General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) on Wednesday posted total U.S. sales of 3.002 million units, a drop of 1.3% compared with 3.042 million units sold in 2016. Sales were lower in three of the company’s four divisions — Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet — but up in the GMC division.
Total December U.S. sales of 308,539 vehicles represented a decrease of 3.3% compared with December 2016. Retail deliveries rose 1.8% in the month to 254,549 units and fleet deliveries rose to 17.5% for the month and fleet sales accounted for 19.2% of total 2017 sales.
GM reported 752,554 units in inventory at the end of December, down by 66,773 from the total at the end of November. That represents a 63-day supply, down from an 83-day supply at the end of last month. The company had targeted 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 November were forecast at 250,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The analysts also estimated an average transaction price of $39,997, down 0.6% month over month and down 0.3% year over year. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation.
GM said that the company’s average transaction price topped $38,000 in December (net of incentives) and that the average price was “significantly above” the industry average $31,600.
The company said average December incentive spending as reported by J.D. Power was 13.3% of the company’s average transaction price for the month. In November incentive spending was reported as 12.9% of the average transaction price.
December sales of the company’s top-selling Silverado pickup jumped by 24.7% year over year to 67,676 units, while GMC Sierra sales rose 13.5% to 26,436 units.
Sales of the Colorado midsize pickup rose 2.1% to 9,626 units, and the comparable GMC Canyon saw a sales decrease of 14.4% to 3,467 units.
Cadillac brand retail sales tumbled by 28.6% in December. Cadillac sales totaled 15,304 units in the month.
Total Chevrolet deliveries in December decreased by 2.9% year over year to 206,804 units, with retail sales falling by 1.5% to 160,938 units. The Chevy Equinox SUV posted a sales increase of 20.6% in December, and the Impala full-size car saw a sales drop of 24%. The Equinox is the Chevy brand’s second-best selling vehicle, behind Silverado.
The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales increase of 4.7% in December, including an increase of 14.6% in retail sales. The Buick Envision posted a year-over-year sales gain of 54.1% while Encore sales rose 40.2%.
For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 2017 sales is 17.3 million, down by 100,000 from last month’s estimate.
GM’s stock traded up about 2% Wednesday morning, at $42.66 in a 52-week range of $31.92 to $46.76. The 12-month consensus price target on the stock is $47.00.