Declining sales continues to be the trend at General Motors in the United States, with sales off -34% in April. The company wholesaled 173,007 vehicles. GM total truck sales (including crossovers) of 102,032 were down 28% and car sales of 71,775 were off 41% compared with a year ago.
Year to date, GM sales have declined 45%, with cars, at -47%, leading the drop.
As a result of a continued weak market, GM’s 2009 second-quarter production forecast is set at 390,000 vehicles (172,000 cars and 218,000 trucks), which is down about 53% compared with a year ago, when GM North America built 834,000 vehicles (382,000 cars and 452,000 trucks) in the second-quarter of 2008. Virtually all of GM’s North American plants will be closed for this summer.
There was a glimmer, but just a glimmer of hope. Total sales were up 11% compared to March, as traditional spring selling season begins. However the sales increase was largely attributed to an increase in fleet sales. GM’s car sales compared with March were up only 2,900 vehicles (4%), while truck sales increased more than 9,500 vehicles (16%), and crossover sales were up nearly 4,200 vehicles (14%).
Critics of GM, who say that it is too dependent on truck sales, apparently are not talking to buyers. And politicians and others who keep babbling on about the industry’s “green future” should also note the distinctive lack of customer greenbacks supporting hybrids. Only 1,534 hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. This includes total sales from a wide range of GM hybrid products: the Chevrolet Malibu, Tahoe and Silverado, GMC Yukon and Sierra, Cadillac Escalade, Saturn Aura and Vue hybrids. So far, in 2009, GM has delivered 5,156 hybrid vehicles.
The company tried to put positive face on what remain disastrous results.
“From a retail standpoint, GM and the industry continued at about the same selling rate as February and March. We see that stabilization, along with a firming up of our fleet business and improvement in Silverado and Sierra sales, as an encouraging sign,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. (more…)