GM August Sales Jump 7.5%, Inventory Overhang Cut by Nearly 10%

Print Email

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Friday posted total August U.S. sales of 275,552 vehicles, an increase of 7.5% compared with August 2016. Retail deliveries rose 4.2% in the month to 221,778 million units and fleet deliveries dipped 0.4 percentage points for the calendar year to account for 18.7% of total calendar year sales to date.

GM’s new vehicle sales for August were forecast at 272,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The analysts also estimated an average transaction price of $39,973, up 1.1% month over month but down 0.6% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.

The company said average August incentive spending as reported by J.D. Power was 13.9% of the company’s average transaction price for the month. In July incentive spending was reported as 11.5% of the average transaction price.

U.S. vice-president of sales, Kurt McNeil, noted, “We had a very strong month, and grew our retail and commercial fleet business on the strength of robust crossover sales at all four of our brands.”

August sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup rose by 3.9% year over year to 54,448 units, while GMC Sierra sales fell 1.3% to 17,254 units.

Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup rose 11% to 10,256 units, and the comparable GMC Canyon saw a decline of 19.8% to 2,698 units.

Cadillac brand retail sales tumbled 14.3% in August, following a 21.7% decline in July. Cadillac sales totaled 15,016 units in August.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in August increased by 11.4% year over year to 196,007 units, with retail sales rising by 5.9% to 151,137 units. The Chevy Equinox SUV posted a sales gain of 85% in August.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales decline of 22.5% in August, including a decrease of 2.0% in retail sales. The new Buick Envision and the Encore posted year-over-year sales gains of 78.1% and 31.5%, respectively, to lead the brand.

For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales is 16.9 million, unchanged from last month’s estimate.

GM reported 893,056 units in inventory at the end of August, down by 46,775 from the total at the end of July. That represents an 88-day supply, down from a 104-day supply at the end of last month. The company is targeting a total inventory of 850,000 units or fewer by the end of the year.

GM’s stock traded up about 2.1% Friday morning, at $37.32 in a 52-week range of $30.13 to $38.55. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $38.74.