General Motors posted a 7-percent surge in sales in the United States in full year 2013, short of the 8-percent gain logged by the industry in the country. This caused GM's share of the US light-vehicle market to drop slightly to 17.88 percent in 2013 from 17.91 percent in 2012. This comes as the carmaker saw its US sales fall 6 percent in December, with all four of its brands logging weaker results.
The decline in US market share shattered the prediction of GM chief executive Dan Akerson a year ago that the carmaker will gain "modest" market share in 2013. According to GM, its 2013 retail sales jumped 11 percent, outpacing the industry's retail growth.
Kurt McNeil, GM's vice president of U.S. sales operations, attributed the sales drop in December partly to "payback" from GM's big Black Friday sales promotion in November, which might have resulted to sales that would have happened in December. He also attributed the decline to bad weather and incentives by rivals.
Sales at its Chevrolet brand dropped 8 percent to 153,493 units. For full year 2013, Chevrolet posted a 5-percent rise in sales to 1.95 million units. Chevrolet, which accounted for two-thirds of GM sales in December 2013, suffered from a 16 percent drop in sales of the redesigned 2014 Silverado pickup.
On the other hand, sales of the GMC Sierra pickup dropped 5 percent. Strong incentives offered by rival carmaker affected GM's pickup sales, according to McNeil. He noted that GM's incentive spending on full-sized pickups slid by around $1,000 per pickup from a year earlier, while incentives offered on its "primary competitor" – the Ford F-series – surged by around $250.
“2013 was the year that GM and the auto industry put the last traces of the recession in the rearview mirror, so now we can devote our full attention to the things that matter most to customers: compelling design, world-class quality and delivering the best ownership experience in the business,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations. “GM has laid a strong foundation to pursue all of these goals. We have announced more than $10 billion in capital investments in the United States since 2009 and plowed billions more into R&D to refresh our product portfolio at twice the rate of the last few years.” [source: General Motors]