By on June 16, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Silverado

General Motors increased their share of America’s full-size pickup truck market from 35.5% in May 2014 to 38.1% in May 2015.

Grabbing hold of an opportunity presented by Ford’s F-150 supply constraints and consequent 10% overall F-Series decline, U.S. sales of the Chevrolet Silverado jumped 11%; GMC Sierra sales increased 4%. The full-size pickup truck market was up just 1.1%, year-over-year.

With such strong Silverado sales and modest Sierra improvement, May 2015 became the eighth month out of the last ten – and the third month this year – in which GM’s full-size trucks combined to outsell the Ford F-Series. Year-to-date, they lead the Ford by 4,497 units.

2015 GMC Sierra

Growth from the company’s pickup trucks was essential last month as large sections of GM’s lineup faced sharply declining sales. The whole car division slid 13%, a loss of more than 14,000 sales. GM’s six full-size, truck-based SUVs plunged 19% compared with May 2014, a decrease of 4,609 sales. By way of the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s disappearance, GM lost 6,202 sales, year-over-year. GM’s three commercial vans combined for a severe 33% decline, equal to 4,544 fewer sales from the Express, Savana, and City Express.

Yet GM’s total volume increased 3% and the automaker’s market share grew marginally from 17.7% in May 2014 to 17.9% in May 2015. Not since August 2008 has GM’s monthly U.S. volume been this high.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

But there are a number of significant differences between August of seven years ago and May of this year. In the former, you were trying to learn the words to Paper Planes, and just before August 2008 sales figures were released, society as a whole was learning who Sarah Palin is. And 15% of GM’s 307,285 U.S. sales were produced by dead brands: Pontiac, Saturn, and Saab.

Rather than learning song lyrics in May 2015, you were trying to figure out what a subcompact crossover really is and trying to figure out how to say farewell to David Letterman.

Yet some other factors haven’t been so severely altered. In August 2008, GM sold 85,953 pickup trucks, 28% of the company’s total volume. GM pickup truck sales in May 2015 totalled 82,361 units, or – you guessed it – 28% of the company’s total volume. (As an aside, GM owned 24.6% of the U.S. auto market in August 2008.)

2015 GMC Canyon

Of course, full-size pickups aren’t the only products deserving of credit for propping up General Motors in May. Indeed, midsize pickup trucks did their fair share, too.

The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, launched last fall, were nonexistent at this time a year ago but added 11,782 sales to the GM tally in May 2015. For this second-generation Colorado, it was the best month yet and a continuation of a consistent upward trend. For its Canyon twin, May was similarly the best month yet; 15% better than the previous peak in February.

The midsize truck twins and full-size truck twins therefore added 17,387 more sales to GM’s bottom line in May 2015, a month in which the automaker’s other products combined for an 8,534-unit, 3.9% loss.

Other models contributing to GM’s growth in May 2015, modestly or meaningfully, include the Buick Enclave, Buick Encore, Cadillac ELR, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Sonic, Chevrolet City Express, Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Traverse, Chevrolet Trax, GMC Acadia, and GMC Terrain.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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67 Comments on “May 2015 Was GM’s Best Month Since 2008, Pickup Trucks Just As Important Now As Then...”


  • avatar

    Not sure if were seeing anew pickup market expansion here in Southern New England. We have always had pickup buyers of course just in much lower #’s then the rest of the country (and very few being used as family sedans). They were very popular in the late 90’s early 2000’s but it died off around 2005. But now I;m starting to see more and a lot are GM and RAM. In fact the local Chevy dealer which usually only has 10 silverado’s in back and suburbans and equinox’s up front (with a healthy dose of sedans for his older customer base) just got several truck loads of silverados in almost taking up 1/2 the lot. On a side note the local toyota dealer only has 5 tundras in stock but over 50 Rav4s so it may just be a new buyer at the chevy dealer.

  • avatar

    Also is the F150 still constrained or selling poorly?
    I have seen exactly 2 in the wild so far. They are pretty hideous.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Frame supplier. Thankfully for me, your opinion is the minority.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Is KCAP at full output yet? Or do they at least have the ability to be?

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          I’m not sure where they are at with the supplier. I was there not long ago and they were still bottle necked by frames. They have essentially taken over the supplier plant with Ford management. One of those ‘rescue’ operations.

          If you are ever on the interstate between KY, and MI and MO, you will see lots of trucks with frames.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I have heard this explanation of supply constraint for quite some time now.

            In January 2015 it was reported “Ford has overcome most of the obstacles to launching the new 2015 F-150, CEO Mark Fields said today in releasing fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 earnings that were lower than a year ago in part due to lower sales and profits from limited pickup inventories while plants retool.”

            We are now in June and surely these issues have been resolved? Ford has lost many thousands of sales as this has dragged on.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            mike978,
            I was in KCAP earlier this year so I’m not sure.

            The day you can figure out how to run a frame assembly plant after a supplier bold face lies about tooling lead time and production capability is the day you make more money that you probably do internet armchair quarterbacking about a supplier issue you and I both know hardly anything about.

            2014 wasn’t representative of the full demand that the supplier would see from the customer. That was when one plant was utilizing frames. Now think for one small moment – 2015 is when a 2nd Ford plant plant came online. That was when all avenues of the supplier’s production stream should have been able to support what they promised to their customer. Clearly it didn’t (see above article), and now you have to rectify the problem and fill up your logistics queue (rail) all the while supporting day to day production with over the road shipments.

            I hate it when the internet all of a sudden becomes shareholder experts. You’re exemplifying my frustration with this site.

            Now, please tell me how to weld and hydroform frames at a rate that supports APW and MPW of two assembly plants for the biggest selling platform in North America. What’s you’re process capability looking like for all Datum’s and CC’s / SC’s? Can I come on site and sign off on your demonstrated run-at-rates? Can I inspect your process to ensure all the RPN’s on our agreed upon DFMEA/PFMEA’s are correct and that you have process controls implemented? Let’s make sure to do that in advance of our ramp up schedule and get your tooling procured and in place before said dates. And don’t lie to me about it. Now let’s do this while the plant is changing hands from one supplier to the next and see how well you can do it. Let’s do this all over again for your Tier 2 /3 suppliers.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            tres done dropped the hammer

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            He’s the Flybrain of the production side.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            bball40dtw,
            I don’t know why, but I always end up feeding the trolls. I suppose it’s the same reason I feed the stray cats in my neighborhood.

            I don’t even have any inside info on this issue, just relevant real world knowledge. I would have loved to be involved with the supplier conference calls when SHTF. Both parties are at fault and it appears a supplier site engineer didn’t do their due diligence or management gave too much trust to a supplier. Who knows, maybe there was an unexpected capital loss? None of us know and if we could prevent something like this, we wouldn’t be spending our free time commenting on TTAC.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You don’t want to be the guy that beats up suppliers for a living?

            One of the guys I met, when I poured concrete at Flat Rock about 8-10 years ago, does that now. It has to be draining being a d!ck at work all day. He’s a really nice guy when he isn’t working though.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            bball40dtw,
            I’ve been on both sides. Ford is clear cut to supply to on the manufacturing side. Ford Purchasing kind of ruins supplier relationships and creates unnecessary churn.

            If I were ever a Ford Supplier Technical Assistance engineer, I would actually stick up for the supplier site. Friendly relationships are what makes this world go ’round. I also bet it would have prevented this fiasco. Transparency doesn’t occur when you’re always trying to save face.

          • 0 avatar
            indi500fan

            A bit of internet search indicates this is a Mexican company (Metalsa) which acquired the Dana frame biz back in 2009.

            As GM learned with the notorious Lopez, making your suppliers the enemy tends to turn out as a business fail.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ah transparency…

            I’m dealing with a similar issue in a different industry. Our “suppliers” didn’t disclose some stuff and made language intentionally ambiguous. Now it’s impacting the business, our customers, and our bottom line. We should have known it was going to be a problem though.

            If someone had a good relationship with the vendors and asked the right questions a couple of years ago, it would have been a minor issue. Now, I have 7 members of my 33 person team working on something that isn’t their primary function so that we can fix the issue. They will be doing this for the rest of the year.

            I cannot imagine Ford’s additional time and resources spent on fixing this problem. It is mind boggling.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Tres – thanks for your detailed response to my layman, but serious question. Bball – no hammer was dropped since it was a serious question. I am not an automotive supplier or engineer, I am a scientist.

            My question, which you answered in part, was how Ford had major supply issues on their most important product. A supply issue that must have cost them millions in lost sales and profit. I haven`t heard Ford’s CEO make a clear announcement to this end, he said as of January things were on track with most obstacles, at that time resolved. Surely the second plant shouldn`t have come online whilst the first one was still having supply issues.

            I am glad that you responded with detail about this issue, because the term wheeled out by Ford or people explaining the relatively poor sales of the F-150 is typically “supply constraints” with no detail.

            Ford may have been lied to by the supplier (not great for their business) but it would seem Ford has in part screwed up the roll-out of their most important and profitable product.

          • 0 avatar

            Imagine the complexity that using a supplier on the other side of the world and adding language barrier issues adds to the process?

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Ronnie – thanks, I didn’t know the supplier was on the other side of the world. I assumed they would have a North American operation since the trucks are built here.

            I assume there were no other suppliers?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Like indi500fan said, the supplier with the issue is Metalsa. The plant is in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. That’s what tresmonos was referring to in his comment regarding trucks with frames running between KY and MI/MO.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Thanks – at least they are not on the other side of the world and should be speaking English.

          • 0 avatar
            alexndr333

            tresmonos says, “I hate it when the internet all of a sudden becomes shareholder experts.” Really? How can you read TTAC comments, then. That’s the B & B of the B & B (bread-and-butter; “best and brightest”).

            As for Ford, clearly they developed a schedule for a very complex change-over, and it didn’t pan out. The real question is how many of GM’s truck sales are from an expanded vehicle market (with future Ford customers still waiting patiently) and how many are those Chevy’s and GMC’s in the hands of customers who stopped waiting for the new F-150.

            Lastly, the continued anti-GM snark of TTAC falls flat. The thrust of the article could just as easily apply to any other market: ‘How much is Renault propped up by sales of 5-door diesel hatchbacks?’ Folks, pick-ups are what Americans like to drive. Don’t blame GM for supplying the market.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    This time it’s not a pickup bubble, right?

    Good on them for making sales, but they should really have something other than pickups on offer. The good times won’t last (they never do), and then what will they sell? A small bump in pickup repos could send them back into bankruptcy.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “but they should really have something other than pickups on offer”

      They have Daewoo, fleet sedans, Theta and Lambda SUVs. But in NA pickups will continue to rule. You’ll never understand that, mate.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        RH,

        Read the article: “The whole car division slid 13%, (…). GM’s six full-size, truck-based SUVs plunged 19% (…). GM’s three commercial vans combined for a severe 33% decline”

        That’s what I meant. They offer other stuff, but it’s not doing well. A credit squeeze in the pickup market would make it seem like 2009 all over again.

        Americans love their pickups (and Canadians even more so), but they wouldn’t be able to afford them if rates went up.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          I think you’d be surprised.

          BTW, I’m very impressed with the new Colorado and I suspect its redesign is the smartest thing GM has done in decades.

          Its low entry price addresses the financially stressed truck market and its size hits a real sweet spot for those of us who abhor the needless collossi full-sizers have become.

          While a J-snob for everything else, I remain a loyal Chevy truckista. I think GM is doing the smartest thing possible with the pickup market, prepping for its long, slow demise due to external factors.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          I’m afraid you’re right. We will see what happens to the economy when rates go up. Hint: homeowners who are selling, home builders and the auto industry won’t like it. We are on permanent over extension status.

          Trucks? They aren’t as prone to sub prime buyers. SUV’s and status mobiles are, however.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          heavy handle – I just read that most people in Canada wound be in big trouble if mortgage payments increased 10%. If that is the case vehicle sales would definitely tank if credit gets tight.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Canada & Australia are both similarly structured in terms of their economies, both being massively reliant on natural resources (timber, oil, minerals, metals, etc.) as constituent portions of their GDP, and with both having undeniable residential real estate bubbles now clearly in extreme territory.

            Both are probably as vulnerable now to global economic shocks as any developed economies in the world, given their lack of economic diversification, over-reliance on natural resource exports, and residential real estate bubbles.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Deadweight,
            A lot of that near bubble comes from “overseas investors” another name for Chinese moving their money into investment properties. Another reason not too like the Capitalistic Communists. They do not put people into their properties
            The Mining boom helped kill off other sources of income that was doing well before that boom and that came from many different sources
            An indifferent a Government is not inspiring confidence. Slow downs in the Chinese and U.S. Economies are having an effect as well

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      HH,

      This article would be more complete if Tim would have included Crossovers in his segment breakdowns.

      Cars down? Yes,across the industry. GM a bit worse than industry due to the cycle of refreshes coming up with Cruze and Malibu later this year. Buick has to refresh too in cars. So, cars down everywhere…worse at GM due to cycle.

      Not sure why he chose to highlight vans and ignore crossovers… but he did. Trust me, GM was way up on crossovers even with an older Theta and Lamda lineup along with the newer Trax and Encore.

      So, GM up in trucks and crossovers….down in cars. That is how the industry is. Tim should have had a line or two on crossover increases and perhaps you wouldn’t be in such a mindset.

    • 0 avatar
      alexndr333

      “…they should really have something other than pickups on offer.” Are you delusional? Impala, Malibu, Cruze, Sonic, Spark, Camaro, Corvette, Equinox, Suburban, Tahoe, LaCrosse, Regal, Verano, Enclave, Encore, XTS, CTS, ATS, Escalade, SRX, Yukon, Terrain. When the “good times” end, GM will have product.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You’re not catching on.

        Ford garners 90%+ of its GLOBAL profits, in an average year, from sale of F Series pickups. Ford breaks even or loses money on the average non-pickup truck passenger vehicle transaction (with few exceptions, such as Explorers & such).

        Without the F-Series, Ford could not maintain a profitable enterprise, and could not compete with the Hondas, Toyotas, etc. of the world, which CAN MAINTAIN profitability without extreme reliance on a single segment of vehicle sales.

        GM most assuredly likewise garners a massive, outsized % of its profits from the sales of Silverados/Sierras (80%+ is probably a fair guestimate).

        WHEN U.S. pickup truck sales slow, then fall, as they inevitably will, the remaining products being sold, whether “Impalas, Malibus, Cruzes, Sonics, Sparks, Camaros, Corvettes, Equinoxes, LaCrosses, Regals, Veranos, Enclaves, Encores, XTSs, CTSs, ATSs”, etc. will either be “break even” products, or worse yet, lose money per unit moved for GM.

        (I’ll concede that the SUVs you listed are money makers, but they, too, will see slowing sales, then shrinking sales, as the pickup trucks do).

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @ Deadweight Ford is very very reliant on those U.S.Pickup sales for profitability. If there is a huge hike in fuel prices or a fall off in sales. Ford would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What doomsday scenario do you two envision that ends the fullsize pickup dynasty, for the “Detroit” big 3? Wouldn’t it take a total shift in culture and industry, if not a complete dismantling of what we know as the United States of America?

            We’ve seen an upward spike in fuel prices scare off a part of the lifestyle end of the fullsize pickup market, but they started creeping right back almost immediately while fuel prices were still up there.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            re: “What doomsday scenario do you two envision…”

            Not saying that Americans will stop loving pickups. Just saying that GM should use the profits to shore-up their other products, because the economy is cyclical. Always has been. The same GM execs that are cashing-in now will be claiming they “couldn’t have known” in a few years.

            Short version: no doomsday scenario, just the same GM story we’ve seen play out every 8 years or so for the past 40.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Sans running boards and air damn, good, clean bottom. This thing is aerodynamically a granite block anyway, better to have more snow clearance.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      What if I told you 1. The air dam contributes to MPG, but is removable, and 2. despite the freight-train front end, newer pickups have a lower drag coefficient?

      But I still agree that every new pickup can be aesthetically improved by removing the air dam.

  • avatar
    tuffjuff

    ITT: Agricultural equipment as a lifestyle vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Following in Lamborghini’s footsteps.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      The anti-farmer mindset really needs to end, we need more farmers, not people denigrating such an important position in society.

      • 0 avatar
        tuffjuff

        I’m not against farmers. I am, however, against dudes who live in an apartment complex in the suburbs driving a half ton pick-up truck to and from Walmart/work, thinking they’re a farmer, when they could do so in a much less wasteful vehicle.

        I’m also against 5’2″ blonde women driving Cadillac Escalades when they clearly don’t know how to drive their 6,000+ pound truck, and have no justification to do so.

        Inb4 “Communist.”

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “I’m also against 5’2″ blonde women driving.”

          There.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “I’m also against 5’2″ blonde women driving.”

            and what do you want 5’2″ women to be driving?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          They’re spending their money how they want, they have one life to live, and some of us want to get the most out of life, that doesn’t happen driving a lease special 3-series – unless of course that’s your thing.

          I doubt anyone driving a pickup that isn’t a farmer has second thoughts on their day to day field of work. Seriously get a hold of yourself, is that really how you enjoy living your life? ranting about how other live theirs?

          Additionally, please end that anti-female BS as well, are 5’2″ women any less capable than 6’0″ women in your mind? Let them do whatever the hell they want, they aren’t any less of a human than you are.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            Glad to know driving around a $50,000 miniature tank to the grocery store and back is your definition of “getting the most out of life.”

            My comment RE: the Escalade was a general observation based on what I saw the other day: a very tiny woman struggling to drive (head-first, not backing out) out of the parking lot of a Starbucks. One hand on the cell phone, the other on the wheel, and none of her brain in it, the woman spent what seemed like several minutes (but was probably only 45 seconds) driving forward, backing up, and driving forward again. This isn’t to suggest all women “don’t know how to drive,” but that *many* men and women drive vehicles they don’t fully know how to control and don’t otherwise need. I doubt the 50 year old woman driving to the grocery store in her Ford F350 will really need much/any of that capability. My significant other’s grandmother (in her mid 70’s) drives a pick-up as a daily driver, and has never towed and never need the bed.

            I’m not telling anybody “what to do.” I’m simply commenting on how many people make really stupid decisions, and the thought of a special license requirement for anything more than 2 tons isn’t a bad idea.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Ask them why they do it so you may feel like a horse’s A$$. The older lady doing a dash for groceries in the F-350 is likely a “snow bird” or the like, with a travel trailer parked near by.

            Many that spend a lot of time in a big truck, because they/we have to, may not find it feasible to have a basic car to 7-series BMW, just to do short runs and light work, so you don’t get your panties all in a bunch.

            Mind your own if you’re not gonna ask. Stretch your neck and I’ll bet you see a 5th wheel hitch in the bed and a host of hardware plugins at it’s rear.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @tuffjuff – if one wants to be critical of what people drive then one could deride virtually everyone.
            Public transit, bicycles, walking et al can be argued to be “all we need”.

            Do we slag anyone in something other than a Prius or Yaris?

        • 0 avatar

          Of course, driving a Prius when a moped would get the job done is equally wasteful, but a more acceptable standard of living for folks who want to feel like they are doing good.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Whatever the reason for GM’s uptick in pickup sales, I think it’s one great-looking truck, and if I were in the market for one, it would be red, short bed, standard cab, one step up from the W/T, meaning no hideous black-out grille. Add an auto tranny & A/C, and it’s mine!

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I disagree with the premise that once rates go up, pick up sales will go down.
    First, all sales will decrease, that is a given.

    Second. There is a lot more profit hiding in a pick up of any size than a Cruz, Camry, Elantra you get the point. So, the factories will be able to subsidize the sale of the pick up for much longer than any of them can subsidize their smaller entrants.

    Three. I think GM will transform the pick up market with the smaller Colorado/Canyon offerings by forcing the other, Nissan, Toyota, Ford, Ram to get serious about them. Toyota has been the de facto leader, not only is the Taco a great truck no one else even made an effort to compete. The frontier is not an effort. Until now. I am willing to bet we see a fantastic new Taco by the end of the decade.

    It is my belief that the GM twins have really sparked the demise of the Bro-Dozer. It will take awhile but as new entrants come in that get far superior MPG while offering utility, driveability, and most importantly maneuverability the shift will occur. Again, it will take awhile as the current crop of full size trucks, of all manufacturers, tend to last a really long time.

    Lastly, we sold plenty of cars back when sub vented financing was 5.9% for 60 mos….we will get used to it again in time.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why would pickup sales go down? We still havent reached the level of pickup sales we had in the early to mid 00s, if anything we should expect them to add on 150-200k sales.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do agree with much of what Tresmonos stated.

    I also believe that Ford is also facing other challenges with the new aluminium f-150, as I’ve been watching as close as I can what’s going on with the vehicle.

    I do believe that Ford will not make up for the lost sales as the new F-150 will not be as popular as the older one. This is primarily due to it’s newness and acceptance by the pickup buying public.

    Many of the people that are attracted to Ford will buy a GM pickup as an alternative over a Ram. Ford will lose some loyalty to GM and get will not have this for a decade or two.

    Add to the mix the Colorado Canyon and this really opens up the difference between GM and Ford. Irrespective of the dumbass comments regarding midsizers that are dispersed on these American orientated sites the Colorado Canyon are raking in the cash for GM, probably with better profits than their full size GM counterparts.

    Ford, even with a supply of chassis frames will take some doing to overcome GMs current position.

    With the up and coming Titan and even the Tacoma, will pressure Ford more so than GM because of GMs recent pickup sales improvement.

    If the Taco can be as refined as the Colorado Canyon this will pressure some of the 1/2 ton V6 sales. The Titan XD will stagnate HD growth as well. With the aluminium HDs coming out I do believe some of the problems encountered by the aluminium F-150 will present itself with them.

    A Titan XD with a 5 litre Cummins will hit the sweet spot with many who want to tow relatively large trailers. The Titan will take some of the “SUV” type HD customers.

    I hope the Tundra comes up with a XD style pickup with a decent diesel as well. This would then have a much larger impact on the traditional HD manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “the Colorado Canyon are raking in the cash for GM, probably with better profits than their full size GM counterparts.”

      Dude…..no. Just no. I can buy that the Colorado is profitable. I’ll cross that bridge with you. However, I cannot buy that it is more profitable than the GMTKXX.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @BBall
        I do not think it is really hurting them
        ” GM actually used a headline that should raise some eyebrows when it reported its US sales in March, saying “Pickups and Crossovers Drive Best Chevrolet and GMC Truck Sales in March since 2007.” Kurt McNeil, General Motors’ U.S. vice president of Sales Operations says this heavy reliance on trucks for sales was not an accident. He was quoted in the GM sales results press release as saying, “Higher demand dovetailed perfectly with the launches of our new full-size pickups and large SUVs. Low fuel prices and the successful launches of the Chevrolet Colorado and Trax made us even more bullish.” He went on to point out that this was all part of GM’s careful plan, commenting that “Our foresight and disciplined approach to incentives is being rewarded with very strong truck sales and record average transaction prices.”

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – I’m sure you’ve seen restaurants that close down to expand/remodel and better serve their customers. They lose massive income, food spoils, and while spending an exorbitant amount. For what? What a waste, some might say. And to top it off, many patrons that were put out, may never come back.

      But tell me it’s better to let the old restaurant continue to underserve with ancient restrooms, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, etc.

      Some are more willing than others to take a step back, for a giant step forward. Diversification, blah, blah, blah, but GM needs to get their ‘today’ priorities in line. Their trucks are OK for now, but the others you’ve mentioned are about to eat their lunch.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So lets recap.

    When GM ramped up production on GMT900 during the last refresh, they were doomed because they were channel stuffing to hide bad numbers, and the predictions from the B&B is those 2013 trucks would finally be sold through in 2015, after GMs second bankruptcy, at 50 cents on the dollar.

    Then GM was doomed because no one wanted the next generation GMT-900 because sales were weak, and the prices were too high, and Ford would destroy them. So they were doomed.

    Now the B&B is saying GM is doomed because they are selling too many pickup trucks and gaining market share because the F-150 is production constrained, and Bob the contractor needs a new truck. So now GM is doomed because they are “dependent” on selling trucks, look at their car business.

    Never mind that Timothy Cain posted how car sales continue to decline across the entire market as a percentage of overall sales.

    Gee? Why is that? Could it be that gas is cheap and there is a growing construction boom across the country and the predicted regional recession (yours truly included) in the oil patches hasn’t materialized (which isn’t to say it is happy times)? Don’t these events usually create more truck sales from both consumers and commercial buyers? Isn’t Toyota Tundra and Tacoma sales also up up up – along with RAM? Isn’t Honda getting ready to release a new Ridgeline?

    Didn’t we cross over the point where more CUVs/SUVs are being sold than sedans as an industry whole about 18 months ago?

    Nothing to see here people — GMs line up is far more diversified with stronger products outside of trucks than it was in 2007, and it is four brands lighter.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      +1 – I am glad someone remembers when GM transitioned to their new truck series and some on here said it was botched. It may have been since I am not an automotive engineer or product planner. The Ford transition is certainly taking longer!

      • 0 avatar

        The market was slow to embrace the new GM pickups for a couple of reasons, but one reality of the pickup truck market is that while brand loyalty is big with private buyers, commercial buyers go for the best truck for their dollar, and about 6% of the market shifts to whichever manufacturer has the most recent new truck.

        Toyota based their strategy with the big Tundra around that fact and they now have about a 6% market share.

        Even though the new GM trucks weren’t selling terrifically when first introduced, Ford was slow launching the all new aluminum bodied F-150, and while the Ram and Toyota trucks were refreshed within the last couple of years, they’re both platforms that date to the last decade. GM had the combination of an all-new truck and full production, giving it an advantage over Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          GM did a similar launch as Ford. Cadenced launch across multiple plants. GM was able to build up more supply ahead of the transition because the truck market wasn’t on fire yet.

          Like Ford, GM launched the high end stuff first. GM hit bottlenecks in the launch as well. Their full size SUV launch with many of the same components in early 2014 put more stress on the system than Ford due to the timing and high volume of GMs truck based SUV business vs Ford.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @APaGttH – industry pundits did say that the GMTk2XX release was their worst ever.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            That statement of ‘failure’ came from a bit of an industry clown….Brian Johnson from Barclays who then backtracked a month later.You should read his work….very interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            sunridge place- you are correct. Thanks for the update.

            GM was slow out the gate with the GMTK2XX. It took a while for people to warm up to the them. The Sierra was regarded as a warmed over GMT900 and the new Chevy was felt by many to be too 1988 Chevy retro.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          Fleet buyers are very brand loyal, they would rather not have mixed fleets and all of the associated problems that it brings for maintenance and repair. Much better to have one key that will start any truck on the lot, one case of oil filters one set of brake pads ect.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Scoutdude – that is assuming that fleet does its own repairs and maintenance. I do agree that fleets often prefer to stay with one brand since parts and/or work accessories easily interchange. A local company in my town goes with 6 month leases since most of their work is seasonal (reforestation aka tree planting). They lease F350 and F450 crewcab trucks. They re-use the same offroad bumpers and cargo boxes every year. It saves them a ton of money.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            @ Lou you are correct, the upfitting equipment is another reason that many fleets are brand loyal the savings can really add up if they are able to directly transfer the equipment to the new truck.


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