GM sales to be up over October 2011
By Burton Speakman
Analysts are estimating that General Motors will sell 200,517 vehicles this month, an increase of more than 7 percent over this time last year.
TrueCar.com, an automotive information website, is projecting GM’s sales will be down 4.6 percent against September’s unusually high sales.
The report anticipates all major auto manufacturers sales will be up compared to October 2011 with Volkswagen and Toyota leading the way with increases of 25.1 percent and 22 percent, respectively.
“New-car sales are on automatic pilot. October was a robust start to fourth-quarter sales with most manufacturers posting double- digit gains while continuing to lower incentives spending,” said Jesse Toprak, senior analyst at TrueCar.com. “We expect this recovery momentum to continue into the next year, with 2013 sales reaching 15.5 million units.”
Next year’s sales will begin to slow down because long-term, double-digit growth is not sustainable, he said. Vehicle sales should continue to post solid gains of 6 percent to 7 percent in the next year.
In addition, GM is expected to lose a small amount of market share dropping from 18.3 percent of sales in the U.S. market in Octobert 2011 to 17.6 percent this year, according to the TrueCar report.
“The domestics have been able to keep up because of their lineup of small cars,” Toprak said.
Edmunds.com, another automotive website, had a more negative view of the month’s sales for General Motors and Chrysler.
GM and Chrysler are expected to be the only two major automakers to see their market shares slip this month, according to Edmunds.com’s forecast. GM’s market share is projected to fall 0.4 percentage points from September to 17.3 percent, but that is attributed to a decline in fleet sales. Retail sales are expected to be slightly up for GM.
“Every automaker can have a bad month, but this isn’t exactly the best timing for GM and Chrysler,” said Michelle Krebs, Edmunds senior analyst. “Their October sales numbers are under more of a microscope than usual with Election Day around the corner and the auto bailout at the top of mind for the presidential candidates, many voters and a host of pundits.”
GM is spending less for incentives than it has in the past. Spending is more than 8 percent less for incentives in October compared with the previous year, according to TrueCar. Incentives impact the resale value of the vehicle.
“Incentives continue to decline with October being the lowest month since May 2011,” said Kristen Andersson, analyst at TrueCar.com. “Honda’s incentives declined 13 percent from last month as their inventory of model year 2012 Accords sold out, which were heavily discounted in September.”
The official figures for GM, including Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze sales, will be released Thursday.