GM December Sales Down 31.4%, Still US Sales Champ

GM's reporting 221,983 US sales in December, 2008, down 31% compared with a year ago. GM kept the title of US sales leader, with a market share remaining steady at just above 22%.

Here's the press release:

GM Reports 221,983 Deliveries in December; 2,980,688 Vehicles Sold in 2008

* December deliveries up 30 percent compared with October and up 43 percent compared with November
* Market share in December expected around 24 percent, up about 4 ppts compared with November, reflecting renewed APR rate support through GMAC
* Second half 2008 share up nearly 2 ppts compared with first half
* 2008 market share position anticipated to hold steady at just above 22 percent

DETROIT – General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 221,983 vehicles in December, down 31 percent compared with a year ago. However, total deliveries were 67,000 vehicles more than November’s result, up more than 43 percent month over month. GM December car sales of 87,506 were off 25 percent and truck sales of 134,477 were down 35 percent compared with a year ago.

For the year, GM delivered 2,980,688 vehicles while maintaining an expected market share just above 22 percent. Annual deliveries were down 23 percent compared with 2007, largely due to building weakness in the marketplace throughout the year spurred by economic headwinds such as the dramatic reduction in credit availability experienced in the fourth quarter, coupled with historically low levels of consumer confidence. Additionally, the American Axle strike and several supply disruptions impacted GM’s performance in the first half of the year.

“Given the ongoing challenges and the difficult market environment, we were very encouraged to see a volume rebound for GM in December compared with both October and November,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. “We are building more vehicles than ever that provide great value and Americans enjoy owning. That is why, for the year, we are seeing our market share holding steady at just above 22 percent. That’s 5 percentage points more and 760,000 vehicles more than our nearest competitor.

“Our outstanding cars, trucks and crossovers are enabling us to hold the leadership position in a very difficult market. Our Red Tag Event was well-received, and the ability to offer some 0% financing through our partner GMAC in the last week of the month also helped,” LaNeve added.

Despite the weak market in December, Chevrolet Malibu continued its solid performance with total sales up 43 percent compared with last December. For 2008, Malibu sales of more than 178,000 vehicles were up 39 percent, making it the highest percentage gainer in the top 20 vehicles sold in America with a volume increase compared with 2007. With its six-speed transmission and four-cylinder engine combination, the Malibu delivers an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway – tops in the industry’s mid-car segment. The Malibu Hybrid also offers the lowest-priced hybrid in the segment. Additionally, with 4,500 retail vehicles delivered, the Chevrolet Traverse crossover nearly doubled its retail volume compared with November.

“We’re really pleased about the strength of our Chevrolet brand, with the Malibu continuing to perform very well, and the Traverse crossover off to a strong start,” LaNeve added. “Also, with a harsh winter and lower gas prices, our trucks and SUVs are continuing to perform well in their segments. With GMAC now able to provide more financing capacity, and with all the exciting new car and crossover launches including the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon and SRX, Chevy Camaro and Equinox, and Buick LaCrosse in 2009, we are optimistic that with an overall market recovery we can begin to capitalize on the well-recognized product renaissance of all our brands.”

A total of 2,555 GM hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. Hybrid sales included: 981 Chevrolet Tahoe, 442 GMC Yukon and 306 Cadillac Escalade 2-mode hybrid SUVs delivered. There were 454 Chevrolet Malibu, 34 Saturn Aura and 338 Vue hybrids sold in December. In 2008, GM sold a total of 14,439 hybrid vehicles.

GM inventories dropped compared with a year ago. In December, only about 872,000 vehicles were in stock, down about 36,000 vehicles (or 4 percent) compared with last year. There were about 397,000 cars and 475,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of December.

Certified Used Vehicles

December 2008 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 43,070 vehicles, up 21 percent from December 2007.

GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry’s top-selling certified brand, posted December sales of 37,632 vehicles, up 24 percent from December 2007. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 888 vehicles, down 24 percent. Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 3,740 vehicles, up 11 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 548 vehicles, up 14 percent, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 262 vehicles, up 85 percent.

Total 2008 sales for all certified GM brands were 485,279 vehicles, down 5 percent from 2007. Annual sales for GM Certified Used Vehicles were 422,114 vehicles, down 6 percent. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 11,573 vehicles in 2008, down 9 percent. Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles finished 2008 with sales of 41,598 vehicles, up 7 percent from 2007, while Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles posted sales of 7,705 vehicles, up 6 percent, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 2,289 vehicles, up 71 percent.

“December sales for certified GM programs were strong, with GM Certified Used Vehicles up 24 percent over last December, as shoppers continue to seek value and peace of mind in a challenging economy,” said LaNeve. “GM Certified finished 2008 as the sales leader among all manufacturer-certified pre-owned brands for the seventh consecutive year, and our Cadillac, Saab and HUMMER luxury certified brands each posted strong year-to-year sales increases.”

GM North America Reports December, 2008 Production; Q1 2009 Production Forecast at 420,000 Vehicles

In December, GM North America produced 249,000 vehicles (105,000 cars and 144,000 trucks). This is down 3,000 vehicles or 1 percent compared with December 2007 when the region produced 252,000 vehicles (71,000 cars and 181,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 10,000 vehicles in December 2008 and 15,000 vehicles in December 2007.)

GM North America built 823,000 vehicles (371,000 cars and 452,000 trucks) in the fourth-quarter of 2008. This is down 219,000 vehicles or 21 percent compared to fourth-quarter of 2007 when the region produced 1.042 million vehicles (358,000 cars and 684,000 trucks). Additionally, the region’s 2009 first-quarter production forecast is now 420,000 vehicles (143,000 cars and 277,000 trucks),which is down about 53 percent compared with a year ago, and about 180,000 fewer than the previous forecast. GM North America built 885,000 vehicles (360,000 cars and 525,000 trucks) in the first-quarter of 2008. First quarter 2008 production was reduced nearly 100,000 vehicles due to the strike at American Axle.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 252,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 34 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. 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: 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: market acceptance of our products; shortages of and price increases for fuel; significant changes in the competitive environment and the effect of competition on our markets, including on our pricing policies; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt; and changes in general economic conditions. 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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GM December Sales Down 31.4%, Still US Sales ChampS

GM December Sales Down 31.4%, Still US Sales ChampS

GM December Sales Down 31.4%, Still US Sales ChampS

GM December Sales Down 31.4%, Still US Sales ChampS