We totally owe our buddy Nicholas $1 for his quick analysis of the latest round of market research data to measure the outcome of GM's employee discount program. Our question was, how could GM's June market share rise to 30%, despite indicators revealing it was existing GM customers who bought most of the cars sold in May and June, according to JD Power and Associates, not new customer "conquests." He also offers a quick-and-dirty explanation for why the company sold so many large SUVs, which may soothe treehugging trend watchers concerned about a resurgance of consumers' truck-drivin', gas-guzzlin' ways.
No, an increase in temporary marketshare doesn't require conquesting from other brands, it simply requires that the current owners upgrade now rather than in a year or two, which they apparenly have decided to do in face of the "Here, we are losing money but we don't care" prices.
Likewise, the SUVs are obscenely discounted compared to the cars, making the SUV types more likely to upgrade earlier. Take ... the Yukon XL Denali. The MSRP is $52.7k. The employee discount price is $41.8k. Thats >10k off of MSRP, and a 20% discount!
Compare with a discount on a loaded Malibu: MSRP $26k. Discount price $21k. So $5k total savings, although the percentage is the same. Or the CTS-V where the MSRP is $51.3k, but the discount savings are only $4k.
So although the percentage savings may be similar on some vehicles, the big expensive SUVers see a lot bigger savings. And the big SUVs are all on the "max discount" level, compared with some of the more desirable cars.
Still, GM's metric for success is number of conquests, not percentage of all sales that were new customers. As such, the company appears (according to their PR folks) satisfied with the 150,000 conquests it had in June, compared to 80,000 to 90,000 gained from a typical incentive campaign.
GM Employee Discount Roundup: Trucks, Loyalists Dominate [internal]