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

Article by Christian A., 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.

For 2012, Chevrolet is stepping its game up by introducing the all-new Silverado, reinforcing its position as the most capable and diverse lineup in its segment by providing a range of enhancements in terms of appearance, comfort and connectivity.

On the exterior, the 2012 Silverado will come with new front-end designs, heated/cooled seats (offered for LTZ models) and a special White Diamond Edition, while connectivity is improved through a new navigation radio. It also features an updated screen and integrated hard drive, doing away with map data on discs. Other connectivity features on the new Silverado include the segment-exclusive OnStar and SiriusXM satellite radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, and a dealer-installed WiFi system.

Except for Hybrid models, the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system of all Chevrolet Silverado 1500s includes Trailer Sway Control and Hill Start Assist – providing enhanced performance regardless of driving and trailering conditions.

Silverado is known for its dependable V8 engine, highly competitive fuel economy and broad range of models, all of which have drawn customers and increased (Silverado) sales by up to 7 percent through July of this year, according to Maria Rohrer, Chevrolet Truck marketing director. The 2012 Silverado will receive a wide range of updates and refreshments in terms of design, navigation and connectivity, providing a more convenient and enjoyable driving experience.

The new and revised design for the chrome mesh grille on LS and LT models is matched with a chrome surround, while LTZ models are given a body-color surround. A silver-painted lower bumper fascia (allowing a more aerodynamic performance on 2WD models without tow hooks) and new 20-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels are offered for both LS and LT models.

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