GM October Sales reflect low Consumer confidence in Financial Markets

GM Reports 170,585 Deliveries in October

  • U.S. auto industry at lowest monthly SAAR in more than 25 years

DETROIT – General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 170,585 vehicles in October, down 45 percent compared with a year ago. GM truck sales of 97,119 were down 51 percent and car sales of 73,466 were off 34 percent. The steep decline in vehicle sales was largely due to a significant drop in the market’s retail demand as uncertainty over the deepening credit crisis impacted consumer confidence.

“The market has been shrinking for three years, but in October we saw a dramatic decline for the industry and GM,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. “ We are obviously disappointed in our results which reflect a difficult comparison with a strong year-ago October performance. More importantly, it also reflects an unprecedented credit crunch that is dramatically impacting the entire U.S. economy – from the housing market to big and small companies to banks to family run businesses. The credit freeze has also had a very negative impact on consumers’ confidence and their purchase behavior across America.”

“We outpaced the competition with our sales results in August and September, and fell back with the industry in October. If you adjust for population growth, this is probably the worst industry sales month in the post-WWII era,” LaNeve added. “We believe there is considerable pent-up demand from the last three years, but until the credit markets open up and consumer confidence improves, the entire U.S. economy, and any industry like autos that relies on financing, will suffer.

“We’ll do our part to continue fighting against these significant economic headwinds by bringing consumers the highest quality, most fuel efficient and affordable cars, trucks and crossovers that we can,” he said.

To that end, LaNeve announced that GM’s no-haggle Red Tag Event starts nationwide tomorrow, Nov. 4. The Red Tag Event will provide great deals on most new vehicles in GM’s portfolio by offering a special Red Tag vehicle price and customer cash back. In addition, GM’s recently announced “Financing That Fits” program enables consumers to find financing at affordable rates from GMAC and thousands of other banks, credit unions and financing institutions.

Despite the poor results in October, there were a number of bright spots for individual GM car and truck lines, including:

  • Chevrolet Malibu retail sales were up 129 percent. For the month, Malibu total sales reached nearly 11,000 vehicles. For the year, Malibu retail sales have totaled nearly 98,000 cars, up 134 percent from year-ago figures.
  • The all-new Pontiac Vibe recorded a 6 percent total sales increase in October. Almost 42,000 Vibes have been sold this year, up 36 percent from the prior year.
  • Saab retail sales were up 7.4 percent compared with a year ago, driven by the strong retail performance of the 9-3, which was up more than 16 percent.
  • GM sold 44,500 Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Avalanche full-size pickups in October, further solidifying its segment leadership.
  • GM hybrids continue to build sales momentum and the company has broken through the 10-thousand vehicle sales mark. A total of 1,496 hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. Hybrid sales included: 372 hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe, 193 GMC Yukon and 230 Cadillac Escalade 2-mode SUVs delivered. There were 325 Chevrolet Malibu, 22 Saturn Aura and 354 Vue hybrids sold in October. GM has sold 10,549 hybrids so far in 2008.

GM continues to proactively manage inventories to align supplies with market demand. In October, only about 799,000 vehicles were in stock, down about 146,000 vehicles (or about 15 percent) compared with last year. There were about 336,000 cars and 463,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of October.

“These are extraordinary times for the U.S. economy, for consumers and for an auto industry that is running at deep recessionary levels relative to 1999-2006,” LaNeve said. “We are offering the highest quality and best value vehicles to customers in our history – along with great incentives. But we can’t do it alone as GM or the auto industry. It will take a coordinated national effort to turn this economy around.”

Certified Used Vehicles

October 2008 sales for all certified GM brands, including GM Certified Used Vehicles, Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, were 33,735 vehicles, down 15 percent from October 2007. Year-to-date sales are 408,451 vehicles, down 7 percent from the same period last year.

GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry’s top-selling certified brand, posted October sales of 29,167 vehicles, down 16 percent from October 2007. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 783 vehicles, down 11 percent. Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 3,051 vehicles, down 6 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 506 vehicles, down 2 percent, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 228 vehicles, up 75 percent.

“October sales were disappointing for certified GM programs, as consumer uncertainty over the growing credit crisis had a negative impact on consumer confidence and retail demand for both new and used vehicles,” said LaNeve. “Going forward, we will continue offering consumers the tremendous peace of mind and value that comes with a factory-backed, fully inspected and reconditioned, late-model used vehicle from the GM brands they know and trust.”

GM North America Reports October, 2008 Production; Fourth Quarter Forecast Remains at 875,000 Vehicles

In October, GM North America produced 318,000 vehicles (151,000 cars and 167,000 trucks). This is down 105,000 vehicles or 25 percent compared with October 2007 when the region produced 423,000 vehicles (152,000 cars and 271,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 11,000 vehicles in October 2008 and 18,000 vehicles in October 2007.)

The GM North America fourth-quarter production forecast remains at 875,000 vehicles (407,000 cars and 468,000 trucks) which is down about 16 percent compared with a year ago. GM North America built 1.042 million vehicles (358,000 cars and 684,000 trucks) in the fourth-quarter of 2007.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 34 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

Note: GM sales and production results are available on GM Media OnLine at http://media.gm.com by clicking on News, then Sales/Production. In this press release and related comments by General Motors management, we use words like “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “objective,” “plan,” “goal” and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements, representing our current judgment about possible future events. We believe these judgments are reasonable, but actual results may differ materially due to a variety of important factors.

Among other items, such factors might include: market acceptance of our products; shortages of and price increases for fuel; significant changes in the competitive environment and the effect of competition on our markets, including on our pricing policies; our ability to maintain adequate liquidity and financing sources and an appropriate level of debt; and changes in general economic conditions. GM’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly report on Form 10-Q provide information about these factors, which may be revised or supplemented in future reports to the SEC on Form 10-Q or 8-K.

*S/D Curr: 27
October
(Calendar Year-to-Date)
January – October
*S/D Prev: 26
2008
2007
% Chg Volume
%Chg per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Vehicle Total
170,585
310,008
-45.0
-47.0
2,603,828
3,279,513
-20.6
Car Total
73,466
111,738
-34.3
-36.7
1,111,189
1,267,753
-12.3
Light Truck Total
95,253
195,670
-51.3
-53.1
1,470,196
1,973,748
-25.5
Light Vehicle Total
168,719
307,408
-45.1
-47.1
2,581,385
3,241,501
-20.4
Truck Total
97,119
198,270
-51.0
-52.8
1,492,639
2,011,760
-25.8
GM Vehicle Deliveries by Marketing Division
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
%Chg per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Cadillac Total
9,541
21,267
-55.1
-56.8
139,109
176,249
-21.1
GM Vehicle Total
170,585
310,008
-45.0
-47.0
2,603,828
3,279,513
-20.6
GM Car Deliveries by Marketing Division
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
%Chg per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Cadillac Total
6,271
13,899
-54.9
-56.6
93,200
106,372
-12.4
GM Car Total
73,466
111,738
-34.3
-36.7
1,111,189
1,267,753
-12.3
GM Light Truck Deliveries by Marketing Division
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
%Chg per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Cadillac Total
3,270
7,368
-55.6
-57.3
45,909
69,877
-34.3
GM Light Truck Total
95,253
195,670
-51.3
-53.1
1,470,196
1,973,748
-25.5

* Twenty-seven selling days (S/D) for the October period this year and twenty-six for last year.
** Prior to Aug ’07, includes American Isuzu Motors, Inc., dealer deliveries of commercial vehicles distributed by GM as reported to GM by American Isuzu Motors Inc.
Effective Aug ’07, GM only includes GMC & Chevrolet dealer deliveries of commercial vehicles distributed by American Isuzu Motors, Inc.

CARS

October
(Calendar Year-to-Date)
January – October
2008
2007
% Chg Volume
%Chg per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Selling Days (S/D)
27
26
27
26
CTS
3,997
6,586
-39.3
-41.6
51,476
44,666
15.2
DeVille
0
0
***.*
***.*
0
71
**.*
DTS
1,590
5,336
-70.2
-71.3
27,380
43,480
-37.0
STS
632
1,862
-66.1
-67.3
13,253
16,630
-20.3
XLR
52
115
-54.8
-56.5
1,091
1,525
-28.5
Cadillac Total
6,271
13,899
-54.9
-56.6
93,200
106,372
-12.4
GM Car Total
73,466
111,738
-34.3
-36.7
1,111,189
1,267,753
-12.3

TRUCKS

October
(Calendar Year-to-Date)
January – October
2008
2007
% Chg
Volume
%Chg
per S/D
2008
2007
%Chg Volume
Selling Days (S/D)
27
26
27
26
Escalade
1,556
3,499
-55.5
-57.2
19,275
30,777
-37.4
Escalade ESV
533
1,460
-63.5
-64.8
9,076
13,635
-33.4
Escalade EXT
265
716
-63.0
-64.4
3,779
6,850
-44.8
SRX
916
1,693
-45.9
-47.9
13,779
18,615
-26.0
Cadillac Total
3,270
7,368
-55.6
-57.3
45,909
69,877
-34.3
GM Truck Total
97,119
198,270
-51.0
-52.8
1,492,639
2,011,760
-25.8

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