GM Sales Slide 33.6%
“Retail improvements reflect increasing consumer confidence in GM’s
long-term viability: Compared with May, 20 percent jump in cars, 13
percent boost in crossover deliveries.” Sure. I believe that. Consumers
bought GM products because they thought, yup, New GM is here to stay!
You know; when it gets here. Meanwhile, what the hell. We’ll buy a car
from Old GM. Comparing June sales to May sales is, at best,
disingenuous. (So much for Fritz’ Henderson transparency pledge to the
Senate.) Last month was crap, this month is crap, but this month’s
retail sales are less crap than last month’s. Anyway, the bottom line is
still the bottom line: GM’s sales sunk 33.6 percent in June compared to
last June, which, as I pointed out, was a horrible month in an of
itself. Make way for the taxpayer-funded spin meisters!
Although GM retail sales were up in June [compared to May], fleet
sales of 32,725 vehicles were down 49 percent compared to a year ago,
contributing to an overall sales decline of 89,366 vehicles versus June
2008. This drop in fleet sales was a direct result of a strategic
decision GM made to schedule down weeks at a number of its plants to
tightly control inventories and better enable GM dealers to reduce their
stock of vehicles. GM total truck sales in June (including crossovers)
of 93,458 were down 40 percent, and car sales of 83,113 were off 24
percent compared with a year ago.
A strategic decision eh? As opposed to the old dart board approach, I
imagine. Sorry; I digest. There are a few stats that jump out at me.
Sensibly enough, it looks like that ”consumer confidence in GM’s
long-term viability” doesn’t cast a warm glow over the brands it’s
leaving behind. Saturn sales sank 60.2 percent. Saab slinked into the
shadows with a 58.4 percent decline. HUMMER’s hummed taps whilst
absorbing a 48 percent hit.
Surprisingly, Cadillac (down 40.9 percent) and Chevrolet (down 33.3
percent) inspired less of that confidence than the doomed Pontiac brand
(down 16.4 percent). In fact, it looks like the Australian-built G8’s a
hit, with sales up 135.8 percent (3622 vs. 1536 units).
Depending on whether you’d like GM to build fuel-efficient vehicles or
return taxpayer money, it’s good news/bad news for the company’s former
[but maybe still current] cash cow. Sales at GMC dropped 33.7 percent,
while Chevy’s trucks were off last June’s sales pace by 40.9 percent.
You know, as bad as these numbers are, and they’re right there in the
mainstream of horrible, does anyone remember when GM’s CEO was busy
telling Congress that it needed loans because it couldn’t possibly go
bankrupt because sales would fall off the table? GM’s pre-C11 drop: 30
percent. Post: 33.4 percent. If GM had filed in 2003, would they be
sucking on the taxpayer teat now?
Never mind. It’s all taxpayer money now. Profit and loss are mere
abstractions, malleable to political will. How great is that?