By on September 1, 2009

Unlike Chrysler, GM reaped substantial increases in small-car sales from Uncle Sam’s short-lived Cash For Clunkers program. And yet, Chrysler-like, the boost still couldn’t give GM a month-on-month sales increase. A 160 percent jump in Aveo sales can’t hurt; volume topped 12k units. The equally reviled (at leastin these parts) Chevrolet Cobalt was also up by 13.8 percent. The hecho en Mexico HHR up 26 percent. Malibu sales rose by 11.1 percent. The new Equinox got off to a hot start, moving 13,157 units. The last of the Pontiac G6s were hustled out the door, as volume rose nearly 26 percent to 13,133 units (Vibe up 38 percent). Otherwise? You better have plenty of room set aside in the “not so good” column.

Buick is still waiting for a LaCrosse-led turnaround. The brand shed 51.7 percent of its sales between its two models. Cadillac is similarly effed, losing 55 percent of its sales volume (with only the SRX increasing, by nearly 30 percent). Pontiac saw its sales increase on strong Vibe and G6 volume. But one assumes the profit margins for the dead brand walking are minuscule. At best.

Chevy’s Camaro continues to sell well at 8,680 units. Corvette made up for the increase by falling off a cliff; only 746 units were sold in August, an 82 percent drop. Chevy and GMC’s compact pickups got a C4C shot in the arm, increasing 12.3 and 34.9 percent respectively. But full-sized pickups suffered, with Sierra, Avalanche and Silverado lines dropping by 40 percent or more.

Lambda CUVs were mixed, with the newest version, the Traverse, gaining 11,465 units. The established Acadia dropped 25 percent to 5,497, while the Enclave dropped 31.7 percent and the Saturn Outlook fell 66 percent.

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23 Comments on “GM Sales Fall 20 Percent...”

  • avatar

    I wonder if the Chevy dealer in Andersen, Indiana finally offloaded some of his brand new 2007 Aveos?

  • avatar

    Ford sales UP 17%. THAT is today’s good news post.

    Toyota sales up 10.5%.

  • avatar

    If CFC is revived, and for long enough, GM might go C7 sooner rather than later.

    How will Maximum Bob spin this?

  • avatar

    I considered an Equinox recently when shopping for a small SUV, for about a minute… momma said NO WAY, Jose! It’s that perception thing I guess.

  • avatar

    If you go grab the numbers on the sales report:

    – GM’s best-performing division is Pontiac, up 23%.
    – The next-best-performing division is Chevrolet at off only 10%.
    – Everything else is a world of hurt for a total of 20% decline.

    However, if you read the text, it’s all sweetness and light.

    Somebody sure aced their college creative writing class.

  • avatar

    Strip out the share of the 7ook sales Cash for Jalopies generated, and all does not appear well.

    It’s simple math.

    In fact, this is going to turn out to be an ugly, ugly remainder of the year for all automakers.

    “Dealers are saying as soon as the program ended everything stopped dead,” he said. The demand was “a total pull-ahead” of sales that would have been made in future months, not a permanent rebound in the market, Casesa said.

  • avatar

    Why would the SRX be up so much? The new one isn’t out yet, and I would hope that GM had cleared out all of the old ones before August…

    KixStart: Somebody sure aced their college creative writing class.

    That’s called “earning your paycheck,” which is entirely different from “telling the truth.”

  • avatar

    12k Aveo sales? – that’ll mean in a couple years time there will be 12k new NON GM customers on the market for a new car.

    The sales aftermath of the (pull sales ahead) will be similar to the after effects (hangover) from the employee discount debacle.

  • avatar

    How long before “The Titanic had a band” shows up………

  • avatar

    GM had a ~19.5% market share in Aug 09 (toyota 17.83%, ford 14.4%, honda 12.87%)

    The four core brands had a market share of 16.3%.

    I would call that a good performance…note that GM did not get as much of a boost with C4C as some of the other companies…this to me says that the post-C4C crash should be less harsh for GM. I doubt you will see 45000 civics and 30000 crvs sold next month for example.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I think that one big part of the story last month was GM’s Dealership Slaughter. The idea that the remaining dealers and GM brands would magically pick up all the business taken away from the dead and/or dying dealership was flawed from the start.

  • avatar

    @ohsnapback: Where exactly does that quote come from? I didn’t see it in the article.

  • avatar

    SV, they must have updated and changed the article content, strange as that sounds.

    That section I quoted was a direct and exact cut and past from the article about 90 minutes prior.

  • avatar

    Last I heard, GM lost money on every small car they sold… Hard to believe that the Ch. 11 made small cars profitable.

    Should we start a countdown to the next bailout yet?

  • avatar

    16% market share for GM? Doesn’t really fit with this plan then.

    “A rising market floats all boats”, except if your market share/hole-in-the-boat is sinking faster….

    What are they doing to arrest the market share decline as Strategy #1?

  • avatar

    Sales down 20% WITH the clunkers program? Wow.

    When will all these dumb customers realize what great cars GM builds? Darn perception gap.

  • avatar

    Looks like C4C shifted sales from the better (but not quite as fuel efficient) GM models to the really crappy (but perversely skilled at taking EPA tests) ones. Not a sustainable business model.

  • avatar

    Local newspaper story of how local dealers were impacted.

    Brief interviews with Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda, Hyundai, etc. dealers who offered sales stats in various ways to convey how C4C impacted them.

    Missing in total, with no mention in any way, was the local Chevy or any GMC-type dealer.

    Nary a mention with no explanation of why no mention.


  • avatar

    WildBill :
    September 1st, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I considered an Equinox recently when shopping for a small SUV, for about a minute… momma said NO WAY, Jose! It’s that perception thing I guess.

    Women are like that. My wife and I have been looking for a crossover to replace our ancient Volvo, and I took her by to see a Lexus RX. She took one look and said the same thing your gal did. And that’s NOT a bad looking car!

    Meanwhile, she saw a Buick Enclave the other day, and said, “that car has pretty blue eyes.” What, like the Enclave was a Ferrari in disguise?

    Go figure.

  • avatar

    One thing to point out…if you look at the numbers, car sales were down only 5%; truck sales were down 30%.

    Does anyone know if GM plants shut down during their BK like Chrysler’s did?

  • avatar

    @ohsnapback: Looks like that quote from John Casesa, “managing partner of consultant Casesa Shapiro Group LLC,” was excised and replaced with something much more upbeat.

    “Dealers are saying as soon as the program ended everything stopped dead,”


    “We’re due for a big recovery.”

    Wonder why that happened.

  • avatar

    Wonder why that happened.

    Maybe because the first quote wasn’t true or accurate????

    My Spidey Sense is suggesting a conspiracy theory is about to be offered?

  • avatar


    Now… now.

    OK, I retracted.

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