numbers are going to look better when compared to those from April and/or March.

    As Spitfire pointed out, a comparison between these numbers and those from 08, 07, or 06 would likely be revealing.

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    no hitman, I mean to point out the massive decline year over year which is much more serious then a single year or months decline in sales.

    heck dont the automakers already like to also talk about the “unprecidented decline”

    Just hard facts, they tell the story

  • avatar
    carguy

    Sad numbers but that is one fine looking engine bay.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    As usual, LaNeve’s happy face fact sheet leaves a few questions unanswered…

    Mark, tell us about incentives and fleet sales, whydoncha?

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Spitfire-You are correct that one has to look at who had tougher/easier numbers to compare with year over year.

    That said, I suspect Honda and Toyota will need to look at the strongest marketing tool of the year-buyer payment guarentees if you lose your job.

    Hyundia demonstrated early this year that their buy back plan helps a lot of folks say yes and GM and Ford have taken a similar route with payment protection.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    KixStart

    LaNeve said incentive spend is flat with respect to April. Wasn’t that like $4100/vehicle?

    And fleet sales were about 60K vehicles (I often wonder if some fleet sales actually sneak through dealerships).

  • avatar
    golf4me

    According to AN (sub) Toyota was down over 40%, Honda 41.5%. Also, Toyota has had a bigger decline YTD than Ford, and only 1.5% less decline than GM. Honda not much better. Just thought I’d throw it out there because you might not see it otherwise.

  • avatar
    wsn

    golf4me :
    June 2nd, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    According to AN (sub) Toyota was down over 40%, Honda 41.5%. Also, Toyota has had a bigger decline YTD than Ford, and only 1.5% less decline than GM. Honda not much better. Just thought I’d throw it out there because you might not see it otherwise.

    —————————————–

    That’s because Honda was still full steam ahead this time last year.

    It doesn’t mean GM beat Honda this year; it meant Honda beat GM bad last year.

    Look at yet one year earlier (2007) and you will see clearly.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    @Kixstart
    don’t all fleet sales go through dealerships?
    I thought the days of factory delivery went away 30 yrs ago.

  • avatar
    golf4me

    TTAC: Please post apples to apples numbers when posting your sensational sales headlines. Don’t use different sales stats for Domestics vs. Japan Inc. It really doesn’t look good for the “Truth” part of your site’s name, or your self-proclaimed neutrality.

    For all those who don’t realize, TTAC tends to post “worst looking” figures for Domestics and “best looking” figures for youknowho…

    ANYHOO this month TTAC chose to post the %decline in total monthly sales for the Domestics, and the %decline DSR for the chosen ones. Granted they all suck so I guess it doesn’t really matter.

    To do a true apples-apples comparison go here: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/06/02/by-the-numbers-may-2009-gm-and-ford-surprise-edition/

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    Good job Golf4me.

  • avatar
    paulie

    Edward Niedermeyer

    I saw another hot red G8 tonight outside the tennis courts.
    I really am depressed that this car is not selling.
    It is a very damn good looking car. It stood out from everything else in this snobby lot.

    And when I drove one last fall, it was nothing if not fun.
    This is simply a shame.
    I like it better than any BMW 3 series and its sooooo much more affordable.
    Depressing.

  • avatar
    lw

    Interesting sales figures for GM…

    If you add up the sales for GMC, Chevy, Caddy and Buick..

    You get roughly 175,000 units per month.

    Take 175K times 12 months and let’s say an average of $25,000 per vehicle.

    That’s roughly $52-$53B per year…. Spooky… GM was a $180B company not too long along..

    It will be hard has hell for GM to shrink to a size that’s profitable at these sales levels, even in Ch. 11.

    God help them if sales drop off any further.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    indi500fan,

    I meant through dealerships with a little handwaving that keeps them from showing up as fleet sales.

    golf4me,

    Did it somehow escape your notice that GM filed for bankruptcy on Monday? Even if TTAC were treating GM unfairly in reporting sales (I don’t think so), TTAC hardly has the power to do something like that to GM by reporting sales differently. GM did that to itself with decades of customer abuse, arrogance, insulating itself from the real world, inferior product and bad businesss practices.

    Big picture time: Roll back 35 years and everybody scoffed at the Japanese. Everybody called it “Jap crap.” Two of their manufacturers busted their butts to prove themselves and they’re doing pretty well today. While GM’s share dropped from about half to about 20%.

    Stop whining. Do the country a favor… drive to Detroit, pick a GM exec at random and kick his ass until he gets something right.

  • avatar
    lw

    KixStart:

    “Stop whining. Do the country a favor… drive to Detroit, pick a GM exec at random and kick his ass until he gets something right.”

    LMAO… The eternal question…

    How many kicks in the ass of a GM exec does it take to get to a good decision?

  • avatar
    Campisi

    Even if TTAC were treating GM unfairly in reporting sales (I don’t think so), TTAC hardly has the power to do something like that to GM by reporting sales differently. GM did that to itself with decades of customer abuse, arrogance, insulating itself from the real world, inferior product and bad businesss practices.

    All he pointed out was number-futzing. How is an editorial choice by an independent website GM’s fault?

  • avatar

    perfume on a pig.

  • avatar

    The month to month sales matter more to me, personally. The year to year percentages seem designed to just grab headlines at this point. Car sales are in the dumps and nowhere near where they were last year. That much has been clear for a long time. What I want to know is the month to month sales. Are they going up? Getting worse? I’m glad that number was included in the article.

    Also, as far as the G8 sales go, they have heavy incentives on them right now. That’s partly why they are selling so well now. That and more people are probably finding out about the car now. I’m amazed at how many people have never heard of the G8.

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