- GM total vehicle sales up 9 percent in July – Best July since 2007
- Crossovers up 26 percent, SUVs up 32 percent, vans up 65 percent
- Commercial sales grow for ninth consecutive month
DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 256,160 vehicles in the United States in July, for the company’s highest July sales since 2007. Total sales were up 9 percent compared with a year ago. Retail sales – those to individual customers – were up 4 percent. Commercial deliveries were up 69 percent and all other fleet deliveries were up 21 percent.
Sales of crossovers and trucks, which include pickups, vans and SUVs, surged by double-digits, pushing combined sales to 1,048,114 through July. GM was the first automaker to pass the million-unit milestone in both 2014 and 2013.
“Sales of utility vehicles soared in July because American families feel better about the economy than they have in a long time, and they are finding an incredible variety of redesigned and all-new models in our showrooms,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “Small, compact, medium, large – sales were strong across the board.”
During July, GM sold 100,122 crossovers and SUVs, bringing the calendar-year-to-date total to 587,250 units – the best month for utility vehicle sales since August 2007. Compared with 2013, crossover deliveries increased 26 percent in July and they are up 5 percent year to date. Large non-luxury SUVs were up 25 percent in July, and they are up 15 percent year to date. Including the Cadillac Escalade, SUV sales are up 32 percent.
- The Buick Encore, one of the industry’s first small crossovers, saw a 28 percent sales increase compared with July 2013.
- GM’s medium-sized Chevrolet, GMC and Buick crossovers, which were redesigned for the 2014 model year, were up 14 percent compared with last July, led by a 25 percent increase in Chevrolet Traverse deliveries.
- Combined sales of Chevrolet and GMC large SUVs, which are all new for the 2015 model year, were up 25 percent compared with a year ago. GM’s estimated share of the large SUV segment is 77 percent on a retail basis.
- Cadillac Escalade deliveries nearly doubled and Cadillac’s estimated share of the large luxury SUV segment is now about 37 percent on a retail basis.
“GM and the U.S. economy left July carrying good momentum,” McNeil said. “The economy has bounced back strongly from the harsh winter, consumer confidence has reached a post-recession high, energy prices remain moderate and job growth continues. The stage is set for strong sales through the balance of the year.
“In particular, there is a lot of pent-up demand for our new large SUVs and we expect pickup deliveries to be strong, as they usually are in the second half of the year.”
July Sales Highlights (vs. 2013 except as noted)
- The seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles in July was an estimated 16.7 million units, topping 16 million units for the fifth consecutive month.
- Total Chevrolet deliveries were up 8 percent, on the strength of trucks, crossovers and a 4 percent increase in retail car sales. This year marked Chevrolet’s best July sales since 2007.
- Chevrolet Corvette deliveries more than tripled for its best July since 2004, and the Camaro was up 25 percent, for its best July since 1995. In addition, the Volt was up 13 percent, the Malibu was up 9 percent and Sonic was up 6 percent. Silverado sales were equal to a year ago.
- Buick had its best July since 2006, with sales up 8 percent.
- Every GMC nameplate posted a sales increase, including the new Sierra, driving sales 22 percent higher. GMC had its best July since 2006.
- GM’s average transaction prices (ATPs) in July were in line with June 2014, and they are up more than $2,000 per unit versus a year ago, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. GM’s large pickup ATPs were equal to June.
- Incentive spending as a percentage of ATP was 11.2 percent, the lowest of all domestic automakers, according to PIN. GM was up 0.2 points month over month and the industry was up 0.3 points. On a year-over-year basis, GM was up 0.1 points and the industry average was up 0.5 points.
GM’s gains in the commercial segment were driven by pickup and van sales, which were both up 78 percent. Sales to rental customers increased 22 percent due to timing. Year to date, rental sales are essentially equal to a year ago. Sales to government customers were up 8 percent. GM’s fleet mix in July was about 23 percent, which is below the company’s typical mix of about 26 percent.
CELEBRATING 90 YEARS OF GM’S MILFORD PROVING GROUND
DETROIT – When the General Motors Milford Proving Ground opened in 1924 – 90 years ago this October – engineers lacked advanced tools and technology for safety testing. Judging from this video, some might say the only crash test dummies back then were human.
Engineers today keep their distance during crash tests. No more riding the running boards until seconds before impact. Inside the vehicles being tested are heavily instrumented anthropomorphic test devices – dummies – who capture the data for which engineers once risked their lives.
“The technology used today to research vehicles is far superior to the past, but the intention stays the same, put vehicles to the test in the name of safety,” said Jack Jensen, the GM engineering group manager for the dummy lab and a GM Technical Fellow. “We have more sophisticated dummies, computers to monitor crashes and new facilities to observe different types of potential hazards.
“All those things together give our engineers the ability to design a broad range of vehicles that safely get our customers where they need to go.”
GM has provided customers with many industry-firsts using the Milford Proving Ground to test the developments:
- Patent-pending child restraint seat cushion extension feature: A segment safety first, the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon jump seat headrest can be removed from the back of the seat on inserted into the base to give the child seat more area to sit on
- Belt assurance system: The industry-first keeps drivers from shifting from “park” if not buckled up, will be launching in Q4 of 2014 on a limited group of fleet vehicles
- Front center air bag: GM was the first manufacturer to introduce the feature in 2013 on all full size crossovers, it will also be on the all-new 2015 full size utilities
- Rollover test facility: GM was the first North American auto manufacturer to build a rollover test facility, which opened in 2006.
- Test dummies: In the early 1980s, GM’s safety team developed several dummies, including the Hybrid III, which became the universal standard for frontal crash testing and remains so today across the globe.