DETROIT – Chevrolet, GMC, Buick and Cadillac dealers in the United States delivered 249,875 vehicles in March 2015, down 2 percent year over year. Fleet deliveries were up 5 percent and retail deliveries declined 5 percent. Total sales of trucks, including pickups, vans and SUVs, were up 14 percent. Crossover deliveries were up 6 percent and passenger car deliveries were down 21 percent.
“As the economy gained steam throughout 2014, we knew 2015 would be a strong year for trucks,” said Kurt McNeil, General Motors’ U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Higher demand dovetailed perfectly with the launches of our new full-size pickups and large SUVs. Low fuel prices and the successful launches of the Chevrolet Colorado and Trax made us even more bullish.
“Our foresight and disciplined approach to incentives is being rewarded with very strong truck sales and record average transaction prices.”
Chevrolet reported its best-ever March for crossover sales and it was an exceptionally strong month for pickup trucks. Chevrolet had its best March pickup sales since 2007, with Silverado up 7 percent and the new Colorado repeating as the industry’s fastest-selling pickup for the second month in a row, taking only 17 “days to turn.”
GMC had its best first quarter sales since 2005 and its best March pickup sales since 2006, with Canyon deliveries reaching 2,434 units and Sierra up 3 percent. Approximately 40 percent of Sierra customers purchasing heavy-duty models are choosing the high-end Denali trim series. This has helped Sierra earn the highest average transaction prices for any full-size pickup line.
Strong pickup sales also helped drive robust gains with commercial customers. Through March, commercial deliveries have grown year over year for 17 consecutive months. Commercial deliveries were up 39 percent in March, and full-size pickups were up 41 percent.
To increase overall truck production and meet demand for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, GM’s Wentzville (Mo.) Assembly plant added a third production shift in March.
“Dealers have customers lining up for the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado, so the additional supply couldn’t come at a better time,” McNeil said.
Additional March Highlights (vs. 2014 except as noted)
· The new Trax small crossover, which began arriving in U.S. showrooms in December 2014, saw deliveries of 4,026 units. Equinox sales were up 22 percent and Traverse was up 18 percent.
· The Sierra, combined with a 16 percent increase in Yukon XL deliveries, helped GMC increase its sales by 1 percent. GMC has now delivered 14 consecutive months of year-over-year retail sales increases.
· Buick deliveries increased year over year, driven by a 25 percent increase in LaCrosse deliveries and the best month ever for the Encore, the vehicle that ignited growth in the small crossover segment.
· Demand for the new Escalade continues to grow. Sales were up 119 percent for the vehicle’s best March since 2008.
· Cadillac XTS deliveries increased 11 percent.
· Cadillac continues to evolve its business with new products and brand positioning in the luxury market. Through the end of the first quarter, nearly 60 percent of customers were new to the brand.
· In March, Cadillac’s average transaction prices (ATPs) approached $54,000, near the top of the brand’s competitive set, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. ATPs are up more than $9,000 per unit from a year ago.
In the United States, Cadillac is pleased to announce an initiative to expand its service loaner/courtesy car program to support the customer experience at Cadillac stores across the country. Cadillac dealers have expanded their courtesy transportation fleets by approximately 1,000 additional units, which are reflected in March sales. The revised program further aligns Cadillac to meet customer expectations for courtesy transportation, providing newer, fresher vehicles to Cadillac owners while their vehicles are being serviced, and reducing utilization of daily rental cars for this purpose.
· According to PIN estimates, GM’s incentive spending as a percentage of ATPs was 9.2 percent in March, down 1.6 percentage points month over month due in part to successful new product launches. Industry average spending was 10.0 percent of ATPs, up 0.4 percentage points.
Average Transaction Prices (ATPs):
· ATPs were $35,200, according to PIN estimates through March 22, up more than $1,200 per unit compared to a year ago and up $725 compared to February 2015.
Retail Industry Segmentation:
· Trucks, including pickups, SUVs and vans, accounted for about 17 percent of the industry, according to PIN estimates, up 2 percentage points. Large pickups alone represented more than 12 percent of the industry, up 1 percentage point.
· Crossovers represented approximately 39 percent of the market, up 2 percentage points.
· Cars represented about 44 percent of the industry, down 4 percentage points.
Fleet and Commercial:
· Total fleet sales were up 5 percent during the month and they were up 15 percent in the first quarter.
· Government sales were up 19 percent and rental deliveries were down 6 percent.
· GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in March was 16.9 million units.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com
In this press release and in related comments by our management, our use of the words “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “possible,” “potential,” “target,” “believe,” “commit,” “intend,” “continue,” “may,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “project,” “projected,” “positioned” or similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements that represent our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but these statements are not guarantees of any events or financial results, and our actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors. Among other items, such factors might include: our ability to realize production efficiencies and to achieve reductions in costs as a result of our restructuring initiatives and labor modifications; our ability to maintain quality control over our vehicles and avoid material vehicle recalls; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt, including as required to fund our planned significant investment in new technology; the ability of our suppliers to timely deliver parts, components and systems; our ability to realize successful vehicle applications of new technology; and our ability to continue to attract new customers, particularly for our new products. GM's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q provides information about these and other factors, which we may revise or supplement in future reports to the SEC.