Dealers for the four remaining brands at General Motors – Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC – sold more than 222,000 vehicles in May, up 32% from the year earlier when GM was bankrupt. Retail retail sales were up 11%.
This is the fifth consecutive month of double-digit increases, but if you look at the sales total of the previous eight brands, GM’s turn around is running at a sales increase of only 17%. How this tracks with the industry won’t be clear until late today when final May sales numbers are available, but preliminary estimates show an increase of about 19%.
GM’s fleet sales are running at about, gulp, 37% of the total, which works against the profitability the taxpayer-owned company needs to achieve so that it can go public again. GM executives say the plan is to trim fleet to 25% by the end of the year. Incentives at an average of $2,250 per vehicle are up $200 a unit from April. Toyota’s aggressive incentive programs appear to be damping attempts by makers to raise prices now that inventory levels are under control due to the massive cutbacks invoked last year.
Year-to-date sales for GM’s four brands have risen 31% to 874,749 units – an increase of 206,994 units compared to a year ago.
GM’s newest products are doing particularly well. Year-to-date, combined sales of the Chevrolet Equinox, Chevrolet Camaro, Buick LaCrosse and Regal, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX and CTS Wagon are up 323%.