This article is keeping track of General Motors (NYSE:GM) wholesale vehicle deliveries or wholesale vehicle sales.
GM presented two types of vehicle sales or vehicle deliveries data in its annual and quarterly statements:
Let’s take a look!
What Is Wholesale Vehicle Sales
According to GM, wholesale vehicle sales or wholesale vehicle deliveries are vehicles delivered to dealers or distributors, and they correlate with the sales revenue recognized in the income statements.
However, wholesale numbers do not include vehicles sold by GM’s joint ventures or affiliates such as those in China in which GM does not have a controlling interest.
Here is a quote extracted from GM’s statements regarding wholesale deliveries.
What Is Total Vehicle Sales
Total vehicle sales are retail sales and are vehicles delivered from dealers or distributors to end consumers.
Retail vehicle delivery bypasses General Motors and does not have any relationship with the company.
Total vehicle sales do not correlate with GM’s sales revenue represented in the income statements.
Here is a quote extracted from GM’s statements regarding total vehicle sales.
What Is Presented In This Article
In this article, you will find GM’s wholesale data or wholesale vehicle deliveries that correlate with the revenue displayed in the annual and quarterly statements.
The wholesale data and retail sale data are vastly different.
The vehicle sales data presented on other websites may not be clearly explained whether they are wholesale or retail sales data.
Sometimes the retail sales data may not necessarily indicate the realistic nature of GM’s business condition simply because the retail sales data does not correlate with the revenue recognized in the company financial statements.
Readers who are interested in GM’s retail sales data may visit the webpage at the following link.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries – Yearly
Let’s first look at GM’s annual vehicle delivery which is shown in the chart above for the period between fiscal 2018 and 2021.
In fiscal 2020, GM delivered a total sum of 3.4 million vehicles in which 80% of that number or 2.7 million vehicles were from North America.
In the same fiscal year, GM International (GMI)’s vehicle delivery reached 663,000 units or 20% of the total volume.
GM’s wholesale vehicle delivery in 2020 was the lowest in the last 3 years and represents a year-on-year decline of 20% compared to fiscal 2019.
Despite the low vehicle wholesale volume in fiscal 2020, GM expects to sell even lower volume in fiscal 2021 at only 3.2 million vehicles, a year-on-year decline of 6% compared to 2020.
GM expects the majority of the volume decline in fiscal 2021 to come from the North America region at roughly 8% year-over-year.
Here is a quote extracted from GM’s 2Q 2021 earnings presentation regarding its 2nd half 2021 guidance:
In short, GM’s vehicle wholesale has been on a decline since 2018 and the company expects the decline to persist in fiscal 2021, driven primarily by the semiconductor shortage.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries – Quarterly
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly wholesale vehicle sales for the past 6 years from fiscal 2014 to 2021.
On a quarterly basis, GM’s wholesale vehicle deliveries were seen trending down over the past 7 years.
The downtrend has accelerated between 2019 and 2020, hitting a record low at about 1 million vehicles per quarter in fiscal 2020.
In fiscal 2021, the quarterly numbers keep going down and reached only 760,000 vehicles in 2Q 2021, one of the new low for the company.
GM used to deliver more than 1.5 million vehicles per quarter between fiscal 2014 and 2017.
However, those numbers have gone down significantly over the years and reached less than 1 million vehicles per quarter now, representing as much as a 50% decline.
The COVID-19 pandemic has probably worsened GM’s vehicle wholesale when factories are shut down and demands are low.
While demands for GM’s vehicles have recovered slightly in the 2nd half of fiscal 2020, the numbers have gone down again in the 1st half of 2021, illustrating that vehicle deliveries are still weak as a result of the disruption triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries – TTM
To smooth out the bumps in the quarterly plot, I created the TTM or trailing 12-month plot as shown in the chart above for the period from fiscal 2014 to 2021.
You can see from the above chart that the TTM plot displays a much better trend compared to the quarterly plot.
On a TTM basis, GM’s vehicle wholesale has clearly been trending down since fiscal 2014.
The downtrend seemed to be accelerating between fiscal 2017 and 2019.
In fiscal 2020, the downtrend has moderated and even reversed in fiscal 2021.
As of 2Q 2021, GM’s TTM vehicle wholesale has trended higher to 3.6 million vehicles, a first year-on-year growth in more than 3 years.
GM’s Vehicle Wholesale and Automotive Revenue
The chart above shows GM’s TTM vehicle deliveries and the respective automotive revenue for the period from 2014 to 2021.
Since GM’s automotive revenue is correlated with vehicle wholesale, both figures are heading in the same direction.
For example, GM’s automotive revenue has trended higher as of fiscal 2Q 2021 when the respective vehicle wholesale recovered.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries by Region – Quarterly
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly vehicle delivery breakdown into business segments or region, including:
According to the chart, GMNA contributed the largest sales to the company in the last 7 years, delivering on average more than 800,000 vehicles per quarter to General Motors.
That said, GMNA’s wholesale vehicle deliveries have recovered in the 2nd half of 2020 compared to the 1st half but the downtrend gained a foothold in 2021.
As of fiscal 2021 Q2, GMNA’s quarterly vehicle wholesale slide back to 600,000 units but was still considerably higher compared to the same quarter a year ago.
GMI represents GM’s international sales outside of North America.
That said, GMI delivered on average 200,000 vehicles per quarter to the company.
However, this figure has slumped significantly in 2021 to less than 200,000 and reached only 118,000 vehicles in fiscal Q2 2021, another new low for the company.
GM International sales have done poorly compared to its North American sales and the weak demand looks to persists into the 2nd half of 2021 given that the COVID-19 pandemic recovery is still in question.
As for GM Europe, General Motors sold off its GME subsidiary in 2017, and therefore, the vehicle delivery data from the European region has ceased to exist by the end of 2017.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries by Region – TTM
Again, to smooth out the quarterly plot, the TTM plot above is created to better show the trend of GM’s vehicle wholesale by region for the period from fiscal 2014 to 2021.
According to the chart, GM North America’s (GMNA) TTM vehicle wholesale has been on a decline and reached 2.9 million vehicles as of Q2 2021, representing a first year-on-year increase in more than 3 years.
Similarly, GM International’s (GMI) TTM vehicle wholesale also has been on a decline and reached slightly above 500,000 units in fiscal 2Q 2021, one of the lowest levels the company has ever seen.
While wholesale vehicle sales had been very bad throughout 2020, GMNA sold slightly more vehicles in the 2nd quarter of 2021, indicating that GM automotive sales may finally be turning around.
GM’s Vehicle Wholesale Sequential Growth Rates
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly growth rates of wholesale vehicle sales for the last 7 years from 2014 to 2021.
Sequentially, GM experienced the worst growth rates at -50% in 2020 Q2, driven mainly by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When strong vehicle demand came back in 3Q 2020, GM’s QoQ growth rate climbed more than 100%.
In the 2nd quarter of 2021, GM delivered 7% fewer vehicles compared to the prior quarter.
GM’s Vehicle Wholesale Year Over Year Growth Rates
The chart above shows the year-over-year growth rates of GM’s wholesale vehicles for the past 7 years between 2014 and 2021.
GM’s YoY growth rates plunged more than 20% in 2017 and 2018.
Subsequently, GM continued to experience negative YoY growth rates.
The worst YoY growth occurred in 2Q 2020 at -60%.
GM’s YoY growth rate reached nearly 80% in 2Q 2021, the highest growth rate the company has ever seen.
General Motors had the worst wholesale vehicle deliveries in 2020 when all regions, including GMNA and GMI reported negative growth rates.
In the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2020, strong vehicle demand came back and GM had the 1st positive YoY growth only in the 4th quarter of 2020.
However, vehicles wholesale seems to have slipped again in 1st half of 2021 for both GMNA and GMI, driven possibly by the weak vehicle demand and semiconductor shortages.
GM North America did slightly better than GMI in the 1st half of 2021 when its TTM vehicle deliveries turned slightly higher in 2Q 2021 compared to the same quarter a year ago.
References and Credits
1. Vehicle delivery data in this article were obtained and referenced from GM annual and quarterly statements available at General Motors Investor Relation.
2. TTM numbers and growth rates are the author’s own calculations.
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