What Drove GM’s Retail Sales Higher in November?



Higher retail sales

In the previous part, we discussed how General Motors’s (GM) higher November retail sales could boost its 4Q16 margins. In November, all of the company’s major vehicle brands—including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, and Cadillac—performed well in the US retail auto market. Let’s take a closer look.

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Key performers in November

In November 2016, the US retail vehicle sales (IYK) performance of some of GM’s key brands follow:

  • As the company’s key brand, Chevrolet’s retail sales rose 5% YoY (year-over-year) to 126,078 vehicle units. Overall Chevrolet sales rose 8.1% YoY due to the contribution of higher fleet sales.
  • Total US sales of the GMC brand rose 14.1% YoY. The brand’s retail sales stood firm at 41,205 units, up 8.9% YoY.
  • About 18,530 vehicle units of the Buick brand were sold last month, up 16.1% YoY. Out of these, 17,444 vehicle units were sold to retail customers, which reflects a YoY increase of 22%.
  • US sales of Cadillac brand vehicles also rose 14.5%. The brand’s retail sales increased 17.2% to 12,882 vehicle units.

Possible impact

Unlike Ford (F) and Toyota (TM), GM has been cutting its US fleet sales to rental car companies more aggressively for the last several quarters in order to boost its margins. Its rationale is to utilize plant capacity to manufacture more profitable vehicles for retail customers.

General Motors’s (GM) strategy of cutting fleet sales had a positive impact on its margins in the last few quarters and should have the same impact for its 4Q16 margins. In our view, GM’s increased focus on retail sales seems to be paying off well so far.

Continue to the next part to learn about Fiat Chrysler’s (FCAU) November sales.


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