Wednesday, 22 July 2020 17:35

Pandemic Slows GM Sales in Second Quarter

Written by Caleb Cook, The News Wheel
Chevrolet Blazer sales were a bright spot for GM in the second quarter. Chevrolet Blazer sales were a bright spot for GM in the second quarter. Chevrolet


GM sales fell 34% in the second quarter, as the COVID-19 pandemic reduced customer demand and triggered plant shutdowns that hurt the automaker’s supply of vehicles.

Overall, GM delivered 492,489 vehicles for the quarter. Over the first six months of the year, the automaker has sold 1,110,824 units---a 21.4% decline.


GM officials are pointing to signs of hope amid the tough numbers. While retail sales were down the most in April, the first month of the quarter, they rebounded slightly in May and June. Model availability is improving, too, as plants ramp back up to regular operations.


“GM entered the quarter with very lean inventories and our dealers did a great job meeting customer demand, especially for pickups,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations. “Now we are refilling the pipeline by quickly and safely returning production to pre-pandemic levels.”


To encourage customers that it’s safe to shop, GM is emphasizing online shopping options like Shop Click Drive. It’s also instituted CLEAN, a voluntary program in which dealers pledge to abide by CDC and EPA cleanliness and disease prevention standards in their showrooms.


While sales showed signs of life toward the end of the quarter, GM Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg warned the situation could change if the COVID-19 virus is not brought under control.


“We expect continued sales recovery as businesses ramp back up, but recognize that the path forward may not be linear, as rising infections in many states may lead to steps backward in the reopening process,” she said.


Here’s a breakdown of how sales for each GM brand fared during the second quarter.


GM second-quarter sales: Chevrolet


Sales leader Chevrolet was down 33.6% with 331,917 units moved. A pair of SUV models were the only passenger vehicles to make gains---the Blazer was up 67.6% and the Trax was up 3.1%.


The Silverado HD pickup was nearly flat, losing just 0.7%. Chevrolet’s sales leader was the Silverado 1500 truck, which sold 89,465 units, but was down 18.6%.

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