GM 2nd-quarter US sales rise slightly, with EV sales up 40% from 2023 (2024)

General Motors on Tuesday reported a gain in U.S. new vehicle sales in the second quarter, powered by continued strong demand for pickups and growing sales of electric vehicles. But GM reported a decline in sales in the first half of 2024 compared with the year-ago period, largely due to a drop in fleet sales.

For the second quarter, GM reported a gain of 0.6% to 696,086 vehicles sold, its best quarter for total sales since the fourth quarter of 2020, GM said. For the first half, GM reported its U.S. new vehicle sales declined 0.4% to 1,290,319 million new vehicles sold.

GM spokesman David Caldwell said GM could not yet quantify the impact of an industrywide disruption to sales because of a cyberattack on dealership software provider CDK Global last month.

“Our dealers who use the CDK platform are working to meet strong customer demand under difficult circ*mstances," Caldwell said. "Some deliveries may be delayed until Q3."

GM 2nd-quarter US sales rise slightly, with EV sales up 40% from 2023 (1)

Strong EV sales gains

GM's closest rival in total U.S. sales is Toyota North America. It reported sales gains Tuesday, but GM again topped Toyota for the quarter and first half. Toyota reported selling 621,549 vehicles in the second quarter, a 9.2% gain compared with the year-ago quarter. For the first half, Toyota’s U.S. sales totaled 1,186,647 vehicles, up 14.3%. Toyotafirst captured the U.S. sales crown fromGMfor 2021after the shortage of semiconductor chips crippled GM's production, but GM recaptured the title soon thereafter and has held it since.

GM reported selling 21,930 EVs in the second quarter, a 40% gain from the same period in 2023, led by sales of Cadillac Lyriq and Chevrolet Blazer EVs. The total EV sales include 490 of GM's electric delivery trucks for its BrightDrop subsidiary.

GM's sales of electric vehicles during the first half totaled 38,355, up 6% from 36,322 EVs sold in the first half of 2023. GM sold 746 EVs at BrightDrop. The EVs GM is selling this year all use its new Ultium propulsion system. Last year at this time, 33,659 of the 36,322 EVs sold were Bolt and Bolt EUV vehicles, which were on old architecture and have since been discontinued. GM will bring the Bolt back using Ultium technology in 2025.

The year has been challenging for automakers, given that interest rates on auto loans remain high, making affordability an ongoing problem. Then, in June, the industry was hit by thecyberattack on Chicago-based CDK. The attackforced CDK to shut down most of its systems across the country for its dealership customers, leaving about half of the nation's car dealerships struggling to operate, forcing some to return to the days of pen and paper. The result had J.D. Power and GlobalData forecasting that U.S. retail sales in June across all automakers will be about 5.4% lower than they were in June 2023.

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GM President of North America Marissa West said in a statement Tuesday, "We have an incredible portfolio of diverse vehicles and we’re flexible, so we can win as more customers embrace EVs and we can keep winning if they want to stay with the engine technologies they know.”

GM's bestsellers in the quarter

U.S. sales results at crosstown rival Stellantis, which makes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat, were quite a contrast from those at GM. Stellantis reported Tuesday that it had U.S. sales of 344,993 in the second quarter, down 21% compared with the same period a year ago, when the company sold 434,648 vehicles. Ford Motor is expected to report sales Wednesday.

Industry auto analyst David Whiston of Morningstar said that, overall, GM's results are good.

"Volume is nice, but I care about gaining market share without compromising profit and GM seems to be succeeding in that regard," Whiston told the Free Press. "First-half retail sales are up 5% while total sales are down 0.4%, so that means less fleet volume, which is good if it’s mostly less daily rental. GM isn’t overly discounting either, given incentives as a percentage of average transaction price are still low at 4% and lower than the industry the past five quarters."

He noted that Cadillac had its best retail sales volume since 2015, and GMC posted its best second quarter in sales since 2005, which "suggests good pricing contribution in Q2 results later this month."

GM's Buick and GMC brands reported the biggest total sales percentage gains for the quarter. Buick’s second-quarter sales rose 6.3% to 45,445 thanks to the addition of the compact SUV Envista to the lineup. It is the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year sales growth for Buick.

GM 2nd-quarter US sales rise slightly, with EV sales up 40% from 2023 (2)

GMC sales rose 2.3% to 159,585 in the quarter on the strength of full-size and midsize pickups and the GMC Terrain large SUV, which sold 27,259, a 38.4% increase over its sales in the year-ago quarter.

Chevrolet’s sales were down 0.4% to 452,111 in the second quarter.

GM reported its biggest gains in its full-size pickups, saying it was the company’s best quarter for full-size pickup sales since 2007. GM sold 231,300 total full-size pickups compared with 217,109 total full-size pickups in the year-ago quarter. Broken down, Chevrolet had a 6.9% gain in sales of its Silverado full-size pickups, selling 151,112 of them. GMC sold 80,188 full-size Sierra pickups, a 5.8% bump.

A continued hot seller was the new Chevrolet Trax small SUV. In the quarter, GM sold 52,875 Trax, a jump of 153% from the year-ago quarter when it sold 20,921 of them.

Other wins include midsize pickups, the best quarter for those vehicles since 2019. GM saw a 35% gain in sales of the Chevrolet Colorado to 26,901 sold in the quarter and a 69% gain in sales of the GMC Canyon to 11,351 sold.

GM's disappointments in the quarter

GM fleet sales plummeted 10% for the quarter and 16% for the first half, Caldwell said, driven by lower deliveries to rental customers. GM does not provide total fleet sale numbers in its reports, but Caldwell said they typically compose 20% of GM's total sales.

At Cadillac, when factoring in fleet, total sales were down 1.1% to 38,455 as sales of every vehicle in the lineup saw double-digit percentage declines except for the fully electric Lyriq. Sales of the Lyriq soared 441% to 7,294 as the EV's production has finally gained some momentum to get it to dealerships. GM launched the Lyriq in mid-2022, but struggled getting any real volume of it — and other new EVs — to market due to issues with battery module production.

GM EV sales gain some stride

In January, CEO Mary Barra called 2024 the "year of execution"for GM, especially for launches of its newest EVs. GM is producing the retail versions of the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV this year at Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck alongside the GMC Hummer pickup and SUV. GM started building the commercial version of the Silverado EV at Factory Zero last year and sold 2,196 in the second quarter; there is no year-ago comparison.

GM has also started getting more Chevrolet Blazer EVs to dealers after having a near three-month stop-saleon the vehicle late last year into early this year for engineers to resolve owner-reported software problems that included intermittent issues with in-vehicle screens and problems using DC fast charging. In the quarter, GM reported delivering 6,634 Blazer EVs. There is no year-ago comparison.

In the quarter, GM also delivered 1,013 of the first editions of the Chevrolet Equinox EVs to dealers.

At GMC, the Hummer pickup and SUV EVs are gaining sales momentum despite remaining a niche product due to their premium price tags. For the quarter, GM reported delivering 2,929 Hummers compared with 47 in the year-ago quarter.

How is pricing and inventory?

GM's dealer inventory at the end of the quarter was 581,001 compared with the year-ago quarter, when dealers had about 412,285 vehicles in stock.

GM's pricing is still holding up. Caldwell said that, as of midmonth, GM's average transaction price was about $50,000, consistent with the same period last year. Caldwell said GM’s incentives vary by vehicle, but the average incentives in the quarter were 4% of the average transaction price, below the industry average of about 5.7%.

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This story has been updated to reflect that GM sold 696,086 new vehicles in the U.S. in the second quarter.

Contact Jamie L. LaReau:jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter@jlareauan. Read more onGeneral Motorsand sign up for ourautos newsletter.Become a subscriber.

GM 2nd-quarter US sales rise slightly, with EV sales up 40% from 2023 (2024)
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