GM October Sales Dip 2%, Inventory Overhang Rises to 80 Days

November 1, 2017 by Paul Ausick

Source: General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Wednesday posted total October U.S. sales of 252,813 vehicles, a decrease of 2.2% compared with October 2016. Retail deliveries dropped 6.6% in the month to 194,512 units, and fleet deliveries rose 3.6 percentage points for the month. Fleet sales now account for 19.4% of 2017 sales.

GM reported 813,648 units in inventory at the end of October, down by 7,093 from the total at the end of September. That represents an 80-day supply, up from a 76-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 also seeks an inventory mix that includes fewer cars and more trucks, crossovers and utility vehicles.

GM’s new vehicle sales for August were forecast at 260,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The analysts also estimated an average transaction price of $39,204, down 2% month over month but up 0.6% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.

The company said average October incentive spending as reported by J.D. Power was 13.5% of the company’s average transaction price for the month. In September, incentive spending was reported as 13.7% of the average transaction price. The company said last month’s average transaction price, net of incentives, was more than $36,000, about $1,000 higher than a year ago.

October sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup rose by 6.8% year over year to 53,157 units, while GMC Sierra sales rose 25.5% to 18,895 units.

Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup fell 5.6% to 9,990 units, and the comparable GMC Canyon saw a sales increase of 2.7% to 2,860 units.

Cadillac brand retail sales ticked down by 0.1% in October. Cadillac sales totaled 13,931 units in the month.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in October decreased by 3.8% year over year to 175,110 units, with retail sales tumbling by 9.5% to 128,208 units. The Chevy Equinox SUV posted a sales gain of 28.5% in October. The Equinox is the Chevy brand’s second-best selling vehicle, behind Silverado.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales decline of 4.5% in October, including a decrease of 0.6% in retail sales. The Buick Enclave and Encore posted year-over-year sales gains of 30.5% and 25.2%, 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 18 million, up by a million from last month’s estimate.

GM’s stock traded essentially flat mid-morning Wednesday, at $43.01 in a 52-week range of $30.21 to $46.76. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $46.52.