General Motors has announced that it will no longer disclose monthly production figures to automotive data providers. Automotive News reports that GM notified research and data providers IHS Automotive, Automotive News Data Center and Autodata Corp. about the change, saying that the company will now provide numbers for wholesale deliveries. Up until now GM, along with many other car companies, provided monthly North American production figures, broken out by individual models.
The automaker says that the new policy is due to a change in the way it records financials for vehicles. In the first part of this year, GM started assigning profit and loss to the country in which a vehicle is sold, rather than to the facility at which it was manufactured. This, says GM, makes the production numbers less critical to keep track of.
Concerns about the change in reporting are multitudinous. Many automotive suppliers use production forecasts that are based on real production data to plan their own manufacturing schedules for coming months. What's more, Automotive News tells us that the GM numbers have been used in many other standard indicators of economic health in the US, including those published by the Federal Reserve. While models exist for estimating the production data, nobody is exactly sure how accurate they'll be, or what the longer term fallout in the industry will look like.