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Tracking GM Truck and Car As Well As 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 post 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.

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

GM sales numbers by vehicle type

GM sales numbers by vehicle type

The chart above shows GM’s retail vehicle sales by type or 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.

Let’s first look at the truck sales number. As the chart shows, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. has been roughly flat between 2017 and 2020, with 1Q19 being the worst quarter when only 273,000 trucks were sold on a retail basis. On the flip side, GM reported the best trucks 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. has fluctuated between the 300,000 and 400,000 range but the results had recently suffered serious setback when GM reported 3 consecutive quarters of declining truck sales from 3Q19 to 1Q20.

As of 1Q 2020, GM reported 292,000 of trucks sold on a retail basis which represents a year over year increase of 7%. The 1Q 2020 quarterly truck sales result was a surprise as GM still managed to sell more trucks compared to the same quarter a year ago despite industry wide downturn caused 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. With 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 sales declined significantly in 1Q 2020 when only 254,000 SUVs were sold on a retail basis. This compares to around 277,000 of SUVs sold in 1Q 2019, representing a year over year decline of 8% or more than 17% if measured sequentially.

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.

As of 1Q 2020, GM reported a car sales number of 72,000 units, representing a year over year decline of 38%. 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 Market Share by Vehicle Type in the U.S.

GM market share by vehicle type

GM market share by vehicle type

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 mainly due to certain industry vehicles being reclassified between 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 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 over the 2-year period, with average figure being around 31% from 2018 to 2020. As of 1Q 2020, GM’s market share of truck has increased by as much as 3% year-over-year from 28.2% to 31%.

In terms of crossover or SUV market share in the U.S., GM’s quarterly market share of crossover has slightly increased over the past 2 years from an average figure of 12.8% in 2018 to 14.2% in 2019. While GM’s crossover sales in the U.S. has declined year over year by 8%, the respective market share has actually increased slightly to 14.5% from 14.1% in the same quarter a year earlier.

Consistent with the declining sales in cars or sedans market, GM’s market share of sedans in the U.S. saw similar decline, plunging from an average quarterly number of 10% in 2018 to only 8.1% in 2019. Moreover, GM also saw its 1Q 2020 sedans market share declined to 8.2% compared to 9.8% in the same quarter a year ago.

GM’s Trucks Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM trucks sales YoY growth rate

GM trucks sales YoY growth rate

The chart above shows GM’s U.S. trucks 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 9 quarters showing positive growth rates during the shown period.

In average, GM’s trucks sales in the U.S. posted an average quarterly growth rate of 1.2% between 2018 and 2020. While the average growth rate of 1.2% may seem minimal, it represents a major achievement for the company when most other automakers are suffering heavy losses from industry wide downturn inflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Nevertheless, as of 1Q 2020, GM reported a year over year growth rate of 7% for trucks sales in the U.S. which in my opinion, was a pretty solid result.

GM’s Crossover Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM crossovers sales YoY growth rate

GM crossovers 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 SUVs sales was slightly better than trucks sales for the past 2 years. Between 2018 and 2020, GM has only 2 quarters of negative growth rates for SUVs compared to 5 quarters of negative growth rates for trucks.

Moreover, GM reported more double-digits growth rates for crossovers than trucks in the U.S. from 2018 to 2020, resulting in a higher average growth rate of 8% for crossover compared to only 1.2% for trucks. In other words, GM’s crossovers sales in the U.S. has grown at an average growth rate of 8% year over year between 2018 and 2020.

However, the company suffered serious setback in 1Q 2020 when crossover sales in the U.S. declined by 8.3% year over year as seen from the chart. The 1Q 2020 quarter was one of the worst quarters since 2018 when crossover sales dropped in high single digit.

GM’s crossover sales would have been in the positive growth if not for the COVID-19 outbreak which has devastated nearly the automobile industry in the United States.

GM’s Cars Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM cars sales YoY growth rate

GM cars 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 decline in car sales has worsened in 2019 and 2020 when year on year growth rates have exceeded the -30% threshold, reaching as low as -39% in 3Q 2019.

The latest quarter of 1Q 2020 was not spared from the automotive industry downturn when GM’s sedans sales in the U.S. dropped year over year by 38% and was one of the worse performing quarters during 2019 and 2020.

In short, GM’s sedans sales has been the worst offender among all vehicle types in terms of year over year growth rates and is the only vehicle segment that registered an average YoY growth rate of -27% compared to other vehicle segments average growth rate of 1.2% and 8.5% for trucks and crossovers respectively.

Conclusion

In summary, GM vehicle sales by segment in the U.S. have roughly been stable 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, they are not immune to the industry wide downturn triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic as seen from their respective sales decline in 1Q 2020. GM’s cars or sedans sales was seeing significant drop in 1Q 2020. Moreover, cars 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 stable for both trucks and crossovers even during 1Q 2020 when both of these vehicle segments were severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the same quarter. Besides, we are seeing serious decline in vehicle sales in both of these segments in 1Q 2020.

However, both trucks and SUVs market share in the U.S. in 1Q 2020 have remained resilient despite significant year over year drop in sales in the same quarter. GM’s SUV market share has even ticked up a few percentage points to reach record high at 14.5% in 1Q 2020.

An exception was that cars or sedans market share has continuously declined and hit 8.2% in 1Q 2020 even when other vehicle segments were holding ground 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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