GM pickup sales for December 2012 were the highest in four years

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 7, 2013

General Motors’ pickup sales for December 2012 were its highest in four years. This helped reduce its bloated truck inventory and contribute to GM’s 5% sales increase for December. Still, this 5% increase to 245,733 vehicles is behind the 9% increase in the industry. Increases were posted by all four of GM’s brands.

Cadillac reported a 12% increase. Buick grew 10%. GMC rose by 5% while Chevrolet climbed by 4%. For the year, GM's sales increased by 4% to 2,595,717 units, which puts it much lower than the 13% growth experienced by the industry. Sales of Chevrolet and GMC in 2012 each increased by 4%. Buick sales rose by 2%, and Cadillac sales declined by 2%. GM's 2012 market share fell to 17.9%, which is lower than the 19.6% posted in 2011 and 19.1% in 2010.

In 2011, GM’s share widened. This was when there was a shortage in the Japanese automakers’ supply in the aftermath of the March 2011 quake. When combined, the sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-sized pickups for the month of December increased by 8%.

These two pickup models, when taken together, are GM's highest-volume vehicles and among the most profitable. This helped in cutting a full inventory that concerned dealers and investors for majority of the year.

GM said that on Dec. 31, it had an 80-day inventory that amounts to 221,649 pickups. This is much better than the 139-day inventory that GM noted on Nov. 30 but it’s a bit higher than the 200,000-220,000 range that GM had formerly predicted.

According to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, GM's stock of 2013 Silverados and Sierras is in good shape as the company is making preparations for its next-gen full-sized pickups. Reuss said in a conference call that these 2014 models will begin production this spring and that the overhaul of GM's truck plants is moving "extremely well." He said that it is currently preparing engines and stamping facilities.

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