GM September Sales Soar 12%, Inventory Overhang Cut 9%

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General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Tuesday posted total September U.S. sales of 279,397 vehicles, an increase of 11.9% compared with September 2016. Retail deliveries rose 8.1% in the month to 221,075 million units, and fleet deliveries rose 2.7 percentage points for the month, and fleet sales now account for 19% of 2017 sales.

GM reported 820,741 units in inventory at the end of September, down by 72,315 from the total at the end of August. That represents a 76-day supply, down from an 88-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 is also targeting an inventory mix that includes fewer cars and more trucks, crossovers and utility vehicles.

GM’s new vehicle sales for August were forecast at 269,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The analysts also estimated an average transaction price of $38,851, up 0.2% month over month but down 3.1% 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 14.6% of the company’s average transaction price for the month. In August incentive spending was reported as 13.9% of the average transaction price. The company reported an average transaction price of $53,748 for its Cadillac division in September, “higher than many German luxury brands.”

September sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup rose by 21.7% year over year to 55,236 units while GMC Sierra sales rose 0.2% to 18,106 units.

Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup rose 8.6% to 11,271 units and the comparable GMC Canyon saw a decline of 0.9% to 2,922 units.

Cadillac brand retail sales rose 1.1% in September, following double-digit declines in July and August. Cadillac sales totaled 15,530 units in September.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in September increased by 171.4% year over year to 199,801 units, with retail sales rising by 12.1% to 151,792 units. The Chevy Equinox SUV posted a sales gain of 80% in September. The Equinox is the Chevy brand’s second-best selling brand, behind Silverado.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales decline of 20% in September, including a decrease of 4.1% in retail sales. The new Buick Envision and the Encore posted year-over-year sales gains of 39.6% and 13.2%, 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 17 million, up by 100,000 from last month’s estimate.

GM’s stock traded up about 3% Tuesday morning, at $43.42 in a 52-week range of $30.21 to $43.70, a new high set earlier this morning. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $39.52.