As we reported yesterday, General Motors has posted its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019, showing a $194 million loss on $30.8 billion in revenue. However, now that the complete GM trucks lineup has officially launched, the 2020 calendar year is shaping up to look much more profitable for the automaker.
“Chevrolet and GMC full-size pickups drove GM’s underlying business performance in 2019,” GM explains in a press release on the 2019 fourth-quarter earnings numbers. “Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra were strong, totaling 802,962 pickups, while combined retail market share grew almost one full percentage point, according to J.D. Power.”
Crucially, GM launched the final variants of the Silverado and Sierra heavy-duty pickups in Q4 of 2019, namely the low-cost, Regular Cab entry trim levels. As such, the latest full-size GM trucks lineup is now complete, and the company will benefit from a full year of these highly profitable vehicles heading into the 2020 calendar year.
It’s also worth mentioning that Q4 of 2019 was significantly impacted by the United Auto Workers strike, which lasted for 40 days and disrupted both GM vehicle production and the parts supply chain. In Q4, the UAW strike resulted in four weeks of production loss, reducing sales by 191,000 units year-over-year and hitting GM’s bottom line hard.
As we covered earlier in January, GM sales in the U.S. decreased 6.3 percent to 735,909 units in Q4 of 2019, with sales dropping for all four GM brands in the market, including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC.
However, now that the new full-size GM trucks launch is complete and GM is operating with a new ratified labor contract (and thus, no production disruptions like those experienced in 2019 are expected), the 2020 calendar year should prove to be significantly different from 2019.