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GM Shines In July Sales Report

Daniel Miller
August 1, 2013

Few companies maintain the level of anti-sentiment as General Motors (NYSE: GM) has since the recession and ensuing bailout. As many times as I hear, "I'll never buy a GM vehicle again," or "Government Motors is going to fail again," you'd think it would have an effect on the company's sales. Maybe it does, but you sure can't tell by its recent sales figures. Ford (NYSE: F) and GM both posted very solid second-quarter earnings, and started the third quarter with strong July results. Here's a look at GM's results.

General Motors Headquarters in Detroit. Photo Credit: General Motors Company.

July 2013
GM's total sales were up 16%, and July was a very balanced month with all four brands increasing by double digits. The total number of units sold came in at 234,071, which were favorable to cross-town rival Ford by about 40,000 vehicles.

"For GM, July was the most well-balanced month of the year from a retail sales standpoint: trucks were hot, but so were small cars and family vehicles," said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. sales operations, in a press release. "Our experience shows that the difference between good sales and great sales in a slow-growth economy is how many new products you have to offer, and we are starting to hit our sweet spot."

Quick hits

  • Cadillac is having a phenomenal year, and car sales were up 34%
  • Full-size pickup sales were up an incredible 44%
  • Impala sales jumped up 38% with the redesigned model
  • GM and Chevy car sales were up 24% and 31%, respectively
  • GMC Terrain, Chevy Equinox and Cruze all set record July sales figures
  • Retail sales increased by 23% in July, while fleet sales declined 6%

There's a lot of very positive news in those quick-hit highlights, especially the increase in retail sales and decline in fleet sales. Fleet sales aren't all bad, especially when managed correctly; however, fleet sales represent 25.5% of GM's sales for the year -- investors were pleased to see that figure under 20% for July.

Looking at competitors, GM fared well with its 16% sales increase compared to rivals Honda, Toyota, and Ford, which posted inc