GM's Truck Inventories Keep Rising, Sales Keep Falling

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
gms truck inventories keep rising sales keep falling

What’s up this month at GM? Inventories of full-size trucks. What’s not? Sales of full-size trucks.

We’ve heard the GM party line about increasing inventories in advance of the plant re-tooling to build the new trucks. Which should be arriving before 2014. But don’t forget, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

And by that I mean, last June, GM had 288,000 full-size trucks sitting on dealer lots. As of the end of July, there are 238,165. And just like 2011, GM is not going to waver from the course regarding production levels or incentives. Automotive News quotes the Silverado as having a 136 day supply on the low as of the end of the month. Year-to-date, that figure rested at 124 days. Inventories have slowly crept up from past months, while sales for both trucks are at their lowest point since February.

The General had a pretty dismal month on the whole. As Bertel pointed out, GM’s retail sales were down, and their fleet sales were way down after being way up in June – likely as a result of them stacking the deck for their June numbers, to beef up their Q2 financial results. The prelimenary Q2 results aren’t looking good. As if that weren’t bad enough, their marketing chief just got turfed in a rather unceremonious fashion, their stock price is at an all-time low and they have shit the bed with the launch of their mid-size family sedan.

What would it take for GM’s truck stuffing strategy to go teats up? A spike in gas prices? The housing market not coming back amid economic uncertainty? From this vantage point, it’s looking like deja vu all over again, with the same mistakes being made over and over again, by the same players operating under the guise of a new GM. Says the Washington Post:

“Chris Ceraso, analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, said this month that GM, already offering heavy truck discounts, may have insufficient demand that leads it to cut production as pickup sales lag the rest of the market. In the U.S. auto market, on pace to exceed 14 million sales for the first time in five years, slow-selling pickups are a rare weak spot.

A lot is at stake with full-size pickups. GM and Ford Motor Co., which makes more money on F-Series pickups than any other model, could use a stronger rebound in truck sales to divert investors’ eyes from European units that are piling up losses.”

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  • Billfrombuckhead Billfrombuckhead on Aug 03, 2012

    Another reason GM wants a lot of trucks sitting around is the coming September Mopar assault on the truck market with the 2013 RAM boasting the best gas mileage of all fullsize trucks. Don't want any Chevy diehards switching just due to lack of inventory. Basically it would be management malpractice not to have a large inventory of trucks while GM's factories are switching over to the new model.

  • Cheezeweggie Cheezeweggie on Aug 03, 2012

    "Man, I long for the days when people can remove their douchey politics from my hobby of automobiles." I couldn't agree more. Politics and religion they say...

  • MaintenanceCosts They can't keep selling through the current hodgepodge mess of desperate or disreputable dealers. Somehow the sales model has to change. Whether they become the Don Quixote that tilts at the franchise-law windmill to sell direct, or they cut a deal to get into another OEM's dealer network, something has to change.They've always been able to engineer competitive cars when they want to, but they haven't had a reasonable way to sell them since the Chrysler tie-up ended.
  • Sgeffe There’s a guy on YouTube who owns several Oldsmobile Diesel-equipped vehicles, including an A-Body with the 4.3 V6. Might be the Chevy.IIRC, Adam Wade on the “Rare Classic Cars” channel stated that this engine was also available in 1985 only in the redesigned C-Bodies (98 Regency, Electra, DeVille/Fleetwood).
  • Tassos It's a GREAT value, but what, if any, profit will GM make from this vehicle? When it prices it at only $30k, while the much smaller and much CRAPPIER FIAT 500E goes for OVER $40k????
  • Tassos The consumers (not the "market") DO trust EVs, but those that are superior and well-priced,THey buy millions of TESLAS and very few copies of all the other dozens and dozens of LEGACY BEVs.Makes sense to me. None of these experienced makers have YET succeeded to design and build a better Tesla, that is ALSO PRICED COMPETITIVELY.
  • Tassos NOBODY really HAS to buy a new or even used car in this insane 2022 market, and those who do are damned fools.THIS IS the way to discourage dealer markup. FIX your damn car and DO NOT GO BEGGING THEM TO GIVE YOU A NEW ONE, in this BIGGEST SELLER's MARKET EVER.DO NOT BE AN ECON ILLITERATE. WAIT A YEAR OR TWO, THEN BUY.