GM sales fell by a combined 11 percent in August

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 1, 2010

GM's Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands posted a combined 11-percent drop in year-on-year sales in August 2010 to 184,921 units. It may be noted that August 2009 had the highest sales that year. Monthly sales were down seven percent. Buick, GMC and Cadillac logged a 37-percent surge in combined year-on-year sales in August 2010.

Buick saw its August sales jump 66 percent, boosted by retail sales that more than doubled during the period. Cadillac, meanwhile, logged an 83-percent leap in year-on-year sales in August, with retail sales growing at the same pace. GMC, meanwhile, posted a 12-percent year-on-year increase in sales in August, thanks to strong retail sales.

Chevrolet, however, saw its year-on-year sales drop by 22 percent in August 2010, with retail sales plunging 31 percent. Going strong for GM in August 2010 were its full-size pickups and full-size utilities, posting sales growths of 4 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

In the first eight months of 2010, Buick still leads the auto industry in terms of sales growth, surging 61 percent during the period. Cadillac, meanwhile, sits on top of the luxury vehicle industry in sales growth so far this year, posting a 50-percent jump in the January-August period.

Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations at GM, remarked that the Cash for Clunkers program in 2009 spiked industry sales in that year, leading to mixed sales results in August 2010.

He, however, emphasized that three of GM's four divisions logged solid gains – a further evidence that its sales performance is the result of balanced contributions across its brands. He quipped that key product launches set for the rest of 2010 should continue GM's sales momentum.

In the coming months, GM will commence sales of a number of new products like the Chevrolet Cruze in September and the Chevrolet Volt later this year. He said that aside from the impending launch of the new Chevrolet Cruze and Volt, the Buick Regal has been posting growth in the US while the Cadillac CTS Coupe has been grabbing attention.

At end of August 2010, dealer inventory in the US was at 452,000 units, around 28,000 units higher than the figure at the end of July 2010. Moreover, month-end inventory in August 2010 was around 73,000 units higher than in August 2009.

Press Release

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac Sales Decline 11 Percent from 2009 Cash-for-Clunkers Level

August sales for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac decreased by a combined 11 percent to 184,921 units, compared to last August, a month in which the automotive industry experienced the highest level of sales in 2009 due to the Cash for Clunkers stimulus program. Compared to July 2010, sales for GM's brands were down 7 percent.

Through August, Buick remained the industry's fastest growing brand with sales up 61 percent year-to-date. Cadillac leads the luxury vehicle industry in sales growth this year, with sales 50 percent higher through August.

"Last year's Cash for Clunkers program spiked industry sales in 2009, so results this August were not surprisingly a bit mixed," said Don Johnson, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. "Importantly, three of our four divisions showed solid gains. This is further evidence that our performance is the result of balanced contributions across our brands."

Combined sales for Buick, GMC and Cadillac were up 37 percent for the month, compared to a year ago. Buick sales increased 66 percent, propelled by retail sales that more than doubled during the month. Cadillac dealers reported sales that were 83 percent higher than last year, and the brand's retail sales also rose 83 percent. GMC total sales were up 12 percent during the month, driven by strong retail sales. Chevrolet, which benefited the most from last year's federal stimulus, had a total sales decline of 22 percent compared to last year, while retail sales were down 31 percent.

Total sales of GM's full-size pickups rose 4 percent during the month, while its full-size utilities increased 7 percent on strong retail sales growth.

Johnson noted that key product launches for the remainder of this year will continue the company's momentum. "With the all-new Chevrolet Cruze hitting showrooms in September, the Chevrolet Volt later this year, the Buick Regal expanding Buick's footprint in the U.S., and the Cadillac CTS Coupe generating a lot of attention, we have reason to be optimistic," Johnson said.

Month-end dealer inventory in the U.S. stood at about 452,000 units, which is about 28,000 higher compared to July 2010, and about 73,000 higher than August 2009.

August Key Facts and Brand Results:

  • Chevrolet: Chevrolet delivered 131,952 total vehicles in August, a 22 percent decline year-over-year. Year-to-date total Chevrolet sales are up 19 percent. Retail sales for Chevrolet full-size trucks (Silverado, Avalanche, Tahoe and Suburban) rose 8 percent. (read more).
  • Buick: Buick reported total sales of 14,294, an increase of 66 percent in August compared to last year. Driven by continuing strong customer demand for the LaCrosse (retail sales up 263 percent) and growing demand for the all-new Regal, Buick retail sales more than doubled for the second month in a row, up 102 percent, compared to last year. August was the eleventh straight month that total and retail sales have increased. With sales up 61 percent for the year, Buick remains the fastest growing major auto brand in the U.S. (read more).
  • GMC: GMC reported total sales of 25,986, a 12 percent increase in total sales in the month of August, compared to the same month last year. This includes an 18 percent increase in retail sales, marking 11 consecutive months of year-over-year total and retail sales gains for GMC. Retail sales for GMC full-size trucks (Sierra, Yukon and Yukon XL) increased 12 percent during the month and retail sales for the Terrain rose to 3,667 units. For the year, GMC total sales are up 26 percent (read more).
  • Cadillac: Total sales of 12,689 for August were 83 percent higher than last August, with retail sales increasing 83 percent. This strong retail performance was driven by continuing strong consumer demand for the SRX and the CTS, with retail sales up 410 percent and 77 percent, respectively. August was the seventh month in a row that Cadillac total and retail sales have increased. With total sales up 50 percent for the year, the brand is the fastest growing luxury auto brand in the industry (read more).
  • Fleet sales for GM's four brands were 51,951 for the month.
Topics: gm, sales, united states

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