Sales Drop and Shares Slide By General Motors Still Having a Good Year

Shares of the motor vehicle company General Motors teetered on Tuesday, on the heels of a report that showed a decline in vehicles deliveries for the first quarter of 2019.   The stock took a small hit to slide 0.20 percent—to $37.69—on Tuesday; but it is still 11.9 percent up on the year. It should be noted that some areas did appear to show growth but first quarter sales in 2019 fell 7 percent, reflecting a massive difference from the very strong first quarter of last year. 

More specifically, General Motors delivered upwards of 665,840 vehicles in the first few months of the year.  The 6.98 percent year-over-year decrease comes at the same time that average transaction price reached a record of $35,881 for the quarter. That is about 2.7 percent higher than the first quarter of 2018.

Also, GM’s newest pickup models grew in transaction price (or, the “final sales price”) by $8,040 versus other outgoing models, year over year.  And more than 96 percent of the full-size, four-door GMC Sierra crew cab pickup trucks left sales lots with more expensive, high-end trims. 

For reference sake, General Motors’ worst performing product segment was Buick, which saw a total decline in delivery by 8.7 percent.  Accordingly, the company’s worst performing vehicle was the Cadillac ATS; deliveries of which fell 86 percent, year over year. Many other vehicles made significant slides, with the Cadillac XTS, for example, losing 23 percent of its momentum. As a matter of fact, there were no increases in deliveries for any of the Cadillac brands for the quarter. 

On the other hand, GMC’s best-selling vehicle for the quarter was the GMC Savana, up 36 percent in deliveries.  In addition, a recent GM press release mentioned that total pick-up deliveries were up 20 percent.  Sports utility vehicles have also grown in popularity across the auto industry as a whole.  

All in all, GM has plans to launch more full-size pickups to accelerate the second half of the year.  This will start with two new, heavy duty pickup trucks from both GMC and Chevrolet.  GM Vice President of US sales operations, Kurt McNeil comments, “We are bullish on pickups and expect to gain sales momentum throughout the year.  We are installing capacity in Flint to build more HD pickups in total, more crew cab models, more dualies and diesel models, too, all in response to dealer and customer demand.”