GM Sales Slide 33.6%

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

“Retail improvements reflect increasing consumer confidence in GM’s long-term viability: Compared with May, 20 percent jump in cars, 13 percent boost in crossover deliveries.” Sure. I believe that. Consumers bought GM products because they thought, yup, New GM is here to stay! You know . . . when it gets here. Meanwhile, what the hell. We’ll buy a car from Old GM. Comparing June sales to May sales is, at best, disingenuous. (So much for Fritz’ Henderson transparency pledge to the Senate.) Last month was crap, this month is crap, but this month’s retail sales are less crap than last month’s. Anyway, the bottom line is still the bottom line: GM’s sales sunk 33.6 percent in June compared to last June, which, as I pointed out, was a horrible month in an of itself. Make way for the taxpayer-funded spin meisters!

Although GM retail sales were up in June [compared to May], fleet sales of 32,725 vehicles were down 49 percent compared to a year ago, contributing to an overall sales decline of 89,366 vehicles versus June 2008. This drop in fleet sales was a direct result of a strategic decision GM made to schedule down weeks at a number of its plants to tightly control inventories and better enable GM dealers to reduce their stock of vehicles. GM total truck sales in June (including crossovers) of 93,458 were down 40 percent, and car sales of 83,113 were off 24 percent compared with a year ago.

A strategic decision, eh? As opposed to the old dart board approach, I imagine. Sorry. I digest. There are a few stats that jump out at me. Sensibly enough, it looks like that “consumer confidence in GM’s long-term viability” doesn’t cast a warm glow over the brands it’s leaving behind. Saturn sales sank 60.2 percent. Saab slinked into the shadows with a 58.4 percent decline. HUMMER’s hummed “Taps” whilst absorbing a 48 percent hit.

Surprisingly, Cadillac (down 40.9 percent) and Chevrolet (down 33.3 percent) inspired less of that confidence than the doomed Pontiac brand (down 16.4 percent). In fact, it looks like the Australian-built G8’s a hit, with sales up 135.8 percent (3622 vs. 1536 units).

Depending on whether you’d like GM to build fuel-efficient vehicles or return taxpayer money, it’s good news/bad news for the company’s former [but maybe still current] cash cow. Sales at GMC dropped 33.7 percent, while Chevy’s trucks were off last June’s sales pace by 40.9 percent.

You know, as bad as these numbers are, and they’re right there in the mainstream of horrible, does anyone remember when GM’s CEO was busy telling Congress that it needed loans because it couldn’t possibly go bankrupt because sales would fall off the table? GM’s pre-C11 drop: 30 percent. Post: 33.4 percent. If GM had filed in 2003, would they be sucking on the taxpayer teat now?

Never mind. It’s all taxpayer money now. Profit and loss are mere abstractions, malleable to political will. How great is that?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Lw Lw on Jul 01, 2009

    Starting to see Ford pull away from GM and Chrysler.... Obama requests that GM and Chrysler stay around, the voters are denying his request one Ford at a time. Wonder if he cares...

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Jul 01, 2009

    There are a lot of people like me who won't consider a GM or Chrysler product as long as the government has its filthy paws on them.

  • Analoggrotto I did a dozen or so laps around Atlanta Motorsports Park for a charity once. Camber and toe on my car were horribly wrong and made the entire experience awful.
  • Tassos Jong-iL The Peninsula of One Korea.
  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
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