By on February 2, 2010

Corporate fleet sales were back with a vengeance last month, as GM admitted that these lower-profit fleet sales made up a full 29 percent of its total sales in January. Those total sales, including the winding-down Pontiac, Saturn, Saab and HUMMER brands were up only 13.6 percent. Core brand sales were up 30 percent in total, but again, most of those gains were in fleet sales, as core brand retail sales gained only 3 percent over GM’s moribund performance in January 2009. Zoinks! Full release in PDF format here, details after the jump.

Chevrolet saw total sales rise 36.4 percent (105,294 units), with its car sales up 102 percent, truck sales falling 11.9 percent and CUVS up 68 percent. Cobalt was a strong seller, up 149.7 percent to 12,962 units, likely driven by fleet sales. Malibu (+76.5%, 16,439 units) and Impala (+55%, 10,939 units) were the other major drivers of Chevy car volume. Avalanche and Silverado dropped single-digit percentages, while Suburban (+8%, 2,315 units) and Tahoe (+18.4%, 4,556 units) rescued Chevy trucks from disaster. Equinox (+76%, 9,513) and HHR (+220%, 5,452) enjoyed robust growth, while Traverse increased slightly to 5,724 units.

Buick was up 44 percent altogether, with cars up 40 percent and CUVs up 50 percent. Predictably, the new LaCrosse (+185%, 4,246 units) and the Enclave (+50%, 4,075) were up, and Lucerne (-37, 1,740) was way down.

Cadillac actually dropped .7 percent, as it continues to be one of GM’s most problematic brands sales-wise. Every Caddy car nameplate was down by double digits, from CTS (-25%, 2,565) to DTS (-54%, 618). Collectively the Escalade triplets were off 25.7 percent with total volume of 1,754 units, but SRX made up for the drop, rising 264 percent to 3,234 units.

Overall GMC sales volume was up 11 percent, with core truck sales falling 27 percent and CUVs making up for them with 201 percent growth. Canyon fell below 1,00 units, Sierra slid 9.3 percent to 7,271 units, while Yukon and Yukon XL fell by about a third, ending up with 1,503 and 1,222 units respectively. Acadia was up 68 percent to 5,460, while Terrain logged 4,302 units.

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18 Comments on “GM “Core Brand” Sales Up 30 Percent, Reported Retail Sales Up Only 3 Percent...”

  • avatar

    5300 Camaros and close to 11K Impalas. Thats great news for Oshawa.

    • 0 avatar


      5.3K Camaros… that isn’t profitable levels, is it? And 11K Impalas… that’s w-a-a-a-y down from years gone by, isn’t it?

      I’m not saying I want the Oshawa workers to starve but your apparent optimism is puzzling.

      Of course, if the Camaros are very seasonal, then maybe sluggish January sales are no big deal.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the Regal is slated for Oshawa as well, if I’m not mistaken.

      Hopefully this sterling plant can keep going for years to come.

    • 0 avatar

      I would think that 5.3k Camaros is profitable. The Camaro didn’t cost a huge amount to develop. I don’t think that 11k Impalas is down too much, but they have been largely fleet for awhile. Impalas will continue to sell in smaller numbers to retail buyers unless GM refreshes it (not likely) or till the next version comes out, which I believe is years away.

      Either way, Oshawa has plenty of products heading its way.

    • 0 avatar

      If 5300 Camaros per month is not a profitable level, is 2900 Mustangs per month?

    • 0 avatar


      I don’t know what it cost to develop but if I remember correctly, Lutz had said GM needed to sell 100K Camaros per year to be profitable.

      Development costs are an interesting issue. If I recall correctly, Lutz also once remarked that the Astra cost $100 million to redevelop for the American market. Since they didn’t add cupholders or a 12-hour clock, one wonders where the money went. Against $100 million for the Astra, it’s hard to believe Camaro costs aren’t pretty substantial.

    • 0 avatar

      I think I heard that 100k number as well at some time, but I don’t think that is what is required. At best, I think the production of the Camaro is around 8k units a month. That is only 96k a year. So, I don’t think they need to sell that many.

      I have also heard the number of 500 million for Camaro development (been awhile since I read this number, could be 300 million or something completely different). Either way, I think 5k a month may be profitable. Besides, most sales are actually 2SS, meaning there is a large margin in each one right now. Probably won’t be as time goes on, but not, the Camaro is selling great in a crap economy.

  • avatar
    tooling designer

    Retail sales up “only” 3%????? The spin on this site is laughable.

  • avatar

    Get ready for the Cobalt steering recall. 900000 cars affected.

    • 0 avatar

      Lovely. So I assume that would include ION from 05-07 and the G5 ?

      You mean it actually wasn’t just the bottom falling out of the economy and perceived quality issues that bankrupted GM ??????

  • avatar

    TTAC in turmoil as GM is surviving quite well. LOL. Some interesting figures. The General outsold Toyota by more than 46,000 units in January. Malibu outsold Camry. Wow.

    • 0 avatar

      How quickly the GM apologists forget the inconvenient fact that without tens of billions of dollars of government bailouts they’d be deader than a doornail not “surviving quite well.”

      It’s the opposite of Mark Twain’s quip: “The rumors of my survival have been greatly exaggerated.”

    • 0 avatar

      Um, I think the Malibu outselling the Camry has to do with the pesky fact that Toyota halted Camry sales midway through January because of their kamikaze accelerators.

      Hate to burst your bubble GM fanboys, but it isn’t time to break out the champagne just yet.

    • 0 avatar

      Surviving “quite well”… on once-a-year fleet sales? Really?

      Enjoy it while it lasts, Gov’t Motors apologists. Your company is at the very brink of utter failure, and all it cost was billions of your dollars and your self-respect.

  • avatar

    Yes without the aid of the US, Canadian, and Ontario taxpayers GM would not exist today. Thousands of good jobs would be gone. Was it a worth while investment? I don’t know,my crystal ball isn’t working all that well.

    11K Impalas keeps two shifts running with the odd Saturday O.T. thrown in. That translates to 3000 jobs. 5.3K Camaros runs one shift six days a week another 1700 + jobs. Then you got trades and salary jobs to consider. 3 shifts eh, In 2007 we had 8.

    Speaking to my fellow Canucks here. Consider our social programs, and thier wicked price tag. What do you suppose the cost would of been if GM had pulled out? Who would have paid it?

  • avatar

    Poor ole Cadillac. Oh, wait, maybe it’s those prices that are SOLIDLY in the “are you kidding?” territory. I mean, c’mon, I could have leased a 535xi a few months ago for less than I pay on my STS lease. And, let’s face it, 535xi is a far more sophisticated car – drivetrain speaking. Then there was this paltry $1k, no wait $2k, owner loyalty rebate. CTS wagon, nice, but needs more torque at that price. Escalade, Platinum at regular price. STS? v8 for v6 price MAYBE. They’re all solid cars – just way outclassed! CTS-V is pretty b.a….but still, it’s a problem when this “Texaguido” who has driven several Caddy’s in a row without even shopping around starts lookin elsewhere…. when the kid who once upon a time practically jerked off to the 93 ETC brochure doesn’t hesitate to say, “Peace, I’m out.”

  • avatar
    tooling designer

    Please explain to me how “3% RISE IN RETAIL SALES” can be credited to fleets. I understand I am an evil GM fanboy/apologist (LOL) but I cannot understand how this can be a negative somehow. Sure it’s against a horrible jan 2009 but then again aren’t every automakers stats versus a horrible 2009?

    Deal with it GM haters! GM took 1 small step in the right direction this month. Get over yourselves, we (GM employees/supporters) understand there is a LONG, LONG road ahead.

    Also, just to clarify something GM isn’t exactly at the brink any longer now that they have been restructured/propped up (whatever you wanna call it) with YOUR generous donations. Remember this is the exuse the Ford haters use to explain why Ford is doomed.


  • avatar

    “And, let’s face it, 535xi is a far more sophisticated car – drivetrain speaking.”
    Yes, the BMW breaks a lot more!

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