GM Sales Fall 2 Percent In November

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

GM’s sales fell by only two percent in November, showing that, unlike Chrysler, its sales are fairly well tied to the overall health of the market. All four of GM’s “core brands” posted month-on-month increases, with Buick up 14.8 percent, Cadillac up 10.3 percent, Chevrolet up 4.5 percent and GMC up 5.4 percent. Non-core brands including Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn combined for a 47.9 percent decline, to 11,755 units. Cars fell by 1.3 percent, while Trucks were down by 2.8 percent, leaving GM with total deliveries of 151,427 units.

Buick was a mixed bag in November, with LaCrosse improving 63 percent on last November’s numbers for its moribund predecessor, to 3,400 units, while Lucerne fell 30 percent to 2,171 units. Enclave saw a decent 33 percent increase over last November, with 3,056 units sold. Despite growing the most in month-on-month sales, Buick is still GM’s weakest “core brand” by volume with only 8,627 sales, and it barely beat Pontiac’s 7,426 unit performance.

Cadillac saw a troubling 6.8 percent decline in its best-selling model, the CTS, despite the alleged success of last month’s V-Series Challenge PR stunt. DTS improved by 9.4 percent, with 1,408 units, while STS declined over 55 percent to a mere 279 units. XLR (yup, they’re still selling ’em) was down only five units, with 55 sold, while the Escalade triplets combined for 2,270 units. The new SRX blew out all comparisons to last November’s performance by its aged predecessor, posting a 207 percent increase to a respectable 3,004 units.

Chevrolet’s cars posted a combined 16.9 percent increase, but the news wasn’t all good. Aveo posted a 33 percent drop to 2,212 units, Cobalt fell by 19 percent to 5,112 and Impala slid 3.7 percent to 12,375. Malibu and Camaro combined to bring up the brand’s car average though, with the ‘bu rising 17.5 percent to 11,113 and the Camaro posting a solid 6,867 units.

Chevy’s trucks, utes and CUVs didn’t fare quite as well, posting a 2 percent combined drop. Colorado kept dropping off the radar, falling 47.4 percent to 1,316 units, as did Trailblazer (-94 percent to 165 units). Bright points were the HHR (+38 percent, 4,720 units), Equinox (+273 percent, 9,587 units), Traverse (+140 percent, 7,054 units), Tahoe (+57 percent, 6,528) and Suburban (+20 percent, 4,678 units). Fullsize trucks were hard hit though, with Avalanche (-31 percent, 1,373 units) and Silverado C/K (-25 percent, 22,101 units) posting significant losses.

GMC’s sales mirrored Chevy’s, where declines in aging models were barely edged out by more successful newer models for a 5.4 percent increase. GMC’s big winner was the Acadia, which posted a 47 percent increase to 3,877 units. The new Terrain came a close second, with 3,683 units sold, and the Yukon had a surprisingly solid month, nearly flat at 2,253 units. Sierra sales fell below 10,000 units, to 8,371, while Yukon XL held relatively steady with only a 10.7 percent loss to 1,543 units.

Meanwhile, on the non-core brand front, Hummer posted another monstrous decline, dropping 84 percent to 221 units. With sales that bad, don’t be surprised if the deal to sell the ute brand to China’s Sichuan Tengzhong falls through any day now. Saab sold fewer than 300 cars, with every model falling by at least 50 percent. Pontiac sold 5,852 G6s (coming soon to a rental lot near you), which made up nearly all of its 7,300-unit car volume. Saturn sold 1,794 cars and 1,943 crossovers, including 1,362 VUEs.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • KixStart KixStart on Dec 02, 2009

    Yesterday's BBC World Business Report included an interview with an auto analyst, whose name escapes me, and one of the things she discussed was the availaiblity of internal CEO-grade talent at GM. She mentioned Lutz. If they are considering Maximum Bob, I hope they scrutinize Camaro sales v-e-r-y carefully before making a final decision.

  • DetroitsaRiot DetroitsaRiot on Dec 09, 2009

    GM has pissed off too many buyers multiple times with bad products, bad quality, and screwing their customers before and after the warranty period ends. Remember that the next time you are watching one of their cutesy “Howie” commercials.

  • Varezhka The biggest underlying issue of Mitsubishi Motors was that for most of its history the commercial vehicles division was where all the profit was being made, subsidizing the passenger vehicle division losses. Just like Isuzu.And because it was a runt of a giant conglomerate who mainly operated B2G and B2B, it never got the attention it needed to really succeed. So when Daimler came in early 2000s and took away the money making Mitsubishi-Fuso commercial division, it was screwed.Right now it's living off of its legacy user base in SE Asia, while its new parent Nissan is sucking away at its remaining engineering expertise in EV and kei cars. I'd love to see the upcoming US market Delica, so crossing fingers they will last that long.
  • ToolGuy A deep-dive of the TTAC Podcast Archives gleans some valuable insight here.
  • Tassos I heard the same clueless, bigoted BULLSHEET about the Chinese brands, 40 years ago about the Japanese Brands, and more recently about the Koreans.If the Japanese and the Koreans have succeeded in the US market, at the expense of losers such as Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot, and the Domestics,there is ZERO DOUBT in my mind, that if the Chinese want to succeed here, THEY WILL. No matter what one or two bigots do about it.PS try to distinguish between the hard working CHINESE PEOPLE and their GOVERNMENT once in your miserable lives.
  • 28-Cars-Later I guess Santa showed up with bales of cash for Mitsu this past Christmas.
  • Lou_BC I was looking at an extended warranty for my truck. The F&I guy was trying to sell me on the idea by telling me how his wife's Cadillac had 2 infotainment failures costing $4,600 dollars each and how it was very common in all of their products. These idiots can't build a reliable vehicle and they want me to trust them with the vehicle "taking over" for me.
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