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Tracking GM Truck, Car and SUV Sales Numbers

GM 2021 Silverado Realtree Edition. Source: GM 1Q 2020 earnings presentation.

This article is keeping track of General Motors (NYSE:GM) truck, SUV and car sales numbers as well as market share in the United States on a quarterly basis.

The vehicle sales numbers for GM’s trucks, SUV and car sales are based on the retail sales data extracted from GM’s financial statements available from the company’s investor relationship webpage.

In general, 3 types of vehicle sales numbers and market share data are presented in this article and they are:

(1) Trucks,
(2) Cars (or Sedans), and
(3) SUVs (or Crossovers).

For your information, the retail vehicle sales data presented in this article do not correlate with GM’s recognized revenue disclosed in the income statement. Only wholesale vehicle sales data correlates with the company’s recognized revenue in the income statement.

Readers who are interested in GM’s wholesale vehicle sales may visit this webpage: GM’s vehicle deliveries 2020.

GM’s Vehicle Sales by Types in the U.S.

GM sales by vehicle types in the U.S.

GM sales by vehicle types in the U.S.

The chart above shows GM’s retail vehicle sales by type or by segment in the United States for the past 3 years from 2017 to 2020.

As seen from the chart, there are 3 types of vehicle sales numbers presented, and they are trucks, SUVs and cars (or sedans).

Let’s first look at the truck sales number. As the chart shows, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. have been roughly flat between 2017 and 2020, with 2Q20 being the worst quarter when only 253,000 trucks were sold on a retail basis. On the flip side, GM reported the best truck sales number in 4Q17 when roughly 380,000 units were sold in that quarter alone.

In general, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. have fluctuated between the 300,000 and 400,000 range but the results had recently suffered a serious setback when GM reported 4 consecutive quarters of declining truck sales from 3Q19 to 2Q20.

As of 2Q 2020, GM reported 253,000 trucks sold on a retail basis which represents a year over year decline of 29%. The 2Q 2020 quarterly truck sales number was one of the worst for GM and the decline was largely driven by the COVID-19 outbreak.

In terms of crossover or SUVs sales in the U.S., GM’s quarterly results have been on an uptrend between 2017 and 2020. For instance, GM sold more SUVs or crossovers in 2019/2020 than in 2017. This said, 2019 was the best year for GM when the company reported 4 consecutive quarters of increasing SUVs sales and the number hit record high by 4Q 2019 at more than 300,000 units of SUVs.

However, GM’s SUVs or crossovers sales declined significantly in 1Q 2020 when only 254,000 SUVs were sold on a retail basis. The decline further deteriorated in Q2 2020 when only 202,000 SUVs were sold, representing a year over year decline of 29%.

Lastly, GM’s car or sedan sales in the U.S. has been a disaster over the past 3 years, declining more than 50% since 2017. For example, GM’s car sales averaged around 180,000 units on a quarterly basis in 2017 but this number has dropped to only 90,000 units in 2019 and further declined to only 50,000 units on average in 2020.

As of 2Q 2020, GM reported a sedan sales number of 37,000 units, representing a year over year decline of 65%. GM’s sedan sales number in 2Q20 was the lowest since 2017.

The car sales figure may not have been this worse if not for the COVID-19 outbreak which has literally devastated the entire automobile industry in the United States.

GM’s Vehicle Sales by Type in the U.S. (TTM)

GM sales by vehicle types in the U.S. (TTM)

GM sales by vehicle types in the U.S. (TTM)

To smooth out the quarterly results, I created the trailing 12-months (TTM) plots which are shown in the chart above.

The TTM plots show a much clearer trend for vehicle sales by types in the U.S.

For U.S. truck sales, GM sold only 1.248 million units in 2Q 2020 on a TTM basis, which was the lowest in the last 3 years from 2017 to 2020.

GM’s crossover sales in the U.S. were much resilient, recording 1.062 million units sold in 2Q20. The result was not the worst but still represents a year over year decline of 2% on a TTM basis.

Lastly, GM’s U.S. car sales have been downright devastating, recording only 275,000 units in Q2 2020 on a TTM basis. The result was almost less than 50% of the figure recorded a year earlier.

In short, GM’s truck and SUV sales in the U.S. have not declined as much as that of sedan sales, suggesting a better than expected demand for GM’s trucks and crossovers despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

GM’s Market Share by Vehicle Type in the U.S.

GM market share in the U.S.

GM market share in the U.S.

The chart above shows GM’s market share by vehicle type in the United States between 2018 and 2020.

As the chart shows, the market share is categorized by vehicle types which are trucks, cars and crossovers.

Besides, you may notice that the market share data dated as far back as only 2018. The reason for the short period of time is due to certain industry vehicles being reclassified among the vehicle segments starting 2019 and GM has only recast the 2018 data to reflect the changes.

As a result, the comparison in market share among the vehicle segments prior to 2018 was meaningless as it is not an apple to apple comparison for data before and after 2018. For this reason, I have shown only the 2018 and later market share data.

As seen from the chart, GM’s quarterly truck market share in the United States has not seen much change from 2018 to 2020, with an average figure being around 31% over the 2 years. As of 2Q 2020, GM’s market share of trucks in the U.S has been consistently stable at around 30% although truck sales have plunged considerably in the same quarter.

In terms of crossover or SUV market share in the U.S., GM’s number has also been quite stable at around 13%. The figure remains relatively unchanged compared to the corresponding quarter a year ago despite the deteriorating sales figure in SUVs.

GM’s market share of sedans in the U.S. has declined the most, plunging from an average quarterly number of 10% in 2018 to only 7% in 2020. Moreover, GM also saw its 2Q 2020 sedans market share declined to only 5.5% compared to 8.5% a year ago.

GM’s Trucks Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM truck sales YoY growth rate

GM truck sales YoY growth rate

The chart above shows GM’s U.S. truck sales year over year (YoY) growth rate between 2018 and 2020.

Based on the chart, GM’s trucks sales YoY growth rates in the U.S. have been mostly negative over the past 2 years, with only 3 out of the 10 quarters showing positive growth rates during the shown period.

On average, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. posted an average quarterly growth rate of -1.9% between 2018 and 2020.

In 2Q 2020, GM reported a year-over-year decline of 29% for truck sales in the U.S. which was one of the worst results between 2018 and 2020.

GM’s Crossover Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM crossover sales YoY growth rate

GM crossover sales YoY growth rate

The chart above shows GM’s U.S. crossover sales year over year (YoY) growth rate between 2018 and 2020.

As the chart shows, GM’s crossover or SUV sales was slightly better than truck sales for the past 2 years. Between 2018 and 2020, GM has only 3 quarters of negative growth rates for SUVs compared to 6 quarters of negative growth rates for trucks.

Moreover, GM reported more double-digit growth rates for crossovers than trucks in the U.S. from 2018 to 2020, resulting in a higher average growth rate of 5% for crossover compared to -1.9% for trucks. In other words, GM’s crossovers sales in the U.S. have grown at an average growth rate of 5% year over year between 2018 and 2020 whereas truck sales have declined slightly year over year during the same period.

However, the company suffered a serious setback in 2Q 2020 when crossover sales in the U.S. declined by 29% year over year as seen from the chart. The 2Q 2020 quarter was one of the worst quarters since 2018 when crossover sales dropped close to 30% year over year.

GM’s crossover sales would probably be reporting a positive growth if not for the COVID-19 outbreak which has crippled the entire automobile industry in the United States.

GM’s Cars Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM sedan sales YoY growth rate

GM sedan sales YoY growth rate

GM’s cars or sedans sales in the U.S. from 2018 to 2020 has been downright a disaster as seen from all the negative growth rates in the chart.

To make matter worse, GM’s declining car sales has worsened in 2019 and 2020 when year on year growth rates exceeded the -30% threshold, reaching as low as -65% in 2Q 2020.

The Q2 2020 YoY growth rate of -65% represents one of the worse performing quarters since 2018.

In short, GM’s sedans sales have been the worst offender among all vehicle types in terms of year over year growth rates. Moreover, the sedan segment is the only vehicle segment that reported an average YoY growth rate of -31% compared to other vehicle segments’ average growth rate of -1.9% and 5% for trucks and crossovers respectively.

Summary

In conclusion, GM vehicle sales by segment in the U.S. have been quite stable on a TTM basis from 2018 to 2020 for both trucks and crossover except for cars or sedans in which an obvious decline was observed.

While GM’s trucks and SUVs sales have been relatively flat from a TTM perspective, they are not immune to the industry-wide downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic as seen from their respective quarterly sales decline in 2Q 2020.

For perspective, GM’s cars or sedans sales were seeing the worst sales decline in 2Q 2020. To make matter worse, car sales decline was not a one-time event but has persisted over multiple quarters since 2017.

In terms of market share, GM’s market share has been consistently stable for both trucks and crossovers even during Q2 2020 when both of these vehicle segments were severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the same quarter. Besides, we are seeing a serious drop in vehicle sales in both of these segments in 2Q20.

However, both trucks and SUVs market share in the U.S. in Q2 2020 have remained resilient despite the significant year over year drop in sales in the same quarter. GM’s SUV market share has remained relatively unchanged at 13% in 2Q 2020.

An exception was that cars or sedans market share has continuously declined and hit a new low at 5.5% as of 2Q20 even when other vehicle segments were holding up well in the same quarter.

References and Credits

1. Financial data and numbers in all charts and tables in this article were obtained and referenced from General Motors’ financial statements available in GM quarterly earning release.

2. Featured images in this article are obtained from the following source: GM Q1 2020 results.

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