Smaller GM September Sales Dip as Retail Sales Improve

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Monday posted total September U.S. sales of 249,795 vehicles, a decrease of 0.6% compared with September 2015. Retail deliveries rose 0.3% and fleet deliveries slipped 3.7 percentage points for the year to date, accounting for 19.1% of GM’s September deliveries, close to the company’s full-year guidance for fleet sales to reach 20% of all sales.

GM’s new vehicle sales for September were forecast at about 249,470 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB) had estimated sales of 247,000 at an average transaction price of $39,784, down 0.8% month over month and up 3.4% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.

Incentive spending per unit totaled $4,101, according to a forecast from TrueCar, an increase of 2.1% compared with September 2015 and a decrease of 2.3% compared with August 2016. Of the Detroit Three automakers, GM had the lowest (by far) percentage increase in incentive spending compared with last year. Ford boosted its incentives by 11.4% year over year, and Fiat Chrysler’s incentives soared 22.8%.

GM reported that its average September transaction prices dropped to $35,804 from August’s average of $6,730. GM reported that September incentive spending equaled 13.1% of its average transaction price, more than the average August incentive of 11.1% but below “other domestic and select Asian competitors” that spent “near or above 15%” of average transaction prices.

August sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup fell 15.5% year over year to 45,380 units, and GMC Sierra sales dropped 8.5% to 18,068 units.

Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup rose 41.6% to 10,383 units.

Cadillac retail sales increased 4.7% in September, following a 3.9% increase in August. Cadillac sales totaled 15,368 units in August.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in August fell 0.3% year over year to 170,237 units but retail sales rose 0.9% to 135,448 units.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year total sales boost of 14.1% in September and an increase of 6.7% in retail sales.

For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales is 17.8 million for September, up from its August estimate of 17.2 million.

For the year to date, GM’s total sales are down 3.8% and retail sales are up 0.8%.

GM’s stock traded up about 1.3% Monday morning, at $32.18 in a 52-week range of $26.69 to $36.88.

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