GM Crossover Sales Surge Driving Retail Share Higher

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The FINANCIAL — General Motors on May 2 reported April sales of 244,406 crossovers, trucks and cars, driven by exceptionally strong crossover sales at Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

GM expects to gain retail market share for the month, with industry volumes about equal to a year ago, adjusted for one fewer selling day.

In April, Chevrolet crossovers were up 27 percent on a retail basis; Buick’s were up 48 percent; GMC’s were up 20 percent; and Cadillac’s were up 46 percent, according to GM.

Year to date, Chevrolet crossovers were up 24 percent on a retail basis; Buick’s were up 34 percent; GMC’s were up 15 percent; and Cadillac’s were up 23 percent.

“We see crossovers becoming an even bigger part of the industry and GM sales over the next five years,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Just five years ago, about one in four GM sales were crossovers. Today, they account for almost one-third of our deliveries and we see more growth ahead.”

During April, Chevrolet dealers delivered 4,500 all-new 2018 Equinox 1.5L compact crossovers, with a 2.0L model arriving this summer, followed by a diesel model. The all-new 2018 Traverse midsize crossover will arrive during the summer. 

GMC dealers will begin delivering the all-new Terrain compact crossover in late summer and Buick dealers will roll out the new Enclave midsize crossover in the fall.

April Sales Overview (vs. 2016)

GM’s total sales were down 6 percent. There was one fewer selling day in April year over year. Selling-day-adjusted sales are about 4 percentage points higher than reported sales.

Retail sales were 191,911 units, down 4 percent. Selling-day-adjusted retail sales were essentially equal to a year ago.

Fleet sales were 52,495 units, down 11 percent, or down 7 percent selling-day adjusted. Deliveries to daily rental companies were down 20 percent, as planned.  

GM’s fleet portfolio is well-balanced, with Commercial and Government deliveries higher than rental in the first four months of the year and Commercial and Government market share is up versus the industry. GM is on track to deliver its third consecutive year of year-over-year decline in rental volume and mix.

GM’s incentive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices (ATP) was lower than domestic and many Asian competitors, which was the case throughout 2016.

GM’s spending in April was 11.7 percent, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates, which was below the company’s first quarter average of 14.1 percent and March’s level of 13.6 percent.

ATPs were approximately $35,000, up more than $600 per unit compared to the first quarter of 2017.

As planned, GM’s inventories reflect strong sales, lower car production and strategic, launch-related growth in truck and crossover stocks.

The company expects to end 2017 at essentially the same inventory levels as 2016 on a days’ supply basis, but with fewer cars and more trucks and crossovers in stock.

“When you look at the broader economy, including a strong job market, rising wages, low inflation and low interest rates, and couple them to low fuel prices and strong consumer confidence, you have everything you need for auto sales to weather headwinds and remain at or near historic highs,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM chief economist.

April Brand Highlights (vs. 2016)


Chevrolet crossover sales set a new April and calendar year to date record for both total and retail sales.

Chevrolet Bolt EV deliveries totaled 1,292 units during the month. 

Retail deliveries of the Trax, a vehicle that helped spark the rapid growth of the small crossover segment, were up 45 percent. It had its best April and calendar year to date sales on both a total and retail basis.

Retail deliveries of the Equinox and Traverse were up 23 percent and 19 percent, respectively. The Traverse had its best April and calendar year to date sales ever on a retail basis.

Cruze retail deliveries were up 24 percent and total deliveries were up 51 percent.


Buick had its best April retail sales in 15 years and its best April total sales since 2005.

The Encore, which helped ignite the boom in small crossovers, had its best month ever in April. Its total and retail sales have now been up year over year for eight consecutive months.   

Envision retail sales were 3,576 units for its best month since launch.  Enclave retail deliveries rose 4 percent.


Denali models had their best month ever. Close to one-third of all GMC deliveries were Denalis, including half of all Sierra HDs.

The Acadia had its best April ever, with total deliveries up 45 percent and retail deliveries up 42 percent. The vehicle has gained a full point of retail segment share in 2017 driven by the all-new design launched last year. 

The Terrain was up 14 percent in total.


Cadillac retail deliveries were up 7 percent.

Year to date retail deliveries of the all-new XT5 crossover were 25 percent higher than the outgoing SRX.

Calendar year to date, XT5 ATPs are up more than $3,300 year over year compared to the SRX.


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