General Motors (GM) U.S. Light-Vehicle Sales Fell 0.6% in Sept. 2016; Est. Down 1.6%

October 3, 2016 9:35 AM EDT

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(Updated - October 3, 2016 9:41 AM EDT)

General Motors (NYSE: GM) sold 204,449 vehicles to individual or “retail” customers in the U.S. in September. Chevrolet’s retail sales in September grew 1 percent, while Buick and Cadillac retail sales also rose 7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

(Note: The Street was looking for a drop of 1.6%.)

Based on initial estimates, GM’s retail market share rose 0.3 percentage points in September to 16.6 percent, the largest retail share gain of any full-line manufacturer. GM has gained retail market share in 15 of the past 18 months, dating to April 2015.

Chevrolet gained 0.3 percentage points of retail share in September to 11 percent. Chevrolet has gained retail market share in 8 out of 9 months this year, and remains the industry’s fastest-growing full-line brand. Buick gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share. In addition, Cadillac grew retail share by 0.1 percentage points, driven largely by the success of the all-new XT5. GMC sales gained momentum through the month and the brand posted its second highest monthly average transaction price or ATP in the brand’s history at $44,144.

GM’s total sales in September were down slightly year over year at 249,795 vehicles.

Through the first nine months of the year, GM retail sales are up nearly 1 percent, compared to last year. GM has gained 0.5 percentage points of retail share during that timeframe, which is the largest retail share gain of any full-line automaker. Year to date, Chevrolet retail sales are up 2 percent and the brand’s retail share has grown 0.4 percentage points to 11.1 percent. Year to date, Buick retail deliveries have grown more than 3 percent and Buick has gained 0.1 percentage points of retail share.

“GM again outperformed the retail industry and gained profitable market share. We continue to lead the retail truck industry and gained share in the two largest car segments,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales operations. “We are achieving these results while maintaining disciplined incentive spending and commanding the industry’s best average transaction prices for any full-line manufacturer.”

GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $35,804 in September, nearly $5,000 above the industry average and approximately $1,000 above last September’s performance.
GM continues to benefit from a strong U.S. economy.
“Key economic fundamentals like a strong jobs market, rising personal incomes, low fuel prices and low interest rates continue to point toward strong industry performance,” said Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s chief economist. “We think the industry is well positioned for a continued high level of customer demand into the foreseeable future.”

September Retail Sales and Business Highlights vs. 2015 (except as noted)

Chevrolet

  • Chevrolet had its best September and year to date since 2007
  • Malibu, Cruze, Corvette, Camaro and Volt were up 50 percent, 6 percent, 16 percent, 10 percent and 117 percent, respectively
  • Colorado, Suburban, Tahoe and Trax were up 54 percent, 37 percent, 44 percent and 31 percent, respectively
  • Malibu had its best September since 1980 and year to date since 1981
  • Corvette had its best September since 2006
  • Tahoe and Suburban had their best September since 2007
  • Colorado had its best September since 2004

GMC

  • Canyon, Yukon and Yukon XL were up 25 percent, 24 percent and 9 percent, respectively
  • More than 28 percent Denali penetration in September
  • ATPs are 45 percent higher than industry average
  • Sierra had its best year to date sales since 2006
  • Canyon had its best September ever and year to date ever
  • Yukon and Yukon XL had their best September and year to date performances since 2007

Buick

  • The brand had its best year to date since 2005
  • Encore was up 28 percent and had its best September and year to date ever

Cadillac

  • Escalade was up 17 percent
  • XT5 continues to gain momentum in the marketplace
  • CT6 had its best retail month since launch

Average Transaction Prices (ATP)/Incentives

  • GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after sales incentives, were $35,804, nearly $5,000 above the industry average and approximately $1,000 above last September
  • GM’s incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 13.1 percent, above the industry average of 12.6 percent, but well below other domestic and select Asian competitors, who are spending near or above 15 percent of ATPs

Fleet and Commercial

  • GM’s total fleet sales were down 4 percent in September
  • GM’s fleet mix in August was about 18 percent of total sales, below the company’s full-year guidance of 20 percent and more than 19 percent year to date
  • According to plan, daily rental sales were about 12 percent of GM’s total sales in September and are less than 10 percent year to date
  • Malibu commercial sales were up 136 percent versus last September and up 9 percent year to date

Industry Sales

  • GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in September was approximately 17.8 million units. On a calendar year-to-date basis, GM estimates the light-vehicle SAAR was 17.4 million units



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