Who Wants to Know? GM Switching to Quarterly Sales Reports

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
who wants to know gm switching to quarterly sales reports

Just ahead of today’s announcement of monthly sales numbers, The General announced it will be shifting to a quarterly model for releasing its sales performance data.

After today’s posting of numbers, one will no longer be able to scrutinize month-over-month fluctuations of GM’s four brands. March statistics (released today at 9:30am EDT) will be the automaker’s final monthly sales report this year. In 2018, second quarter sales will be released on July 3, third quarter sales on October 2 and fourth quarter sales on January 3, 2019.

“Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations, in a statement posted by General Motors this morning. “Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.”

Your humble author expects this to ripple through the industry with the speed at which your Great-Uncle Phonse makes his way to the buffet table. Other manufacturers will surely follow suit in short order.

To be certain, monthly sales can be volatile, as they are at the mercy of holiday timing, product launch activity, and even weather. This Newfoundlander can tell you that two weeks of unrelenting snow puts a damper on showroom traffic. However, quarterly reporting will make it more difficult for analysts to spot trends, problems, and successes.

It’ll certainly result in a huge dump of numbers. In Q4 of 2017, General Motors sold 806,739 vehicles. Parsing and interpreting all that data will be a task but you can be guaranteed your authors at this website will continue to do so, perhaps with an even more critical eye.

The General is quick to note that “GM’s high level of transparency on total, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory will not change.” These are good words, but I’ll leave it up to the B&B to pass judgement on that particular quote pulled from the press release.

We will have what might very well be our final monthly sales report for the American market later today.

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3 of 19 comments
  • Civicjohn Civicjohn on Apr 03, 2018

    Well they have now put them in the same camp as Tesla, who never released monthly numbers. That's why they have creative terms like "surge production" to describe their quarterly reporting. Interesting that GM put up reasonable numbers compared to last year, but it certainly gives a lot of wiggle room when you've made the decision to shutter a brand. Maybe that will make it easier. One less TTAC monthly article, gonna have to double-down on "rare rides".

    • Peter Gazis Peter Gazis on Apr 03, 2018

      GMs loss I'll just spend more time commenting on everyone elses sales Examples: -Prius Deathwatch -Lexus car sales fall again. -Toyota fleet sales Rah! Rah! Rah! -Hyundai sales how low will they go. -Genesis implodes -Germans small cars big sales. -Volvo interior or stuff I bought at Ikea - Honda Ridgeline gets put on the endangered species list.

  • Fred Fred on Apr 07, 2018

    I think sales should be reported on a daily basis. You do it monthly or quarterly, people will procrastinate to make a sales. We all heard to buy "at the end of the month" Stop all that bs by reporting daily. Corporate can analysis it how ever they want.

  • 28-Cars-Later Just two more weeks.
  • Cprescott Before they take their first competition laps those engines will be recalled.
  • Readallover I always found it hilarious that my parents`friends who paid up for the luxury and exclusivity of a M-B were shocked and disappointed when they went to Europe and found their car was significantly cheaper AND widely used as cabs over there.
  • Laszlo I own a 1969 falcon futura 4 door hardtop, original inline 6 and c4 transmission and it still runs to this day.
  • BklynPete So let's get this straight: Ford hyped up the Bronco for 3 years, yet couldn't launch it to match the crazy initial demand. They released it with numerous QC issues, made hay for its greedy dealers, and burned customers in the process. After all that, they lose money on warranties. The vehicles turn out to be a worse ownership experience than the Jeep Wrangler, which hasn't been a paragon of reliability for 50 years. The same was true of the Aviator, Explorer, several F-150 variants, and other recent product launches. The Maverick is the only thing they got right. Yet this company that's been at it for 120 years. Just Brilliant. Jim Farley's non-PR speak: "You don't get to call me an idiot. I get to call myself an idiot first."Farley truly seems hapless, like the characters his late cousin played. Bill Ford is a nice guy but more than a bit slow on the uptake too. They have not had anything resembling a quality CEO since Alan Mulally turned the keys over to Mark Fields - the mulleted glamor boy who got canned after 3 years when the PowerShi(f)t transaxles exploded. He more recently helped run Hertz into the ground with bad QC and a faulty database that had them arresting customers. Ford is starting to resemble Chrysler in the mid-Seventies Sales Bank era. Well, at least VW has cash and envies Ford's distribution reach and potential profitability.