GM sales slide 6.9% on double-digit declines of cars, trucks

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DETROIT — Sales of redesigned crossovers such as the Chevrolet Traverse and Equinox couldn’t outweigh double-digit declines of cars and pickups for General Motors in February.

The automaker on Thursday reported sales of 220,905 vehicles in February, a 6.9 percent decline from a year ago. Crossover sales were up 6.8 percent, while cars declined 15 percent, and trucks, including full-size SUVs and vans, dropped 12 percent.

Cadillac, up 14 percent, led the way for GM’s February sales with the help of increased leasing support and incentives — particularly for the compact ATS, which increased 38 percent. Buick was up 1.2 percent, followed by an 8 percent decline for GMC and 8.8 percent drop for Chevrolet.

GM’s fleet sales last month increased 3 percentage points compared with a year ago to 23.5 percent of total sales, or 51,934 vehicles.

GM retail deliveries — a concentration for the company — dipped 11 percent in February, led by a 14 percent decline for Chevrolet and a 7.2 percent drop for GMC. Chevrolet’s decrease was led by double-digit declines in many car models and a 16 percent slide of the full-size Silverado pickup.

Brands: Buick up 1.2%, Cadillac up 14%, Chevy down 8.8%, GMC down 8%

Notable nameplates: Chevy Silverado down 16%, GMC Sierra down 25%, Chevy Equinox up 7.1%, Buick Encore down 13%, Chevy Cruze down 16%, Chevy Volt down 46%, Chevy Corvette down 35%.

Incentives: $ 4,955 per vehicle, up 9.5% from a year earlier and down 4.6% from January, according to ALG. That’s forecast to be 14% of its average transaction price per unit.

Average transaction price: $ 36,268, up 0.8% from a year earlier, according to ALG.

Fleet mix: 23.5%, up 3 percentage points from a year ago.

Inventory: 85-day supply to end February, or 779,378 vehicles. That’s down from 94 days, or 749,529 vehicles, a month ago.

Quotes: “The impact of tax reform and tax refunds aren’t being felt fully by consumers yet. We expect consumer spending to pick up as tax cuts are reflected in pay checks,” said GM chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem.

“Consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000, the economy is strong, our newest products are selling very well and we have successfully managed the transition to the 2018 model year far better than most of our competitors,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Customer demand, GM’s new products and upcoming launches are in perfect tune.”

Did you know? For the first time since the Chevrolet Volt was redesigned for the 2016 model year, sales have been below 1,000 for two consecutive months. Also, sales of the all-electric Bolt EV (1,424 vehicles in February) have outsold the extended-range Volt for eight consecutive months.

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