Breaking! GM July Sales Down 19.5%, Obfuscation Wins!


Anyone who voted "C" in the poll earlier...guess what? Y'all won. Despite a headline reading "GM Delivers 410,332 Vehicles; Best Retail Month Of 2006", the numbers don't really back up the excitement inherent in such a headline. Reading through the press release, we found the excitement to be a bit...err...unfounded. You see, although it took us a bit, we did find the year-to-year sales somewhere around paragraph 12...and to get to that number in addition to the headline, we had to sift through things like:

"July was our best retail month of 2006..."

along with totally obscure and generally worthless stats like:

"Average monthly sales of all GM launch vehicles in June and July were up 67 percent compared with the average monthly sales in the January through May 2006 period."

And the General wonders why they have such a bad image in the media...could it be crap like this? Wethinks so. But at least the General met analyst sales expectations...only showing sales down 19.5%. That's something we don't think we can say for both of its cross-town rivals, Ford and DaimlerChrysler. Full text of the press release after the jump.

GM Delivers 410,332 Vehicles; Best Retail Month Of 2006
Market Share Trend Continues Positive Momentum - July Anticipated at 27 Percent
Chevrolet Has Best Retail Car Sales Month Since October 2001
Pontiac G6 up 80.5 Percent; Launch Vehicles Continue Momentum
Small Utilities Up 33.2 Percent Compared to July 2005

DETROIT - DETROIT - General Motors' dealers in the United States sold 410,332 new cars and trucks in July, the company's best retail and second-best monthly sales performance year-to-date.

"July was our best retail month of 2006, with our strong performance led by launch vehicles such as the Pontiac Torrent and G6, Saturn Sky, Chevrolet Cobalt and Impala and Buick Lucerne," said Mark LaNeve, General Motors North America vice president, Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "Importantly, our performance in June and July shows we're gaining substantial sales momentum and stabilizing market share. We remain optimistic moving into the launches of the Saturn Aura, fuel-efficient Vue Green Line hybrid and Outlook crossover, GMC Acadia crossover, the all-new Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Aveo economy car, and the exciting new GMC Sierra full-size pickup."

Average monthly sales of all GM launch vehicles in June and July were up 67 percent compared with the average monthly sales in the January through May 2006 period.

Chevrolet continues its sales supremacy with 244,080 vehicles sold, propelled by an 18.2 percent increase in Chevrolet car sales compared to last year. Chevrolet sold 81,430 cars in July 2006, compared with 71,634 in July 2005, and had its best selling month since "Keep America Rolling" in October 2001.

Chevrolet had its best retail performance of the year and Cobalt had its best retail sales month since launch. Of note, retail passenger car sales are up versus a strong July last year, demonstrating GM can compete in all product categories.

Pontiac retail sales for the month showed a 15.9 percent increase compared with July 2005, with total sales of 40,933. Solstice continues to be one of the hottest cars in the country with a 14 day average turn time. G6 had its best selling month since introduction and the G6 convertible is red-hot with an 11 day average turn time. The GTO saw a 65.1 percent increase in sales compared with a year ago and set a July sales record. The Torrent crossover also achieved an all-time sales record, with 4,830 vehicles sold in July.

Buick Lucerne, Pontiac G6, Chevy Malibu and Impala drove the mid-car category to its highest July sales level since 2004. Buick Lucerne set an all-time retail sales record with 9,145 vehicles delivered in July and Pontiac G6 also set an all-time sales record, up 80.5 percent. Chevrolet Malibu is up 25.2 percent, while Impala had its best retail sales month since August 2003 with sales up 59.6 percent.

Other GM divisions posted solid results as HUMMER H3 showed a 24.1 percent increase compared with July 2005 and was up 36.6 percent compared to June 2006. HUMMER had its best sales month of the year with 6,991 deliveries. CYTD HUMMER sales of 39,786 vehicles are up 60.1 percent compared with the same seven months one year ago. Saturn car sales are up compared with July 2005, with 64,691 vehicles delivered, and the Sky had a strong start with 860 vehicles sold in July. Buick delivered 23,609 vehicles in the month, with Lucerne achieving its best retail sales month since launch and LaCrosse having its best retail sales month since December 2005.

Chevrolet HHR, Equinox, Saturn Vue and Pontiac Torrent pushed total small utility sales up 33.2 percent compared with a year ago, and up more than 49 percent in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period a year ago. HHR had its best retail sales month since launch, and set an all-time total sales record with 14,838 vehicles delivered, up 249.6 percent compared with July 2005, and CYTD deliveries of 66,828 vehicles. Chevrolet Equinox had its best retail sales month of the year.

On the truck side of the market, full-size pickup trucks had their strongest sales month of the year with 66,583 Chevy Silverado and 22,947 GMC Sierra trucks sold. GMC had its best retail sales month of the year, with 48,085 vehicles delivered, and the GMC Canyon had its best retail month of the year, delivering 2,717 trucks. GM sold 4,455 all-new 2007 Chevy Avalanche, 12,950 Tahoe, 6,269 Suburban, 6,022 GMC Yukon, and 3,385 Yukon XL vehicles in July. GM's luxury utilities posted solid sales results in July, with the all-new 2007 Cadillac Escalade selling 2,105 vehicles; 2007 Escalade ESV selling 1,120 vehicles; and Cadillac SRX delivering 1,822 vehicles. July was the best sales month of the year for large utilities (including large luxury) with 37,455 vehicles sold.

GM sports cars also posted solid July sales results, with a 100.1 percent improvement compared with year-ago levels. Corvette sales were up 55.2 percent, with 2,794 vehicles delivered. Pontiac Solstice (1,342 vehicles) and Saturn Sky (860 vehicles) are continuing their brisk sales pace.

Despite total sales being down 19.5 percent compared with July 2005, LaNeve was very encouraged by strong June and July sales results, led by GM's launch vehicle and passenger car performance. "Our 'Go To Market' strategy of offering industry-leading products and value, and doing the right thing for the customer, is showing positive results."

Certified Used Vehicles

July sales for all certified GM brands, including GM Certified Used Vehicles, Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, were 39,282 units, down 22 percent from last July. Total year-to-date certified GM sales are 302,879 units, down 1 percent from the same period last year.

GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry's top-selling certified pre-owned brand, posted 33,404 sales in July, down 22 percent from July 2005. Year-to-date sales for GM Certified Used Vehicles are 262,082 units, up 1.2 percent.

Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles posted 3,151 sales in July, down 12 percent from last July. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 1,798 units, down 41 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 863 units, up 7 percent. In its seventh month of operation, HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned sold 66 units.

"July was a challenging month, with sales for all certified GM brands down compared to our record performance last July, when GM set a monthly category sales record," said LaNeve. "GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry's top-selling certified brand, continues to lead all manufacturers in the category, with sales year-to-date up more than 1 percent from the same period in 2005. A strong month on the new-vehicle side and the recent 72-Hour Sale promotion generated large volumes of certified-eligible vehicles, and we look forward to robust sales in coming months."

GM North America Reports July 2006 Production and Third Quarter Forecast

In July, GM North America produced 199,500 vehicles (77,000 cars and 122,500 trucks). This is down 500 units or 0.25 percent compared to July 2005 when the region produced 200,000 vehicles (77,000 cars and 123,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 13,000 vehicles in July 2006 and 11,500 vehicles in July 2005.)

The region's 2006 third quarter production forecast remains unchanged at 1.050 million vehicles (405,000 cars and 645,000 trucks).

GM also announced 2006 final second quarter production and revised third quarter production forecasts for its international regions.

GM Europe - GM Europe produced 495,000 vehicles in the second quarter of 2006. This is down 6,000 units compared to second quarter 2005 when the region produced 501,000 vehicles. The region's 2006 third quarter production forecast remains unchanged at 372,000 vehicles. In the third quarter of 2005 the region built 412,000 vehicles.

GM Asia Pacific - The region produced 482,000 vehicles in the second quarter of 2006. This is up 84,000 units or 21 percent compared to second quarter 2005 when the region produced 398,000 vehicles. GM Asia Pacific's 2006 third quarter production forecast is revised at 486,000 vehicles, down 20,000 units from last month's guidance. In the third quarter of 2005, the region built 409,000 vehicles.

GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East - GM Latin America and the Middle East produced 206,000 vehicles in the second quarter of 2006. This is up 11,000 units, or 6 percent, compared to second quarter 2005 when the region produced 195,000 vehicles. The region's 2006 third quarter production forecast remains unchanged at 217,000 vehicles. In the third quarter of 2005, the region built 207,000 vehicles.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

Note: GM sales and production results are available on GM Media OnLine at http://media.gm.com by clicking on News, then Sales/Production. In this press release and related comments by General Motors management, we use words like "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "forecast," "objective," "plan," "goal" and similar expressions to identify forward looking statements, representing our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: the pace of introductions and market acceptance of new products; the effect of competition on our markets and significant changes in the competitive environment; price increases or shortages of fuel; and changes in laws, regulations or tax rates. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q provide information about these factors, which may be revised or supplemented in future reports to the SEC on Form 10-Q or 8-K.


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