General Motors reported a 3% increase in sales for the month of November but it experienced an unanticipated drop in pickup sales that left GM with inflated truck inventories. GM attributed the 8% decline in pickup sales on the huge incentives offered by rivals in the full-sized pickup market like Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group.
At a conference call, GM U.S. sales chief Alan Batey said that GM executives were "shocked" to know that Chrysler's Ram division offered $5,000 in incentives for each unit. He explained that this can’t be sustainable. GM said that the incentives offered on each unit of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra were $500 lower than the average for full-sized pickups.
He said that its rivals who spent the most in this segment offered incentives that are about $1,500 to $1,700 higher than that of GM. According to a Chrysler spokesman, the incentives on Ram 2012 trucks are "within a few hundred dollars" of the spiffs provided by rivals on their 2012 units.
For both model years, the incentives of Ram were higher since over 90% of its November sales were from the outgoing 2012 model, which is being replaced with an re-engineered 2013.
One significant reason pointed out is that GM delivered its 2013 pickup models about 45 days ahead of its release last year. Because of this, dealerships were able to sell mostly the higher-priced '13 models while rivals provided the more heavily discounted 2012s. GM said that about 60% of the pickups it sold in November were 2013 model units compared to 35% for Ford and fewer than 10% for Ram.
Last November, GM sales executives observed that rivals were increasing their incentive spending but chose not to match them. According to Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, the company doesn't want to make customers confused by revising incentives when their rivals do so.
Chevrolet Silverado strengthens its position as the most diverse and the most capable model in its segment with improvements for its 2012 edition. The new Silverado features enhancements in terms of appearance, connectivity, and comfort.
For improved comfort and appearance, the 2012 Silverado was given new front-end designs, special White Diamond Edition, and available heated/cooled seats. As for connectivity, it now boasts a new navigation radio. It also has an updated screen as well as an integrated hard drive that makes discs with map data entirely unnecessary. The Silverado also boasts an OnStar/SiriusXM satellite radio, which is exclusive to the segment, as well as USB and Bluetooth connectivity and a Wi-Fi system that’s dealer-installed.
Except for the Hybrid models, all Silverado 1500s now showcase Trailer Sway Control, plus Hill Start Assist as a part of the electronic stability control system by StabiliTrak. These new features enhance the car’s performance under various trailering and driving conditions.
According to Maria Rohrer, marketing director at Chevrolet Truck, the 2012 Silverado's dependable V-8 performance, its highly competitive fuel economy, and its broad range of models still appeal to truck customers. She also said that Silverado sales went up 7% through July 2011. The changes in the capable and rugged Silverado for 2012 enhance the vehicle with a fresh and updated design and with available Wi-Fi and navigation radio systems that make it more enjoyable and convenient to drive.
The 2012 Silverado’s new and revised design includes a chrome mesh grille that is paired with a chrome surround for the LS and LT variants, or with a body-color surround for the LTZ variant. Both LS and LT variants feature a new 20” chrome-clad aluminum wheel and a lower bumper fascia with silver-painted finish that’s more aerodynamic on the two-wheel drive models without tow hooks.