GM’s Q3 delivery data points to a strong market recovery.

With Q3 wrapped, GM released its sales data for the quarter and year to date. Let’s start with the big picture: First, GM is not behind 2019 where it matters most, despite COVID. Both the Silverado and Sierra lines are up for the year compared to 2019. Also, Buick and GMC, GM’s two premium brands, were both only single-digit percentage points lower in Q3 than in 2019.

Yes, for the year, GM is still down about 17% overall, but sales are recovering quickly. “Our dealers are doing exceptionally well utilizing a combination of customer-facing online technologies – such as Shop. Click. Drive. – and showroom sales to deliver vehicles safely to our customers. This is contributing to retail share gains while we continue to refill the pipeline,” said Kurt McNeil, GM vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “Industry-wide, dealers are selling a high mix of large pickups as the summer comes to an end. Our strong large pickup and all-new full-size SUV lineups from Chevrolet and GMC are selling extremely fast.”

Also included in the good news are strong results from GM Financial. There are also some individual models with higher sales in Q3 compared to Q3 2019. These include the Chevy Blazer, Chevy Bolt, Chevy Corvette, and Cadillac XT-6. Buick’s Chinese-made Envision leads the sales growth column for GM. It is up 44% in Q3 vs. Q3 2019 and it outsold mainstream, high-volume offerings like the Hyundai Tucson. Envision is closing in on top-20 sellers like the Mazda CX-5.

GM summed up the quarter this way: “While the economy has made a substantial rebound in the third quarter, retail auto sales have been even more resilient,” said GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg. “Super low auto loan interest rates have boosted retail auto sales; yet more strength comes from pandemic-induced demand.”