GM Sales Fall 19 Percent

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Although GM’s sales are down nearly 20 percent compared to last July’s poor showing, your federally-owned General Motors is staying upbeat. More accurately, Mark LaNeve wants to keep his job (and, logically, the government cheese flowing).

Our performance is being driven by the outstanding products in our core Chevrolet, GMC, Cadillac and Buick brands. While still challenging, the market is firming and GM sales are still tracking ahead of what we projected in our reinvention plan. In July we are projecting our retail market share to exceed our year-ago performance. From great new products, like our Cadillac SRX and CTS Sport Wagon, Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, to attractive financing and new leasing opportunities and to the Cash-for-Clunkers program that helps reduce the cost to buy a new vehicle — customers have unprecedented opportunities to get into a new GM car or truck. We anticipate an additional sales lift in August if Congress approves more funding for the wildly-popular Cash-For-Clunkers economic recovery program.

Speaking of wildly popular, how did those outstanding products do? Let’s start with The Standard of the World. The “great new” SRX sold only 648 units. You say product rollout availability issues, I say don’t hold your breath. Meanwhile, GM had better be hoping for a Sportwagon rebound, because CTS is feeling the heat this summer (-47 percent, 2,383 units). The rest of Cadillac’s lineup isn’t worth mentioning, with mere triple-digit sales per nameplate (Escalade being the exception at 1,068 and dropping).

At Buick, the Enclave is the only glimmer of hope, falling only 2.5 percent compared to sales in July ’08. And at 3,797, it’s the top Buick volume model. Lucerne (1,834) is still outselling LaCrosse (1,468).

Aveo got almost no Cash for Clunkers boost, falling 31 percent to 4,961 units. Cobalt dropped 42.5 percent, to 9,435. Whose stimulus is this anyway? Impala continues to be GM’s overachieving stepchild, logging 14,649 sales, nearly a ten percent increase. Malibu fell nearly eight percent, to 15,339 units. The drama continues.

The Camaro is white hot at 7,113 units. How long before the Challenger’s belly flop is repeated at Chevy? I’m sure there’s an offshore website somewhere taking odds.

Chevy trucks got some real help from the Equinox last month (10,834, +78 percent). Suburban held fairly steady (3,281, -17 percent), but Tahoe kept freefalling, down 46 percent to 4,178. The most fuel efficient “truck” in Chevy’s lineup, the HHR, didn’t get even a little clunker bump, dropping 27 percent to 8,409.

GMC dropped worse farther than Chevy trucks, despite solid showings from Acadia (4,974, -8 percent) and Sierra (10,465, -10 percent).

Pontiac’s car lineup is led by Vibe (6,046, +34 percent), G6 (8,193, -38.2 percent), G5 (2,723 +2.2 percent) and G8 (2,404, +63 percent). Bye, bye now.

Saturn is a bloodbath, reminding one of what the rest of GM’s release might have looked like were it not for the government’s clunker deal. Aura dropped a sickening 80 percent to 1,415 units. Astra down to 558 units, Sky at 311, Outlook at 966. Even the Vue is down by nearly 50 percent, to 2,758 units.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 04, 2009

    geeber: "The Ford Focus has been the model most likely to be bought under the Cash for Clunkers program..." That is pretty good news for Ford, no question about it, but which manufacturer is the big winner? update: Trust TTAC... there's now an article on that. Of the top 10, three are Detroiters. Of the top 5, three are Toyotas. Yes, the Focus is first.

  • KixStart KixStart on Aug 04, 2009

    Another note on the conference call... It just occurred to me... no one said or asked anything about incentives. Surely, C4C is a huge incentive but I imagine GM still has considerable incentives in play. There was discussion of fleet sales, which have fallen off dramatically, "as planned." Whose plan is that? GM's plan? Or the fleet purchaser's plans to hold off buying cars until their business improves?

  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.