General Motors has really taken it on the chin this week with the recall of over 1.3-million cars and a separate potential safety issue found in over 200,000 of its 2014 pickups. Things aren't getting any better, because now questions are being raised about the early sales success of its new trucks. Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson tells Automotive News, "the launch has been arguably the least successful large pickup launch over the last 15 years."
Ouch. Of course, that's not necessarily GM's fault – most analysts are predicting that GM sales will fall in February due to the bad weather that froze much of the country. However, GM has reportedly lost market share to Ford and Ram, at least in part because its rivals can offer better incentives on their trucks. Sales also dipped in January when Chevrolet sales were down 13.27 percent and GM was down 11.92 percent. The General's February sales will be announced on March 3.
To offset the possibility of dwindling sales, Automotive News claims that Chevrolet is going to run an incentive blitz in March to offer supplier pricing on nearly every car and truck in its lineup, including the new SIlverado. It will be the deepest discounts offered on the 2014 truck yet, and will be promoted during the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
GM has been chided by some for what has been seen as a remarkably conservative redesign of its Silverado and Sierra.
On the plus side of the ledger, Automotive News reports that the average transaction prices on GM's trucks are up a whopping $4,000 to $5,000 than those of the last-generation truck a year ago – that certainly doesn't sound like a failure to us.
That said, GM has been chided by some for what has been seen as a remarkably conservative redesign of its Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups. The new trucks have been criticized for looking very similar to their predecessors and for not adopting new technologies and features found in competitors – namely items like higher gear-count transmissions and more sophisticated rear suspensions. Despite that, the trucks have come in for a great deal of praise, particularly centered around their ride and handling balance as well as their low levels of noise, vibration and harshness. In January, those merits and others were enough for the Silverado to be named North American Truck/Utility of the Year.
Autoblog has reached out to GM for a comment on the Barclay's analyst's thoughts and the Automotive News story, and is awaiting a reply.