By on February 1, 2011

Another month, another raft of sales data… and another month of solid sales growth for General Motors. Buick continued its industry-leading growth pace, rising 32% over January 2010 with 13,269 units sold. Enclave sales rose slightly, and Lucerne got a big boost, but LaCrosse encountered its first signs of slowing, as sales dropped 11%, falling below 4k monthly units.  Cadillac did Buick one better, jumping by 49 percent year-over-year, moving 12,850 units. CTS boomed by over 70%, joining the SRX above the 4k monthly mark. The Escalades showed strong growth as well, though at lower volume levels, as did the aging STS and DTS sedans. GMC sales grew by 29%, moving 27,658 units as Savanna, Sierra and Terrain recorded growth of more than 40%. Yukon and Yukon XL combined for over 3,500 units, and Acadia stalled at 5 percent growth. Chevy, meanwhile, saw 19% growth, although with Impala, Aveo, Express and HHR leading volume gains, much of that may well have come from fleet sales. Strong performances from Equinox and Traverse give more cause for retail optimism. Overall, GM’s retail sales were up 36 percent according to the firm, and fleet sales fell 7 percent.

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30 Comments on “GM Posts 23 Percent Increase In January...”


  • avatar
    Russycle

    ” Overall, GM’s retail sales were up 36 percent according to the firm, and retail sales fell 7 percent.”
     
    Say what?

    • 0 avatar

      Must be a typo. The press release shows rental fleet sales down 11%, while sales to commercial customers rose 7%, for an overall decline of 7% in total fleet. The bottom of the release states:
      “Fleet sales for GM’s four brands were 39,767 for the month, a 7-percent decline from the prior year, with sales to rental fleets down 11 percent during the same period. Sales to commercial customers rose 7 percent for the month, the tenth consecutive month of commercial fleet sales gains. Fleet accounted for 22 percent of GM total sales during the month”.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, fleet was down 7%. Apologies for the typo.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Fleet sales to commercial companies good – not just good for GM – good for the US economy.  Sign that companies are spending.  Fleet sales to rental companies bad.  I suspect that big boost in Lucerne sales was to Avis, Hertz et al…

      It is good to see the overall trend line in decline, and the mix improving in the fleet sales department.

      Retail sales boosted 36% from 12 months ago on smaller incentives; there is nothing but good news in that number.

      Looks like Ford (specifically) also had a very solid month with a lot of indicator lights in the green.

  • avatar
    86er

    Chevy, meanwhile, saw 19% growth, although with Impala, Aveo, Express and HHR leading volume gains, much of that may well have come from fleet sales.

    Read: rental cars (Express excluded).  Not good. 

    I’m afraid GM is padding their numbers to get out from under Canadian and American government ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      racebeer

      Read the press release at GM. To quote, “For the month, overall GM fleet sales were down 7 percent with sales to rental fleets declining 11 percent, while sales to commercial customers rose 7 percent.”  What that means is with overall sales up 23% and this decrease in the fleet and rental sales, retail was up 34%.  Also, what’s so bad about sales to commercial customers???

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Hi Racebeer,

      You won’t find a greater defender of commercial sales (to tradesmen, etc.) on this site than me.  I’ve long (what is now, 5,6 years?) called for reportage of fleet sales to be itemized by rental, commercial, government, and the like. 

      If the numbers are wrong, take it up with Ed. 

      My point was to raise the concern that GM is choosing short-term expediency again with its sales figures now that it is publicly-traded again, and is finding the path of least resistance to extricate itself from government ownership.  That does not a good corporate recovery make.

    • 0 avatar

      What it sounds like to me is they’re trying to decrease reliance on sales to rental fleets while increasing sales to commercial fleets.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      @86er

      I just posted that sales to rental agencies bad – I won’t argue that for one second.

      But GM has cut fleet sales overall from year-over-year numbers, a continuing trend, contrary to your indication of a “return to short term gain,” as there isn’t an overall increase in fleet sales.  Further, the sales to rental agencies are down, and sales to commercial is up.

      So overall fleet sales are down, and a larger part of the smaller piece of the pie are going to commercial.  I would say that is a good thing.  Is it Hyundai/Honda good?  Nope, not even close.

      If you want to discuss “short term gain versus long term results” Toyota has grown fleet sales by almost 100% in the last 3 to 4 years and models like the Camry are pushing 18% to fleet.  That isn’t a good long term trend as the Toyota fleet sales line is going up – not down.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Son of a bitch!

      Next time I’m waiting a few hours before typing a comment.

    • 0 avatar
      racebeer

      Hey …. we love Ya anyway!!!!!

  • avatar
    philadlj

    A lot of the LaCrosse’s drop in sales could well be due to the Regal establishing itself. Personally, I like the latter, even though it can’t be had with anything but four-bangers.

    The Verano will surely sap both Lacrosse and Regal sales.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      If the Verano even sells.  I’ve read a lot that seems to indicate that GM is getting a lot wrong on the Verano.  On the other hand if a well equipped Verano is priced close enough to a LTZ Cruze, I’d rather have the 2.4 under the hood and the Buick interior.  But will a Chevy buyer even cross shop to Buick, and is that kind of cross shopping good for a brand?

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      If the Vernano adds 2500 to the Buick monthly total (16k monthly), and the cost is a few hundred LaCrosse & Regal, it’s probably fine overall.

      Similarly, if people occasionally cross-shop up to a Verano, that’s also good. What’s bad is if they consistently shop down to a Cruze (like Lincoln).

  • avatar
    Monty

    Where’s the Cobalt? I was under the impression that GM was continuing the Cobalt as a rental queen.

    13,631 Cruzes (what the heck is the plural of Cruze?) sold in January? If I were to judge the sales only by the anecdotal stories told at TTAC, GM only sold half a dozen so far. Nobody has seen Cruzes?

    I live in a city of 700,000 in Canada, and I’ve seen at least a dozen different Cruzes in the past few weeks. I’d say GM has a hit on their hands. If Consumer Reports gives the Cruze an excellent or awesome review, GM won’t be able to make them fast enough.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Nope.  They overlapped in 2010, not in 2011.  The 2010 Cobalt and 2011 Cruze were sold side-by-side for a short window.

      I’ve seen a couple of Cruzes in the wild.

  • avatar
    artvandelay

    Where are 2010 Colbalt sales?

  • avatar
    SVX pearlie

    Let’s see:
    . +23% in Jan (vs +16% in Dec)
    . less Fleet, more Retail
    . Buick & Caddy & GMC all continuing up

    Chevy Cruze seems to be a hit, like their other new product. Can’t they build more than 321 Volts?

    Buick’s net gain is more than just the Regal, tho some buyers bought down from LaCrosse. 31% more sales should be OK, I guess.

    Caddy is up 49%, with growth of all models. The XLR returned for a -1 is funny.

    GMC doing well across the board, with Terrain well-established. GM’s making money here!

    Overall, it’s a good month. I’m sure people are high-fiving each other in the RenCen.

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    Except for a couple of dogs – all of GMC is up!

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    Two things about this, one bad the other neutral. First, rumors of channel stuffing, don’t know if they are true but if so then look for problems down the road. Second thing is good for everyone, remember sales to business should be strong all year particularly for the domestic makers because the entire purchase can be depreciated in the first year. That will help somewhat but the only thing that will bring the market back is sales to individuals.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/gm-parks-510000-cars-dealers-31-higher-year-earlier

    Edit, found this after my post.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Ahhh, but the great thing about numbers is if you torture them, they will confess to anything you want to hear. 510K is some number, big scary number.  But if we look at 179K sales (round math) and 510K sitting on the lot, inventory is at 84 days (give or take) which is actually down from last month, and darn close to other car companies like, well, Toyota as an example, which has seen their inventory swell to 74 to 95 days (depending on who’s math you use).

      But wait, there is more!  It makes it real scary in the link to point to the January 2010 number, when GM was ramping up new models, and was still in a post-bankruptcy we dialed back production as hard as we could inventory position.  The inventory has climbed about 100K units total from May of 2010 – a point brought up by TTAC last month.  A year ago GM dealers were complaining about a lack of inventory and inability to sell popular models.  I know the Chevy dealer by my house looked basically like a used car lot because all they had in inventory was a couple of full loaded pickup trucks, a couple of Aveos, crappy Cobalts and a couple of fleet queen Impalas.  An Equinox?  Pffff. can’t even get one.  Camaro?  You’re dreaming buddy!

      GM has roughly, 5,000 dealers total in the United States post meltdown.  That means the average dealer has 102 units on their lot.  But wait, there is more!  GM has about 40 models total between their four brands (I’m combining some numbers like HD p/u and Silverado).  So if I’m a Buick/GMC dealer as an example with 14 different models on the lot (roughly again, combining a couple of models) then I have roughly 7 examples of each model at any given moment, making the very bad assumption that I’m going to have the same number of Lucernes as I have GMC Sierra pickups.

      Is 85 days inventory good?  Nope.  It stinks.  Is GM stuffing the channel.  Nope.  The numbers bear it out, the inventory level went down.  Is GM inventory level a bit red huge thumb of a data point in a still badly damaged automotive landscape?  Nope, it actually is in very good company with other companies stuffing away. 

      Pulled most of the numbers from the link you provided.

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      I wonder, how many Toyota & Ford cars on out there on lots?

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      You are right Holden, if you massage numbers they will say anything you want. But always remember you massage numbers to reach your conclusions too. I was sick at home yesterday and finally got a chance today to read the article in depth. You can cherry pick all you want and best-case scenario it until the numbers cry but in the end it is GM you are talking about. Your assumption is that GM has a plan and is sticking to it and that their product mix at the dealers is optimum for now and the future. I’m going to guess that things haven’t changed since the same folks are still in charge and that this isn’t the case. Your reading of the article is wholly optiistic where mine is somewhat pessimistic and I thiink realistic. You ignored a comment showing incentive spending at GM is higher than anyone else in the industry. That comes at a cost you know. And 85 days is too much inventory. Until the carpocalypse 60 days was industry standard but you ignore that.

      In short, you can believe whatever but until GM can demonstrate that it has chnged and is free from government influence, I won’t believe anything they say.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    321 Volts?  I wasn’t expecting Impala-like quantities but I was expecting well over 500 to go out the door.

    Not quite setting the world on fire.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    Chevrolet total sales came in at 125,389 units last month making the bowtie division the best-selling brand in the industry for January 2011. Chevrolet edged out Ford by 3,878 total deliveries and outsold Toyota by 25,668 total sales last month.  

    Chevrolet turned in strong performances throughout our entire lineup. In fact, both Chevrolet Cars and Chevrolet Trucks posted 33% retail sales increases over January 2010. Twelve different Chevrolet vehicles posted year-over-year retail sales gains.   Here is a list of some of our top sales highlights from last month:

    ·        Silverado posted 28,172 total sales in January 2011, up 24% vs. last year.
    o        January 2011 was the 12th consecutive month of year-over-year total sales increases for Silverado.
    o        Silverado turned in a 35% retail sales increase resulting in the 5th consecutive monthly year-over-year retail sales gain.

    ·        Equinox retail sales were up 46% in January 2011 vs. January 2010.
    o        Equinox remains among the hottest vehicles in the industry with a “days to turn” of 21 days in January 2011.
    o        Equinox had its best retail sales “month of January” ever.

    ·        Cruze had another strong month posting 13,631 total sales and continues to attract new customers to Chevrolet showrooms.
    o        Cruze retail sales in January 2011 were up 129% versus Cobalt’s retail sales in January 2010.
    o        Cruze and Malibu continued to work in tandem last month as they posted retail sales increases over December 2010 of 20% and 17%, respectively.

    ·        Malibu notched a year-over-year retail sales increase and had its best retail sales “month of January” in the last 30 years.

    ·        Tahoe and Suburban posted retail sales increases of 30% and 42%, respectively.  

    ·        Colorado and Traverse both achieved the 5th consecutive monthly year-over-year retail sales gains with increases in retail deliveries of 34% and 15%, respectively.

    ·        Aveo, Avalanche, HHR, Impala and Express also turned in year-over-year retail sales gains.

    ·        Almost half of Camaro trade-ins for the month of January 2011 were non-GM.

    ·        Volt continues to leave your showrooms almost as soon as it arrives with a “days to turn” last month of just 7 days.  

    • 0 avatar

      Bridge,

      thx for the GM press release. 

    • 0 avatar
      Bridge2farr

      No problem…

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      Cruze retail sales in January 2011 were up 129% versus Cobalt’s retail sales in January 2010.

      Thank you for this nugget, this information wasn’t in the numbers above and I know a lot of people were asking just this point.

      Volt continues to leave your showrooms almost as soon as it arrives with a “days to turn” last month of just 7 days.  

      As I suspected.  The 321 sold is likely due to production is ramping up and available in only six markets.  It is also worth pointing out that it beats the Nissan Leaf delivery numbers, which were supposed to be in the thousands by now by 280 to 300 units delivered.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      They sold 326 in December. Selling 321 in January isn’t exactly a trendline we’d like to see.

      As for “ramping up production,” 321 represents a Volt rolling out the door of Hamtramck every half hour.  Is a car every half hour really “production?”

      In fact, the production report says almost 1800 produced to date.  GM says 647 sold.  Lyle Dennis and the other Volt Advisory Board people each have one… maybe we’re talking 660.  Where are the others?  Stuck in transit?

      The Volt rollout already reminds me of the GMT-900 hybrid and BAS Epsilon rollouts, except with bigger tax rebates.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    The Nissan Leaf is also sold in Japan.  How are Leaf sales there?  And Volt sales in Japan?

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