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GM's First Half of 2019 - Sales Look Great If You Know Where to Look

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John Goreham
Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com
7-5-2019

Each quarter GM breaks down the company's deliveries (often called sales). Normally, the breakdown is by model. That means the Silverado is one line item. Same with Sierra. However, the auto press is all abuzz with reports that the Silverado has slipped to number three in sales overall behind Ram. While true, there is more to the story and we are not ones to make excuses for GM here as you know if you follow the GM-Trucks.com news page.

 

What is really happening is that GM is crushing it. Everything the company is focusing on is doing great. Including Silverado and Sierra. GM is still transitioning the generations and the sales & deliveries are following the production ramp. To help illustrate this, GM included -for the first time- a breakdown of the Sierra and Silverado trucks by capacity. In other words LD (light duty) HD (heavy duty) and MD (medium duty). We won't bore you with a long list of numbers, but we took away one interesting fact we suspected could never really prove. GM sells three times as many LD trucks as it does HD. MD is a very small segment. So now we know that! Here's what GM had to say. “The light-duty segment is the highest-volume part of the pickup market and we are expanding choice to make sure that we meet the needs of every customer,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Heavy-duty trucks, by contrast, are about 25 percent of full-size pickup sales. Our HDs are purpose-built machines for people who need maximum capability, and we are poised for significant growth.”

 

GM also came right out and said what its fleet sales volume is - 23% of all sales.  Contrast that with Honda that is nearly zero and you can see that the two companies, though they have some overlap, are in different businesses. 

 

Also important to GM, since it is quitting on "cars," is that its crossovers are selling like hotcakes. And it makes no difference where they are built. Buick's imports from China are selling well, as are the Mexico-built Chevy's. As are the SUVs made in the U.S. 

 

Here are the GM Highlights from its sales report this week: 

-Crossover sales set a new second quarter record after sales grew year over year by 17 percent.
-Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cab and GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab were both up 12 percent year over year.
-The Chevrolet Equinox and Traverse and GMC Canyon all delivered record second quarter sales.
-Sales of every Buick crossover were up year over year, with the Envision posting a 28 percent sales increase. The Enclave was up 21 percent and the Encore was up 5 percent.
-Buick deliveries were up 5 percent and GMC deliveries were up 10 percent.
-The all-new Cadillac XT4 continues to lead its segment and the all-new Cadillac XT6 has begun shipping to dealers. Cadillac crossover deliveries were up 19 percent in total year over year, helping the brand grow both total and retail sales.
-The Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe and GMC Yukon XL were each up more than 20 percent compared to a year ago.

 

Here Are Some Truck-Specific Notes:

-GM has installed new body shops, upgraded paint shops and reconfigured general assembly at its plants to increase capacity by 20,000 units compared with the outgoing model.
-Based on the most recent data available, retail customers have registered more GM full-size light-duty pickups in 2019 than either Ford or Ram. GM light-duty registrations have also led Ford F-150 in 11 of the last 12 months.
-The first new GM models to launch were the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra crew cabs in late summer 2018. Sales of each were up more than 12 percent in the second quarter versus a year ago.
-After two consecutive quarters of double-digit year-over-year growth, GM’s crew cab mix has risen from 60 percent of sales to almost 75 percent.
-Full production of all cab styles started in March for both retail and fleet orders, and inventory is approaching target levels, especially for the most affordable regular and double cab models. Sales of these models were down year over year due to limited availability.
-Customer demand for Chevrolet’s new Trail Boss models — the first full-size pickups equipped with a 2-inch factory-installed lifted suspension — have far exceeded expectations, so GM will double production. In addition, for 2020, Chevrolet will offer both Trail Boss models with a 420-hp, 6.2L V-8 engine.
-More than 95 percent of all-new GMC Sierra 1500 crew cab sales are high-end trims including SLT, AT4 and Denali.
-GM is introducing a new refined, very powerful and extremely fuel-efficient 3.0-liter Duramax diesel that is expected to be available later this quarter.

-GM has consolidated heavy-duty pickup production at its Flint (Michigan) Assembly plant. The company has installed new body and paint shops and created 1,000 new jobs to support a capacity increase of 40,000 units compared to the outgoing model.
-The company is sharply increasing production of crew cab and diesel models to meet customer demand.
-Early production will be focused primarily on crew cab models, similar to the light-duty launch cadence. Trucks began shipping to dealers in the second half of June, with availability expected to grow throughout the third and fourth quarters.

gm-quarterly-sales-2nd-qtr-2019.jpg

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I don’t know who is buying them. Visited a line on a factory floor last week and saw robots driving forklifts and thought how that will hurt the market. 

 

I do not believe there has been any increase in sales. I’d bet money on it.

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1 hour ago, Paintor said:

I don’t know who is buying them. Visited a line on a factory floor last week and saw robots driving forklifts and thought how that will hurt the market. 

 

I do not believe there has been any increase in sales. I’d bet money on it.

I see tons of them out here in northern California. 

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They are starting to appear in numbers around here too. Incidentally, I've seen several AT4s, followed by a few Trail Bosses. The new Silverados are starting to proliferate fleets as well. 

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Now that the rebates are up and they are priced near where the outgoing body style is they are selling. We waiting until the typical 20%off list to buy our 2019.

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9 hours ago, therapy said:

I see tons of them out here in northern California. 

The T1 trucks are starting to show up in force here in North Carolina as well. Much like the K2, they started off sort of slow, and now things will ramp up. I'm sure the more aggressive discounts GM is now offering aren't hurting them either. 

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Probably a combination of the 2018s finally being cleared off the lots (they were offering crazy deals on those) and people waiting to see what the 2019 deals were going to be. 

 

Seems to be pretty common.

 

Sidenote - this is the first generation where I've actually really liked the looks of the WT base models.

Image result for 2019 silverado work truck

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Looking forward to my new 2020 AT4 3500, first truck since '95 I've ordered rather than off the lot.

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The new trucks are definitely not selling very well here in Colorado.  Lots of Ram and F150 fans here.

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I order my AT4 from the factory at the beginning of January. I picked it up from the dealer in late May, the 6 to 8 week production wait time was way behind. The AT4s sell as soon as they hit the dealerships in North Carolina.

Edited by BlueAT4

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Finally starting to see more T1 GM trucks around.  Guess the incentives are enough to get people to bite.  Will consider selling/trading my 2015 for a Red Hot 6.2 RST Z-71 or a Pacific Blue AT4 6.2 once the interiors are reworked.  Thankfully the miles on my 2015 are low, has an extended warranty, 8.5 out of 10 condition wise and 2 different persons are interested in purchasing it when I get ready to move it.

Depending on my personal life if a regular cab short bed AT4 or Trail Boss becomes available I would love to have it regardless if it has a 5.3 or 6.2 engine.

Edited by Lgetz
Final Thought

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Not at all surprised they are doubling TB production. I would say at least 50% or more of the T1s I see driving around DFW are TBs or AT4s. The other big majority are Denalis. Not very many LTs on the road - that I have seen so far. Very different from the K2s, which you see LT All-Star (TX Edition) all over the place. 

 

I don't get GM's stat about more retail registrations than Ram or F-150!? 

 

So, they are basically saying that Ford is killing them in fleet sales? But in retail sales, they are winning? 

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