Detroit, January 6, 2009.
General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 221,983 vehicles in December, down 31 percent compared with a year ago. However, total deliveries were 67,000 vehicles more than November's result, up more than 43 percent month over month. GM December car sales of 87,506 were off 25 percent and truck sales of 134,477 were down 35 percent compared with a year ago.
For the year, GM delivered 2,980,688 vehicles while maintaining an expected market share just above 22 percent. Annual deliveries were down 23 percent compared with 2007, largely due to building weakness in the marketplace throughout the year spurred by economic headwinds such as the dramatic reduction in credit availability experienced in the fourth quarter, coupled with historically low levels of consumer confidence. Additionally, the American Axle strike and several supply disruptions impacted GM's performance in the first half of the year.
"Given the ongoing challenges and the difficult market environment, we were very encouraged to see a volume rebound for GM in December compared with both October and November," said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. "We are building more vehicles than ever that provide great value and Americans enjoy owning. That is why, for the year, we are seeing our market share holding steady at just above 22 percent. That's 5 percentage points more and 760,000 vehicles more than our nearest competitor.
"Our outstanding cars, trucks and crossovers are enabling us to hold the leadership position in a very difficult market. Our Red Tag Event was well-received, and the ability to offer some 0% financing through our partner GMAC in the last week of the month also helped," LaNeve added.
Despite the weak market in December, Chevrolet Malibu continued its solid performance with total sales up 43 percent compared with last December. For 2008, Malibu sales of more than 178,000 vehicles were up 39 percent, making it the highest percentage gainer in the top 20 vehicles sold in America with a volume increase compared with 2007. With its six-speed transmission and four-cylinder engine combination, the Malibu delivers an EPA-estimated 33 mpg highway - tops in the industry's mid-car segment. The Malibu Hybrid also offers the lowest-priced hybrid in the segment. Additionally, with 4,500 retail vehicles delivered, the Chevrolet Traverse crossover nearly doubled its retail volume compared with November.
"We're really pleased about the strength of our Chevrolet brand, with the Malibu continuing to perform very well, and the Traverse crossover off to a strong start," LaNeve added. "Also, with a harsh winter and lower gas prices, our trucks and SUVs are continuing to perform well in their segments. With GMAC now able to provide more financing capacity, and with all the exciting new car and crossover launches including the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and SRX, Chevy Camaro and Equinox, and Buick LaCrosse in 2009, we are optimistic that with an overall market recovery we can begin to capitalize on the well-recognized product renaissance of all our brands."
A total of 2,555 GM hybrid vehicles were delivered in the month. Hybrid sales included: 981 Chevrolet Tahoe, 442 GMC Yukon and 306 Cadillac Escalade 2-mode hybrid SUVs delivered. There were 454 Chevrolet Malibu, 34 Saturn Aura and 338 Vue hybrids sold in December. In 2008, GM sold a total of 14,439 hybrid vehicles.
GM inventories dropped compared with a year ago. In December, only about 872,000 vehicles were in stock, down about 36,000 vehicles (or 4 percent) compared with last year. There were about 397,000 cars and 475,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of December.
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