The first bullet of the General's press release makes everything sound so rosy and cheerful down in the phallic tower of power in the heart of Detroit:
"GM Retail Sales Up 1,385 Vehicles, Compared With Last Year, Led By Saab, Cadillac, Hummer, Buick and GM"
But then when you dive deeper into the numbers and PR bull, you realize things ain't so pretty. You see, although retail sales were up — sales to daily rental companies were down 26 percent compared to year-ago numbers. Hell, even the second bullet point, from the press release — that GMT-900 pickups saw a 2% increase — would have been something we'd have dropped into the headline — if we hadn't had to make room for that big 1,385 bullshit number. Full press release after the jump, we think we may have just vomited in our mouth a little and need to clean up before the GM sales conference call.
GM's U.S. Divisions Deliver 338,380 Vehicles In September
# GM Retail Sales Up 1,385 Vehicles, Compared With Last Year, Led By Saab, Cadillac, Hummer, Buick and GM
# Segment Fuel Economy Leaders Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe, GMC Sierra and Yukon Post Sales Increases
# 2007 Go To Market Strategy Driven By 23 Vehicles Offering 30 MPG And Backed By The Best Warranty Coverage In The Industry
DETROIT - General Motors' dealers in the United States sold 338,380 new cars and trucks in September. The company sold 1,385 more retail vehicles in September than the year before. Retail truck sales, led by full-size pickups and utilities, were up 2 percent. Retail car sales were down 12 percent, partly due to inventory constraints of Chevrolet Aveo, Cobalt and Malibu. Retail sales of 246,797 vehicles were down 3 percent on a sales day-adjusted basis.
"GM's truck business was boosted in September by our segment-leading fuel economy and the addition of the industry's best coverage, including the 5-year/100,000 mile warranty program," said Mark LaNeve, General Motors North America vice president, Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing.
GM continues to reduce its reliance on low-margin daily rental sales. Sales to daily rental companies were down 26 percent compared to year-ago levels, while our commercial fleet business was up 12 percent. This ongoing planned pull-down of low-margin daily rental sales resulted in total September sales of 338,380 being down 6.8 percent compared with a year ago on a sales day-adjusted basis.
"Our retail business was solid in September and in line with expectations. Importantly, we continue to experience strong customer demand for our launch products and industry-leading lineup of fuel efficient vehicles. Having products like the Chevrolet Cobalt, Malibu and newly redesigned 2007 Aveo in such high demand in the market place is gratifying," LaNeve said. "We're on track to sell more than a million 2006 model year vehicles this year that achieve 30 mpg or better on the highway. We will go even further for the 2007 model year by increasing the number of fuel-sipping vehicle models in the '30 mpg or Over Club' by 9 vehicles, or more than 60 percent, to 23 models. More Americans every day are realizing we have a great story in fuel economy." (A list of the 2007 '30 mpg or Over Club' is shown further down in this document.)
"In addition to our great lineup of fuel efficient vehicles, we have launched the best warranty coverage of any full-line automaker with 5 years/100,000 mile powertrain, courtesy transportation and roadside assistance for each of our 2007 models," LaNeve added. "And, there is no deductible for the warranty, which is fully transferable."
Due to the success of new products, and recent support of the best warranty coverage of any full-line automaker, GM has seen sales over the last few months above the targets set in the North America Turnaround Plan. GM market share has improved in every quarter of 2006, and was at about 25 percent for the third quarter 2006. Calendar year-to-date, GM's retail selling rate remains above 3 million vehicles on an annualized basis and was 3.15 million in the third quarter.
Saab, Cadillac, Hummer, Buick and GMC all saw retail sales increases in September. Saab led the pack with retail sales up a powerful 45 percent, driven by 9-3 and 9-7X. Cadillac sales are up 22 percent retail, with strong showings by DTS, STS, SRX and the entire Escalade lineup. Hummer continued to show very positive results with H3 sales up 19 percent, helping the division sport an overall 10 percent retail hike. Buick retail sales are up 4 percent led by Lucerne, LaCrosse, Rainier and Terraza. GMC was up 3 percent retail, with sales increases of the Sierra, Yukon, and Yukon XL.
"Customers are recognizing GM's leadership position when it comes to products that offer outstanding value and fuel economy, whether that's a small car or a full-size pickup," LaNeve said.
"We just revealed our brand new 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full size pickups at the State Fair of Texas - two vehicles that lead their segment in estimated highway fuel economy and outstanding value." GM has announced carry-over pricing on the most popular versions of the all-new 2007 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.
Certified Used Vehicles
September 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 45,948 units, up 11 percent from last September. Total year-to-date certified GM sales are 393,543 units, down 2 percent from the same period last year.
GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry's top-selling certified pre-owned brand, posted the highest September sales performance ever for a certified brand with sales of 39,775 units, up over 12 percent from September 2005. Year-to-date sales for GM Certified Used Vehicles are 339,980 units, equivalent to the same period last year.
Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles posted 3,818 sales in September, up 31 percent from last September. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 1,483 units, down 37 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 760 units, down 11 percent. In its ninth month of operation, HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned sold 112 units.
"GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry's best-selling manufacturer-certified brand, posted the segment's strongest September sales performance ever, up more than 12 percent over September 2005," said LaNeve. "GM Certified continues to lead the certified category in sales, as more consumers take advantage of the quality, value and peace of mind offered by top-quality used vehicles backed by GM."
GM North America Reports September and Third Quarter 2006 Production, 2006 Fourth Quarter Production Forecast Revised at 1.110 Million Vehicles
In September, GM North America produced 387,000 vehicles (161,000 cars and 226,000 trucks). This is down 67,000 units or 15 percent compared to September 2005 when the region produced 454,000 vehicles (165,000 cars and 289,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 22,000 vehicles in September 2006 and 26,000 vehicles in September 2005.)
GM North America built 1.050 million vehicles (417,000 cars and 633,000 trucks) in the third quarter of 2006. This is down 96,000 units, or 8 percent, compared with third quarter 2005 when the region produced 1.146 million vehicles (423,000 cars and 723,000 trucks). Additionally, the region's 2006 fourth quarter production forecast is revised at 1.110 million vehicles (446,000 cars and 664,000 trucks), down 2 percent or 20,000 units from last month's guidance. In the fourth quarter of 2005, the region produced 1.281 million vehicles.
GM also announced 2006 revised third and fourth quarter production forecasts for its international regions.
GM Europe- GM Europe's 2006 third-quarter production forecast is revised at 374,000 vehicles, up 2,000 units from last month's guidance. In the third quarter of 2005 the region built 412,000 vehicles. The region's 2006 fourth quarter production forecast is revised at 445,000 units, down 6,000 units from last month's guidance. In the fourth quarter of 2005 the region built 443,000 vehicles.
GM Asia Pacific- GM Asia Pacific's 2006 third-quarter production forecast is revised at 430,000 vehicles, up 5,000 units from last month's guidance. In the third quarter of 2005 the region built 409,000 vehicles. The region's 2006 fourth quarter production forecast is revised at 496,000 units, down 28,000 units from last month's guidance. In the fourth quarter of 2005 the region built 420,000 vehicles.
GM Latin America, Africa and the Middle East - The region's 2006 third-quarter production forecast is revised at 216,000 vehicles, down 1,000 units from last month's guidance. In the third quarter of 2005 the region built 207,000 vehicles. The region's 2006 fourth quarter production forecast is revised at 215,000 units, up 4,000 from last month's guidance. In the fourth quarter of 2005 the region built 188,000 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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