GM: November sales decline 2.9% on cars

The automaker, behind weaker car demand and lower fleet shipments, reported sales last month declined 2.9 percent compared with November 2016.
Michael Wayland Twitter Facebook
Automotive News | December 1, 2017 – 12:05 pm EST

DETROIT — For a second consecutive month, higher crossover sales couldn’t outweigh a dramatic decline in cars for General Motors.

The automaker on Friday said U.S. sales declined 2.9 percent last month from November 2016 to 245,387 vehicles. Crossover sales increased 7.3 percent while cars declined 16 percent. Truck sales, including full-size SUVs and vans, were down 1.6 percent, with sales of the GMC Canyon and Yukon each dropping about 26 percent.

GM’s crossover sales were impacted by an 8.9 percent decline for the compact Chevrolet Equinox due to limited supply after a monthlong union strike at the Canadian plant that builds it. Equinox sales fell below 20,000 for only the second time in the past 12 months.

GM’s retail sales were essentially equal to November 2016, at 197,340 vehicles. The company said its fleet sales were down 13 percent, including a 24 percent reduction in daily rental deliveries.

Brands: Buick down 3%, Cadillac down 13%, Chevy down 1.1%, GMC down 5.8%

Notable nameplates: Chevy Silverado up 2.6%, GMC Sierra down 4%, Chevy Equinox down 8.9%, Buick Encore down 13%, Chevy Cruze down 33%, Chevy Volt down 33%, Chevy Corvette up 32%, Chevy Spark up 146%, Chevy Bolt, 2,987 vehicles (highest since launch in December 2016).

Incentives: $4,785, up 7.1% from a year earlier, according to ALG. That’s forecast to be 13% of its average transaction price per unit.

Average transaction price: $37,521 per vehicle, up 1% from a year earlier, according to ALG.

Fleet mix: 19.6%, down 2.2 percentage points from a year ago; 19.4% year-to-date, up 0.1 percentage points.

Inventory: 83-day supply at the end of November, or 819,327 vehicles. That’s up from 80 days, or 813,648 vehicles, a month ago. GM said it remains “on track” for its year-end inventory to be “significantly” below last year’s level of about 843,700 vehicles.

Quotes: “When we close the books on 2017, GM will show very healthy inventory levels, significantly lower daily rental sales for the third year in row, and the best year in our history for crossover deliveries by far,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of sales operations for GM.

“GM sales came in soft as expected, but average transaction price exceeded $37,000 for the first time ever, even with Cadillac down nearly 13%,” Kelley Blue Book analyst Rebecca Lindland said. “Buyers are willing to spend big for the GM products they want. If Cadillac can get its act together, we could really see GM’s profitability soar.”

Did you know? Crossover and SUV sales, including a record November for GMC’s Denali subbrand, helped the company’s average transaction prices surpass $37,000 for the first time ever.

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