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Mayank Marwah
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General Motors’ US Sales Decline in February

The Detroit automaker brought down its incentive spending in February by more than $500 per vehicle

March 07, 2018 | About:

The top U.S. automotive corporation General Motors (NYSE:GM) reported a U.S. sales decline of 6.9% year-over-year to 220,740 vehicles. While the company did see gains in sport utility vehicles and crossover utility vehicles segments, it reported big declines in sales of pickups and sedans. The company cited tough year-over-year assessments and a decline in incentive spending by more than $500 per vehicle as the reasons for slow February sales. Year to date sales are concerned are down 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.

By the numbers

CUV sales spiked 13% to 80,513 units from February 2017. In fact, the combined sales of pickups, vans and SUVs plummeted 12.3% to 93,478 units. Customer’s fondness for large vehicles, especially trucks, can be depicted by the fact that car deliveries dropped 15.6% in February to 46,914 units. The automaker’s incentive spending, when taken as a percentage of average transaction price (ATP), was 13.2%.

How did the brands fare?

Cadillac’s sales soared 14% year-over-year, marking its first monthly sales gain since September 2017. The brand’s luxury sales were on the rise (up 14% year-over-year). Luxury car sales amounted to 12,338 units. Cadillac XT5 crossover sales gained 8.8%. Escalade has been the biggest surprise for the brand, as it reported 17% sales growth. Three of the company’s four sedans witnessed sales growth, barring Cadillac CTS.

On the other hand, Chevrolet sales plunged 8.8% to 140,605 units. The brand’s sales gain was due to impressive performance of Chevy Equinox whose sales climbed 7.1% to 24,053 units. As a matter of fact, sales of the battery-electric Chevy Bolt EV rose a whopping 50% to 1,434 units. By contrast, Silverado’s sales went down 16% from February 2017.

Buick sales jumped 1.2% year-over-year to 16,322 units, thanks to splendid sales of LaCrosse, Enclave and Regal. By contrast, there were models that saw sales decline such as Encore and Envision. The brand's retail sales amounted to 14,797 units, down 4.4% from February 2017. It represented 90.7% of total Buick sales. Fleet sales increased a mammoth 134% to 1,525 units, making up 9.3% of total Buick sales.

GMC’s sales plummeted 8% to 42,640 units. The brand’s biggest seller, GMC Sierra, witnessed 25% sales decrease to 13,162 vehicles. However, sales of Terrain and Acadia did increase 17% and 22%, respectively, from last year’s February.

Last word

Given that the company’s incentive spending was on the decline in February, it brought down the sales of most of the company’s older models that actually needed some bigger discounts to attract customers. The automaker now looks forward to ramping up incentive spending later this year to drive more sales.

Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of GM sales operations, commented, “Consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000, the economy is strong, our newest products are selling very well and we have successfully managed the transition to the 2018 model year far better than most of our competitors.”

Disclosure: I do not hold any position in the stock mentioned in this article.

About the author:

Mayank Marwah
A seasoned writer with keen interest in the automotive, technology, telecommunication, retail and aerospace sectors.

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