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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 sedan sales numbers as well as the market share in the United States on a quarterly and annual basis.

The vehicle sales numbers for GM’s trucks, SUV and cars (sedans) 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 Wholesale Vehicle Deliveries.

Let’s get started!

GM’s Truck, Sedan and SUV Sales Numbers in the U.S. (Yearly)

GM's truck, SUV and sedan retail volumes in the U.S.

GM’s truck, SUV and sedan retail volumes in the U.S.

* Truck, sedan and SUV sales numbers in the U.S. are obtained from GM’s quarterly and annual financial statements and do not use restated data triggered by business combinations, accounting rules changes, sales/acquisition of subsidiaries, vehicle types reclassification, etc.

Let’s first look at GM’s truck, sedan and SUV sales numbers in the U.S. by year which is shown in the chart above for the period from FY2014 to FY2020.

According to the chart, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. topped out at 1.36 million units in FY2018.

Since then, GM’s truck sales have been on a decline and reached 1.26 million units in FY2020.

Year over year, GM’s truck sales in FY2020 declined by about 6% compared to the prior year.

In contrast, GM’s SUV or crossover retail volumes in the U.S. have been increasing since FY2014.

As of FY2020, GM’s SUV sales reached 1.05 million units, representing a year-over-year decline of 10% compared to FY2019.

Among the 3 types of vehicle sales, GM’s sedan sales have been the worst in the U.S.

Since 2014, GM’s sedan or car sales in the U.S. have been on a decline and reached only 239,000 units as of FY2020.

Between FY2014 and FY2020, GM’s sedan retail volumes in the U.S. have declined by nearly 80%.

In short, GM’s all vehicle segments have declined in terms of retail volumes in FY2020, primarily driven by the COVID-19 disruptions which have affected not only the supply chain but also the demand for vehicles in the U.S.

GM’s Truck, Sedan and SUV Market Share in the U.S. (Yearly)

GM's truck, SUV and sedan market share in the U.S.

GM’s truck, SUV and sedan market share in the U.S.

* Truck, sedan and SUV market share numbers in the U.S. are obtained from GM’s quarterly and annual financial statements and do not use restated data triggered by business combinations, accounting rules changes, sales/acquisition of subsidiaries, vehicle types reclassification, etc.

The chart above shows GM’s market share by vehicle type in the United States for the period between FY2011 and FY2020.

As seen from the chart, GM’s truck market share in the United States has risen significantly in recent years and reached as much as 31% as of FY2020.

On the other hand, GM’s SUV or crossover market share in the U.S. remained flat at 14% as of FY2020.

However, between FY2014 and FY2020, GM’s SUV market share in the U.S. has slightly declined.

In terms of sedan or car market share, GM has lost its market share in this vehicle segment in the U.S. since FY2014.

As of FY2020, GM’s sedan market share in the U.S. reached its lowest level at only 7.1%.

In short, GM has lost more than half of its market share in the sedan segment in the U.S. since FY2014.

GM’s Truck Sales Numbers in the U.S. (Quarterly)

GM's truck sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

GM’s truck sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

* Truck sales numbers in the U.S. are obtained from GM’s quarterly and annual financial statements and do not use restated data triggered by business combinations, accounting rules changes, sales/acquisition of subsidiaries, vehicle types reclassification, etc.

On a quarterly basis, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. have been roughly flat between FY2017 and FY2021.

On average, GM sold about 330,000 trucks on a quarterly basis over the last 3 years.

GM’s U.S. reported the worst truck sales in Q2 2020 when only 253,000 trucks were sold on a retail basis.

On the flip side, GM’s U.S. reported the best truck sales number in 4Q 2020 when the company sold 393,000 units in that quarter alone.

As of 1Q 2021, GM’s quarterly truck sales in the U.S. totaled 307,000 units, representing a YoY growth of 5%.

The higher truck sales in the 1st quarter were driven largely by the pandemic-induced auto demand for GM’s large pickups and SUVs.

For example, GM’s pickup trucks, including the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra series, sold particularly well in 1Q 2021 compared to the prior-year quarter.

In particular, the Chevrolet Silverado MD retail volumes increased by more than 80% in 2021 1Q compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Similarly, GM sold 34% more GMC Sierra HD in 2021 Q1 than the same quarter a year ago.

GM’s Truck Sales Numbers in the U.S. (TTM)

GM's truck sales in the U.S. (ttm)

GM’s truck sales in the U.S. (ttm)

* TTM figures consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

To smooth out the quarterly results and to better show the trend, I created the trailing 12-months (TTM) plot as shown in the chart above.

The TTM plot shows a much clearer trend for GM’s truck sales in the United States.

According to the chart, GM’s truck sales have been on a decline from a TTM perspective in the last 3 years.

GM’s truck sales hit a record low at only 1.21 million units in Q3 2020, representing a year-over-year decline of 11%, despite recording a better-than-expected quarterly truck sales number in the same quarter.

However, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. recovered in subsequent quarters in the 2nd half of 2020 and early 2021.

As of Q1 2021, GM’s TTM truck sales reached a total of 1.27 million units, a record high since early 2020.

GM’s SUV Sales Numbers in the U.S. (Quarterly)

GM's SUV sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

GM’s SUV sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

* SUV sales numbers in the U.S. are obtained from GM’s quarterly and annual financial statements and do not use restated data triggered by business combinations, accounting rules changes, sales/acquisition of subsidiaries, vehicle types reclassification, etc.

In terms of crossover or SUVs sales in the U.S., GM’s quarterly results have been on a steady uptrend between FY2017 and FY2021.

For instance, GM sold more SUVs or crossovers in 2019 than in 2017.

That said, 2019 was the best year for GM when the company reported 4 consecutive quarters of increasing SUVs sales and the number hit a record high by 4Q 2019 at more than 300,000 units of SUVs.

On average, GM sold about 260,000 SUVs or crossovers in the U.S. on a quarterly basis in the last 3 years.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in early 2020, GM’s SUVs or crossovers retail volumes dived significantly to only 254,000 vehicles in 1Q 2021.

The decline further deteriorated in Q2 2020 when only 202,000 SUVs were sold, a record low for General Motors.

However, GM’s SUV sales recovered dramatically in 2020 3Q when the company reported sales totaling more than 284,000 SUVs.

As of Q1 2021, GM sold 274,000 SUVs in the U.S., an 8% growth compared to the prior-year quarter.

GM’s Buick SUV performed particularly well in 2020 1Q.

For instance, the Buick Encore GX, a mid-size SUV, was up more than 600% in sales year over year in 1Q 2021 – its best quarter ever.

Strong retail growth was also seen for the Buick Envision, a compact SUV, in which the respective retail volume was up 51% year over year in 1Q 2021.

Similarly, GM delivered 75% more Cadillac Escalade, a full-size luxury SUV, in Q1 2021 compared to the prior-year quarter.

GM’s SUV Sales Numbers in the U.S. (TTM)

GM's SUV sales in the U.S. (ttm)

GM’s SUV sales in the U.S. (ttm)

* TTM figures consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

GM’s SUV and crossover sales in the U.S. were much more resilient than truck sales, recording 1.062 million and 1.047 million units sold in 2Q20 and 3Q20, respectively, on a TTM basis.

From a TTM perspective, GM’s retail volumes for SUVs or crossovers in both 2Q and 3Q 2020 were still on a decline year on year even though the quarterly figures show otherwise.

Prior to 2020 or during the pre-pandemic period, GM’s SUV sales had actually been trending upward as seen from the chart.

For example, GM reported the highest SUV sales in the U.S. in 4Q19 at nearly 1.2 million units, a growth of more than 20% from the 4Q17 quarter or 2 years ago.

Nevertheless, GM’s SUV sales in the U.S. slowly recovered by 1Q 2021.

As of 1Q 2021, GM TTM sales figures reached 1.07 million units for SUVs in the U.S, a slightly higher figure compared to the same quarter a year ago.

GM’s Car/Sedan Sales Numbers in the U.S. (Quarterly)

GM's sedan sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

GM’s sedan sales in the U.S. (quarterly)

* Sedan sales numbers in the U.S. are obtained from GM’s quarterly and annual financial statements and do not use restated data triggered by business combinations, accounting rules changes, sales/acquisition of subsidiaries, vehicle types reclassification, etc.

GM’s car or sedan sales in the U.S. have been devastating in the last 3 years, with the worst retail sales reported in 2020 Q2 at only 37,000 units.

However, GM’s car or sedan sales in the U.S. recovered slightly in 2020 Q3 to 62,000 units.

While GM’s sedan sales may have improved in 3Q 2020, the result was still 25% lower compared to the same quarter a year ago.

Sequentially, GM’s sedan sales further improved by more than 10% in 2020 Q4.

As of 1Q 2021, GM’s sedan retail volumes totaled 61,000 units, a 14% lower compared to the prior-year quarter.

Year over year, GM’s Chevrolet Impala and Sonic were nearly wiped out in 1Q 2021, down 91% and 76% respectively.

It’s not all bad news for GM’s sedan sales in the U.S. market.

One particular achievement worth celebrating was that the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Chevrolet Corvette were up 54% and 73%, respectively, in U.S. retail volume in 1Q 2021.

GM’s Car Sales Numbers in the U.S. (TTM)

GM's sedan sales in the U.S. (ttm)

GM’s sedan sales in the U.S. (ttm)

* TTM figures consist of the sum of the quarterly data on a trailing 12-month or 4-quarter basis.

The TTM plot above clearly shows the downtrend of GM’s sedan sales in the U.S.

While GM’s car sales have slightly recovered on a quarterly basis, the TTM plot shows an opposite result in which only 228,000 sedans were delivered for the past 12 months as of Q1 2021, a record low for the company.

Comparatively, GM’s TTM car sales in 1Q 2021 plunged more than 34%.

Again, GM’s sedan retail volume in the U.S. has been the worst among the 3 vehicle segments over the last 3 years.

GM’s Trucks Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM's truck sales YoY growth rates

GM’s truck sales YoY growth rates

* Year over year growth rates come from the author’s own calculation using GM’s quarterly truck sales numbers.

Based on the chart, GM’s truck sales YoY growth rates in the U.S. have been mostly negative over the past 2 years, with only 6 out of the 13 quarters showing positive growth rates during the shown period.

On average, GM’s truck sales in the U.S. grew -1% for the past 13 quarters.

In 1Q 2021, GM reported a year-over-year growth rate of 5% for truck sales in the U.S.

GM’s SUV Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM's SUV sales YoY growth rates

GM’s SUV sales YoY growth rates

* Year over year growth rates come from the author’s own calculation using GM’s quarterly SUV sales numbers.

For GM’s SUV sales, the results were slightly better than truck sales for the past 3 years.

Between 2018 and 2021, GM had only 4 quarters of negative growth rates out of 13 quarters for SUVs or crossover sales in the U.S.

On average, GM’s SUV sales in the U.S actually grew 4% for the past 13 quarters.

While year-on-year growth was positive on average, GM suffered the worst decline in YoY growth in FY2020 for SUV retail volume in the U.S.

In 1Q 2021, GM’s SUV retail volume in the U.S. improved considerably by 8% compared to the prior-year quarter.

GM’s Sedan Sales Year On Year Growth Rates

GM's sedan sales YoY growth rates

GM’s sedan sales YoY growth rates

* Year over year growth rates come from the author’s own calculation using GM’s quarterly sedan sales numbers.

GM’s cars or sedans sales in the U.S. from 2018 to 2021 have been downright a disaster as seen from all the negative growth rates in the chart.

GM’s declining car sales have worsened from 2019 to 2020 when year-on-year growth rates exceeded -30%, reaching as low as -65% in 2Q 2020.

Nevertheless, GM’s sedan sales decline in the U.S. has narrowed over the last couple of quarters.

In 2021 Q1, GM’s car or sedan sales decline has reduced to -15%, the least the company has ever seen since 2018.

In short, among the 3 types of vehicle segments, GM’s sedan segment is the worst in terms of retail volumes in the U.S.

For the past 13 quarters, GM’s sedan segment YoY growth rates averaged 29% compared to -1% and 4% for trucks and SUVs, respectively.

Summary

In summary, GM’s truck and SUV sales in the U.S. have been recovering since its worst quarter in 2Q 2020.

The TTM plots for GM’s truck and SUV retail volumes are both pointing to an upward trajectory in the 2nd half of 2020 and subsequently 2021.

However, GM’s sedan sales were still declining as of 1Q 2021, both sequentially and comparatively.

The COVID-19 pandemic has induced a greater demand for GM trucks and SUVs in particular.

Additionally, Biden’s administration infrastructure plan will further push the demand for trucks and SUVs higher.

Consumers see these vehicle types as a safe space for both local and long-distance trips as trucks and SUVs provide not only safe transportation but also hauling capabilities.

As such, we may see a further upside in GM’s truck and SUV sales for the rest of 2021.

References and Credits

1. Financial figures in all charts in this article were obtained and referenced from General Motors’ financial statements available in GM Earning Release.

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

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