GM October Sales Slide Even as Incentives Rose 14%

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Tuesday posted total October U.S. sales of 258,626 vehicles, a decrease of 1.7% compared with October 2015. Retail deliveries rose 2.5 points for the year to date to 208,290 units, and fleet deliveries slipped 3.7 percentage points for the year to date.

GM’s new vehicle sales for October were forecast at 246,512 by analysts at WardsAuto had estimated sales of 245,000. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) estimated an average transaction price of $39,544, down 1.2% month over month and up 4.2% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.

Incentive spending per unit totaled $4,417, according to a forecast from TrueCar, an increase of 14% compared with October 2015 and a decrease of 4.6% compared with September 2016. Of the Detroit Three automakers, GM had the lowest percentage increase in incentive spending compared with last year. Ford boosted its incentives by 30% year over year and Fiat Chrysler’s incentives rose 23%.

GM reported that its average October transaction prices rose from $35,804 in September to $36,155. The company also said that October incentive spending equaled 11.7% of its average transaction price, lower than the average October incentive of 13.1% and “well below many other competitors” that spent an average 11.8% on incentives.

October sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup fell 3.6% year over year to 49,768 units, and GMC Sierra sales dropped 18.7% to 15,050 units.

Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup rose 49.9% to 10,578 units.

Cadillac retail sales decreased 9.4% in October, following a 4.7% increase in September. Cadillac sales totaled 13,948 units in October.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in October fell 0.8% year over year to 181,964 units, but retail sales rose 5.8% to 141,641 units.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year total sales boost of 7.2% in October and an increase of 6.6% in retail sales.

For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of sales is 18.0 million for October, up from its September estimate of 17.8 million.

For the year to date, GM’s total sales are down 3.6% and retail sales are up 1%.

GM’s stock traded up about 0.7% Monday morning, at $31.83 in a 52-week range of $26.69 to $36.88.

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