The average incentive offered on a Buick product in Q1 2022 stood at $2,021 per vehicle, down 61.8 percent from the same time period last year. This was similar to Chevy, which saw its available incentives slashed by 62.8 percent to an average of $1,725 per vehicle.
Incentive spending has fallen at all four of GM’s brands over the past year due to the semiconductor chip shortage and other parts supply issues, which have resulted in low new vehicle inventory and increased demand. The auto industry had to feel the full impact of the semiconductor chip shortage in Q1 of last year, hence the significant year-over-year decrease.
With fewer incentives on offer, Buick’s sales took a predictable nosedive. The automaker observed a sizable 58 percent sales decrease in Q1, falling 58 percent to 19,146 units. This trimmed the brand’s market share to just 0.6 percent, prompting Cox Automotive to call its Q1 sales performance “dismal.” While automakers could get away with charging MSRP or more for their products amid last year’s automotive retail frenzy, it could be possible that some customers are beginning to balk at the higher prices. Whether automakers will be happy to sell fewer vehicles at higher prices remains to be seen.
The Buick Encore GX saw the largest year-over-year decline, with sales falling 70 percent to 5,382 units. Sales of the Envision fell 60 percent to 4,118 units, while the soon-to-be-discontinued Encore fell by 57.9 percent to 2,620 units. The Enclave had the smallest year-over-year decline at 7,025 units. It’s worth noting these lower sales figures will also be partially driven by the semiconductor chip shortage, which has made some vehicles harder to come by on dealer lots.
GM’s U.S. sales totalled 509,108 vehicles in the first quarter, down 20 percent from the same time last year and far behind the all-time sales record for Q1 of 715,794 vehicles, which it recorded back in Q1 of 2018.