• Oct 20th 2006 at 10:56AM
  • 40
General Motors reported global sales of 2,296,000 vehicles in the third quarter, which is a 3-percent decline versus Q3 of last year. That's only 66,000 unit off what was sold during the same period in 2005, and the GM spinmeisters attribute the difference to the employee pricing war last year and the company's commitment to reduce rental and fleet sales this year. Aight, we can buy that, so perhaps GM really did hold its ground this year in the global market.
The automaker claims its market share in North America, which includes the U.S. and Canada (it's first and third biggest markets) has increased steadily each quarter this year, from 23.8 percent in Q1 to 24.1 percent in Q2 to 25.1 percent in Q3. Since the press release has no hard numbers, that claim is difficult to verify, but most around the Autoblog office believe it to be true since the General's done particularly well with its more vanilla offerings like the Cobalt and Impala. Still, the General's global brands kicked it up a notch with Chevy seeing growth in nearly every market, especially the ones that will become increasingly important like India (up 44%) and China (up 6%). As we reported earlier, HUMMER sales are also strong around the world, up 54% year to date. It's all about the H3 though, with GM neglecting to mention the H2 in its press release at all.

Check out the rest of GM's report on its Q3 performance after the jump, but as with any sales report, be ready to wade through some spin.

[Source: GM]


GM Delivers 2.3 Million Vehicles in Third Quarter

  • Global HUMMER Sales Up 54 Percent Year to Date
  • Saab Sales at Record Levels Through First Nine Months
  • Chevrolet Records Double-Digit Sales Increases in Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin American Regions

DETROIT – General Motors reported third-quarter global sales (July-September) of 2,296,000 vehicles, supported by the performances of its global brands Cadillac, Chevrolet, Saab and HUMMER. Although the overall number marks a 3-percent decrease over the same period a year ago, the difference of 66,000 vehicle sales compared with the same period last year is largely attributable to a comparison with the results of the Employee Discount for Everyone program in North America last year and the planned reduction of daily rental and fleet sales this year. GM's foundational brand Chevrolet saw double-digit increases in the most important growth markets around the world.

"Our global brands Cadillac, Chevrolet, Saab and HUMMER continue to show their worldwide strength. We're also seeing outstanding growth through the first nine months of the year for GM brands in emerging markets such as China (up 37 percent); Russia (up 64 percent); and India (up 18 percent)," said John Middlebrook, vice president of global sales, service and marketing.

"We are seeing the revitalized marketing strategy in North America first stabilize, and now slightly improve, our market share in the United States -- from 23.8 percent in the first quarter of 2006, to 24.1 percent in Q2, then 25.1 percent in Q3."

Chevrolet recorded year to date sales increases in Asia Pacific (27 percent), Latin America and the Middle East (20 percent) and Europe (10 percent). Most encouraging is Chevrolet's third-quarter growth in emerging markets such as Russia, up 89 percent; India, up 44 percent; Brazil, up 16 percent; and China up 6 percent. Chevrolet also saw record third-quarter sales in Europe, and a 10 percent increase compared to last year, with 87,000 vehicles sold. Further growth for the brand is expected with the introduction of the new Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck in North America, and the expanded availability of the Captiva sport utility in Europe, Asia and other select markets.

HUMMER sales remain strong with a 54-percent increase year to date. Global year to date H3 sales are up 120 percent compared with the same period a year ago. In the Middle East, HUMMER sales were up 368 percent, with 1,700 vehicles sold, year to date. In the United States, H3 sales for the quarter were up 20 percent to 16,000 vehicles. Global HUMMER sales should continue to strengthen with the additional H3 volume available from GM's new assembly facility in South Africa. Production of H3s began this month in South Africa, and a right-hand-drive version of the H3 will be added to the portfolio next May.

Cadillac sales in China and Europe have shown powerful improvements so far this year. In China, where Cadillac was introduced only two years ago, year to date sales are up 43 percent. In Europe, Cadillac sales are up 30 percent year to date. In the United States, Escalade continues its dominance of the Large Luxury Utility segment with a 41 percent share of the market.

Saab global year to date sales increased 7 percent compared with year-ago levels, to 104,000 vehicles, helping the brand set a new record for the first nine months of the year. Growth was seen in Europe and Asia where sales increased 18 percent compared with the first nine months of 2005. In Sweden, the Saab 9-5 BioPower was once again the number one 'green vehicle' sold.

Note: Numbers and percentages are preliminary and have been rounded.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Sony, like the rest of the gaming industry, makes their money on the games, not the consoles. Maybe GM could figure out a way to use that idea."

      Then, if GM can sell so many cars and their cars are supposedly so unreliable as the import fantoddlers tell us then their money should be made on parts sales (after all the breakage), correct?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Sony, like the rest of the gaming industry, makes their money on the games, not the consoles. Maybe GM could figure out a way to use that idea.
      Yes, their legacy costs hurt. But, they are the result of the short-sightedness that is all too common with corporations these days (Wall Street's fault?).

      MS now gives away their software to any student, with the hopes of fostering the same result. Apple learned better and now charges a premium based upon aesthetics and user interaction. Will they ever catch MS in overall dollars, I doubt it. But, they do make hand-over-fist per item.

      • 8 Years Ago
      GM can spin this all they want, but growth came primarily in China and the East where any automaker could sell a donkey attached to a Yugo and still post sales increases. GM is not in good shape internationally as long as North America is run by numbnuts like Putz and his buttmunch hack Wagoner (or is it the other way around? One doesn't exactly know who wears pants in that family!).

      Meanwhile Toyota is picking up steam and continues to thrive and to continue to pump more R&D money than GM does into future products.

      Remember - GM is the company who spent billions on full-sized SUV's just when the market went south - and did very little to improve their already mediocre full-sized pickups. Where their profit centers could have used innovation, progressive styling, and some risk taking, GM did what it always does - half-assed, tepid, and bland.

      Spin it, GM. I'm on to you and will never let it go until you are serious by tossing Putz and Wagoner out the door and in front of a bus.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Key words on this report GLOBAL

      "GM can spin this all they want, but growth came primarily in China and the East where any automaker could sell a donkey attached to a Yugo and still post sales increases."

      Take off the blinders North America is not the center of the universe and growth is where you get it.

      #4 "Who cares how many vehicles they sell? Did they make any money? For years they sold a ton of vehicles, losing thousands on each one"

      That's not really the truth, it's NA where the larger losses have happened and explain the "for years" what you really show as a loss depends on what you're showing as costs and how you figure those costs.

      "Meanwhile Toyota is picking up steam and continues to thrive and to continue to pump more R&D money than GM does into future products"

      Yet they cut back on their projections of when they may become #1 globally, just a few weeks ago.

      "GM is the company who spent billions on full-sized SUV's just when the market went south"

      As if the plans to develop those new offerings (3 to 5 years out)were tied to an increae in fuel prices that nobody really saw coming. Those billions were not spent this last year alone.

      "Nissan sold a fraction of the number of vehicles as GM, but actually makes money on each car (on average)."

      So, that's why the French bought them as they approaced near BK?

      "These numbers are compared to last year's third quarter numbers, which were artificially high due to the GM employee pricing."

      Yep, nailed it!

      As to the comments at women and cars, perhaps you should look at how many women there are in the automotive business, you might also look at how many women buy cars:

      The statistics tell an interesting story. Women now purchase more than 50% of all new vehicles, purchase 48% of all used vehicles, and influence 80% of all vehicle sales. Gone are the days when the little lady sat back and let the “man of the house” choose her car. Now she’s surfing the net for information and saying “yes” or “no” where it counts - in the showroom.

      Female customers have historically tended to be very loyal, scoring quite high on the loyalty scale in consumer research.

      ASE found that more than 65% of customers who take their vehicles to a repair shop for service and repair are women. Some repair industry experts estimate that the average may actually be closer to 80 percent.

      So Patrica I'll say that some of us understand the importance of women in this business and their opinions and apologize for some of the remarks directed at you.

      • 8 Years Ago

      "Share growth means they may be able to take all those fixed costs you guys speak of and spread across more sales." -me

      This only works well if you actually make money on each vehicle (average over all). Right now, they're just losing less money per vehicle, which still doesn't help.
      • 8 Years Ago
      beaker wrote: Please, tell me of any other industry where they care about how many products they sell and not how much money they make.

      Look at the screen in front of you.

      Remember when advertising on the Internet was free? Remember when you could get a nice website for free, because the developer wanted to get their name out? How about free software/hardware after rebates? How about OpenOffice for free from Sun?

      Go back just a few years and learn about Amazon.com's losses.

      How much product gets given away everyday by companies all over the globe to keep or get an acount, that might pay off?

      The world is full of free if you look for it or things sold at a loss to create, maintain or grow a market or even create cash flow.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's actually amazing how personal some of you take this, the bashing.... it's like Road Rage.
      • 8 Years Ago
      However, Apple sells lots less than MS but they make tons per unit (margins Dell, HP, and Gateway would KILL for) and have the vastly superior product.

      You're talking about the iPod right? It's long been established that Macs are for slow people.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Please, tell me of any other industry where they care about how many products they sell and not how much money they make."

      Just heard last night that Sony probably won't be able to recoup the money spent on making the PS3 but plans to sell a bunch.

      "Concepts like why the OPEL brand for GM of EU is the new SATURN SKY / PONTIAC SOLSTICE."

      Read this (or if your lazy ass wants, just look for the word Solstice): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Cherry GM has owned and CONTROLLED Opel since the 1920's (except when the Nazi's took over production of everything) and so you import fanboys (import fantoddlers is more appropriate most of the time) have no clue that GM might have sent Americans to work and design things too. When GM tries to be global you import fanboys try to give them a hard time as well.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #19 "Hell will freeze over and I will drive domestic when my woman decided the car she wants is the one with the color that matches her.. or the interior that has a spot for her.. or the wheels that are so shiny (and cost 1500 to replace when ya hit a pothole)."

      Thanks for proving Patricias point!
      • 8 Years Ago
      ...and how is losing less money per vehicle not a good thing? Please exaplain.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Losing less money per vehicle is also a very good thing, and is a required transition on the way to actually making money on each vehicle.
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