This article is keeping track of General Motors (NYSE:GM) wholesale vehicle deliveries or wholesale vehicle sales.
GM presented two types of vehicle sales data in its annual and quarterly statements:
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.
These vehicles delivered bypass General Motors and do 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 to 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 another website 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 – Quarterly
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly wholesale vehicle sales for the past 6 years from 2014 to 2020.
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 in 4Q 2020.
Throughout 2020, GM delivered about 1 million vehicles in most quarters, with 2Q 2020 being the worst at only 400,000 vehicles delivered to dealerships.
GM used to deliver more than 1.5 million vehicles per quarter between 2014 and 2017.
However, those numbers have gone down significantly over the years and reached only 1 million vehicles per quarter in 2020, as much as a 50% decline.
The COVID-19 pandemic has probably worsened GM’s wholesale vehicle deliveries when factories were shut down.
In this case, GM delivered only slightly more than 400,000 vehicles in 2Q 2020.
While this number was a record low, the deliveries recovered in subsequent quarters in 3Q and 4Q 2020, respectively.
GM managed to deliver about 1 million vehicles in 3Q and 4Q 2020, respectively, a V-shape recovery driven by strong demand for GM’s trucks and SUVs.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries – TTM
There are a lot of bumps in the quarterly chart.
To smooth out the curve, I created the TTM or trailing 12-month plot for the period from 2014 to 2020 as depicted in the chart above.
The curve above is super smooth now.
On a TTM basis, GM’s wholesale vehicle deliveries have obviously been trending down.
The downtrend seemed to be accelerating between 2017 and 2020.
In the 4th quarter of 2020, GM reported only 3.37 million vehicles delivered over the past 12 months or 4 quarters, one of the lowest sales figures ever recorded by the company.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries and Automotive Revenue
The chart above shows GM’s vehicle deliveries and the respective automotive revenue for the period from 2014 to 2020.
The automotive revenue is the revenue recognized from GM’s wholesale delivery of vehicles to dealers and distributors.
All told, GM’s automotive revenue correlates closely with the vehicle delivery numbers.
When vehicle delivery increased, GM’s automotive revenue followed suit.
Likewise, GM’s automotive revenue declined.
Over the last 7 years, GM’s automotive revenue has been sliding downhill which was in line with the downtrend seen in the vehicle delivery numbers.
As of 2020 Q4, GM’s automotive revenue reached $109 billion on a TTM basis, one of the lowest levels ever recorded by the company.
The continuous decline of vehicle delivery may affect GM’s cash dividends payout.
Keep in mind that GM’s automotive has been the major business that supported the common stock dividend payments all these years.
GM’s Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries by Region – Quarterly
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly vehicle deliveries breakdown into business segments or regions:
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.
GMNA’s wholesale vehicle deliveries continued to recover in 2020 4Q and reached 800,000 units, a level that was only seen in 2019.
GMI also continued to recover from the pandemic disruption and contributed about 200,000 vehicles to GM in the 4th quarter of 2020.
General Motors sold off its GME subsidiary in 2017 and therefore, the vehicle sales 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 curve of the quarterly plot, the TTM plot above is created to show GM’s vehicle deliveries by region for the period from 2014 to 2020.
Aside from a smooth curve, the TTM plot also shows a much clearer trend for GM’s wholesale vehicle deliveries.
According to the chart, GM North America’s (GMNA) TTM vehicle sales reached a low point of only 2.7 million as of Q4 2020.
Similarly, GM International’s (GMI) TTM vehicle sales continued to worsen in Q4 2020 and reached about 660,000 units, the lowest the company has ever seen.
While wholesale vehicle sales had been very bad throughout 2020, GMNA sold slightly more vehicles in the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to the prior quarter, indicating that GM automotive sector might finally be seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
GM’s Vehicle Deliveries Sequential Growth Rates
The chart above shows GM’s quarterly growth rates of wholesale vehicle sales for the last 7 years from 2014 to 2020.
Sequentially, GM experienced the worst growth rates at -50% in 2020 Q2, driven mainly by the negative effect 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 4th quarter of 2020, GM delivered 6% more vehicles compared to the prior quarter.
GM’s Vehicle Deliveries Year Over Year Growth Rates
The chart above shows the year-over-year growth rates of GM’s wholesale vehicle for the past 7 years between 2014 and 2020.
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 reported the 1st positive YoY growth rate in Q4 2020 at 7%.
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.
GM North America did slightly better than GMI when its TTM vehicle deliveries turned slightly higher in 4Q 2020 compared to the previous quarter.
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 calculation.
Related articles that you might be interested:
Readers, investors, analysts, bloggers, visitors, researchers, writers, or academicians are encouraged to use, copy, quote, distribute, modify, edit, share and link any materials on this webpage such as the charts, snapshots, texts, paragraphs, etc. You can credit back to this page by a link or a mention of the website. Thanks for sharing!