After Sales Tanked in May, GM Becomes 'Incentive Santa' in June

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Summer’s here, and it’s never been a better time to please, please buy one of our cars, General Motors wants buyers to know.

The automaker plans to roll out a host of incentives during the month of June, Automotive News reports, to make up for a month that saw combined sales at all of its divisions sink 18 percent year-over-year.

The promotions, mostly targeting Chevrolet buyers, were outlined in a letter sent to U.S. dealers yesterday by Brian Sweeney, the brand’s U.S. chief. In it, he said May “did not deliver the result we planned for.”

May was a bad month for most automakers, but GM had it worse for a variety of reasons. A decrease in rental sales, something GM planned as part of its long-term sales strategy, ate into deliveries. Also, a series of earthquakes that hit Japan’s manufacturing heartland in April led to supply chain disruptions, forcing GM to idle four assembly plants.

The sales slowdown caused GM’s market share to plunge to its lowest in decades — 15.7 percent, narrowly beating out Ford.

Sweeney doesn’t want a bad May to bring down the brand’s second quarter sales numbers, so he called on dealers to “defend our position as the fastest growing full-line brand of 2016.”

One of the promotions will promise zero percent financing and $8,250 in dealer cash on some Silverado crew cab models. Until now, incentives on full-size GM pickups lagged that of its rivals.

Through the middle of the month, Chevy will offer 20 percent off the sticker price of its 2016 Impala, Sonic and Spark models, and offer $750 cash to owners of non-GM vehicles. The automaker will add an additional $500 in cash to its redesigned Cruze and Malibu sedans, and boost their advertising.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Theoldguard Theoldguard on Jun 03, 2016

    I'm probably going to get blasted for saying this, but I wish Americans had loyalty to their own brands. Having been career military, I lived two years in South Korea. I noticed how loyalty to their Korean brands and Korean-made products is a part of their considerable patriotism. Is that what kept Hyundai/Kia alive in the free market back when they made junk? I thought blind loyalty to native brands makes those brands lazy and uncompetitive. Before my Korea tours, I drove German cars for better and worse. Now I buy 'Murcan.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Jun 04, 2016

    I get all the GM hate, it is not cool to like or own American cars. Is BMW that much better a car than a Japanese, Korean, or American car if you are using it like an average person and not racing it on the Autobahn? I am not that crazy about Cadillacs but the new Impala, the new Malibu, and the LaCrosse are not that bad and for the average person that uses a vehicle for every day living these vehicles will more than meet their demands. The BMW drivers that I encounter usually speed thru my neighborhood at 50 plus miles per hour even though the posted speed is 25 mph. I guess it is ok to hit someone elses pet or kid since it is not your own and they are much lesser beings than you in your leased BMW, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, or VW. My point is not as much of a hatred toward German cars but the absolute snobbery that those who own and drive them have toward other cars and toward people who don't own a German vehicle. My wife was a flight attendant with Pan Am for years and flew all over the World. Some of her German friends would make fun of Americans who bought German status cars saying that the Germans exported their lesser quality cars to America because the Americans would buy anything with a German badge on it.

  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂
  • VoGhost Matt, I'm curious why you write that inventory levels are low at 74 days. Typically, 60 days is the benchmark for normal inventory.