In a month that saw Ford sales up 7%, and even Chrysler up 44%, it's hard to see a sales drop of 6% at General Motors and see much in the way of good.
That said, it's hard to compare this January to last January for GM. Last January they were buoyed by the good sentiment coming from a still-recent return to public trading — plus a great deal of incentives.
This January? Not so much.
However, despite analysts expectations of a sales stumble — some of the interesting items we've gleaned from a quick peek at their numbers indicate there are still some points of concern:
$ — Every GM brand, across the board, saw a drop in sales. Chevy was down 1.2%, GMC was down 9.7%, Buick was down 23.1% and Cadillac saw a 29.1% drop.
$ — While Chevy's 1.2% drop isn't as bad as the rest, if it weren't for the extra 5,700 in sales of the new Chevy Sonic (which is really only twice what the horrific Aveo it's replacing was doing) — buoyed by the lead-up to a couple Super Bowl ads — they'd have been down much more.
$ — GM sold just 603 Chevrolet Volts in January — a big drop from the 1,529 of the "Jesus Car" sold in December.
$ — Many newer cars, like the Buick Regal (-20.6%, year-to-year) and GMC Terrain (-11.3%, year to year) saw sales drop-offs.
$ — Despite pickup truck sales from Ford and Chrysler from more housing construction, pickup truck sales at GM were anemic — a 4.7% drop in sales of the Chevy Silverado and 10% drop in sales of the Sierra.
$ — Interestingly, Chevy Suburban sales are up 25.3%. Maybe more government purchases?
$ — Suburban wasn't the only fleet-heavy vehicle with higher sales. So was the Impala — up 5.4%.