Chevy Silverado sales reportedly fell 23 percent in August in the United States market. Since General Motors no longer reports sales results on a monthly basis for the U.S., the figures come by way of two people familiar with GM’s sales figures for August who spoke on the basis of anonymity with Bloomberg News.
GM reported that Silverado sales increased 4 percent to 54,448 units in August 2017.
Hence, a 23 percent decrease in August 2018 results in roughly 42,000 sales in August 2018.
Par Course For Launch Models
GM began selling the all-new 2019 Silverado at the end of August in limited configurations (body styles, trim levels, and powertrain choices). Inventory through the end of the month was minimal, as the automaker ramps up production during the remainder of the year.
More importantly, a decrease in sales volume is expected when a new model launches due to a combination of two key factors:
- Very limited availability/supply at the retail level, and
- Removal of sales incentives on all-new models
The news of the decrease in Silverado sales comes on the heels of a reported 13 percent drop in cumulative GM sales volume in August. GM would not confirm that sales volume fell, but did state that it cut incentive spending during the month in a way that leads several direct competitors. According to unofficial sources, the incentives were cut the most on full-size pickup trucks like the Silverado.
But Questions Remain
The combination of limited availability and restricted sales incentives explain a limited sales volume of the all-new, 2019 Silverado (on the T1 platform). However, the factors do not explain a potential decrease in sales of the outgoing model (on the K2 platform).
As we reported last month, various GM plants are operating at full capacity to produce the last-generation trucks, which are also assigned the 2019 model year but are only available in the Double Cab and Standard Box configuration with a single powertrain option (5.3L V8 L83 engine mated to 8-speed transmission). We can’t imagine GM removing incentives for this last-generation model, and supply does not appear to be an issue. The circumstance makes us question the validity of the figures reported by Bloomberg and, if accurate, the reason for the steep decline.
Investors were didn’t take the news lightly, as GM shares shed 4.6 percent of their value since the news broke. The stock is trading at $33.79 per share in intra-day trading on Friday.