GM’s Sales Beat Analyst Expectations, Buck Industry Trend

GM’s Sales Beat Analyst Expectations, Buck Industry Trend

The FINANCIAL -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers in the United States delivered 293,097 vehicles in May 2015, for General Motors Co.’s best May sales since 2007 and its best month since August 2008.

Total sales were up 3 percent year over year and retail sales were up 7 percent in a month when most major competitors lost ground. Pickup trucks and crossovers were especially strong sellers, according to GM.

“Chevrolet has the hot hand in the pickup market thanks to our three-truck strategy,” said Kurt McNeil, General Motors’ U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Our market share is growing and our strategy is to retain these customers with the best overall ownership experience.”

The Chevrolet Silverado’s estimated retail segment share was 27 percent in May, according to J.D. Power PIN data, up 3 percentage points year over year. Calendar year to date, the truck’s retail segment share is 26 percent, up 1 percentage point.

Demand for the all-new Colorado midsize pickup is rising faster than GM’s ability to increase production, even with the addition of a third production shift in March. With 8,881 sales in May, the Colorado controls about one-quarter of the retail market for midsize pickups and it has been the industry’s fastest-selling pickup for four consecutive months. Its “days to turn” is only 13 days, according to PIN, and retail inventory is 11 days.

Demand is also soaring for Chevrolet crossovers, which had their best sales ever in May. The Equinox was up 30 percent compared to a year ago and the Traverse rose 2 percent. Retail deliveries for the Equinox and Traverse were up 15 percent and 30 percent, respectively. The all-new Trax small crossover also continues to gain momentum, with 5,707 deliveries.

Growth at GMC, which focuses exclusively on trucks and crossovers, is far outpacing the industry. The brand had its best May since 2005, up 12 percent year over year.

The GMC Sierra was up 4 percent. Terrain had its best May sales ever, with sales up 11 percent, the Acadia had its best month ever, with sales up 67 percent, and the new Canyon contributed 2,901 units. Calendar year to date, GMC sales are up 15 percent.

Additional Highlights vs. 2014 (except as noted)


Chevrolet pickup sales totaled 60,483 units, up 30 percent. Silverado deliveries were up 11 percent and the Colorado had its best month since launch.

Sonic deliveries were up 3 percent, Malibu was up 11 percent and Corvette was up 6 percent, for its best May since 1986.

Chevrolet continued to have the lowest passenger car incentives in the industry on average transaction price (ATP) basis compared to other full-line manufacturers, according to PIN.­


The SRX saw a 21-percent increase and Escalade sales were up 6 percent.


GMC pickup sales were up 19 percent, and the Sierra and Canyon have the highest ATPs in their respective segments, according to PIN.


Buick sales were up. Enclave deliveries were up 23 percent and the Encore was up 21 percent, for its 17th consecutive year-over-year sales increase.

Fleet and Commercial

Commercial deliveries were up 5 percent in May, with full-size pickups up 9 percent. Deliveries of medium crossovers and the Chevrolet Malibu more than doubled. Through May, commercial deliveries have grown year over year for 19 consecutive months and they are up 24 percent calendar year to date.

State and local government sales were up 29 percent in May, and 23 percent calendar year to date.

GM’s total sales increase in May came despite a planned 7,000-unit decline in rental deliveries. The decline reflects the discontinuation of the fleet-only Chevrolet Captiva, as well as lower production of the fleet-only Chevrolet Impala Limited and lower sales of large SUVs.

June rental deliveries are planned to be down more than 20,000 units, year over year.

GM is prioritizing retail deliveries of large SUVs due to strong demand and low inventories, which currently stand at 62 days supply.

General Motors

May ATPs were approximately $34,000, up $550 per unit year over year, according to PIN. They are up about $1,300 calendar year to date.

Incentive spending as a percentage of ATPs was 10.6 percent in May, equal to a year ago, according to PIN. Industry average spending was 10 percent of ATPs, also equal to a year ago.

GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in May was 17.6 million units, above GM’s full-year outlook of 16.5 million to 17.0 million units.