DETROIT ( TheStreet) -- November sales numbers for the Ford (F) F-150 and the Chevrolet Silverado headed in different directions, underscoring the ancient competition involving Detroit's two best-selling vehicles.
Sales of the F-150 in November rose 18% to 56,299, prompting Ken Czubay, Ford vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service, to declare during Ford's November sales conference call that "I've got to raise the benchmark to 55,000 from 50,000 for a real good month for us." For the first 11 months, F-150 sales are at 576,529, up 11.6%. F-150 is the best-selling U.S. vehicle for the past three decades.
November sales of the Silverado fell 10.4% to 30,674. For the first 11 months, Silverado sales totaled 367,613, just 270 vehicles more than during the first 11 months of 2011. Silverado is the third best-selling U.S. vehicle, trailing the second-place Toyota (TM) Camry. Meanwhile, Dodge Ram November sales rose 23% to 24,337. For the year, Ram sales are up 20% to 263,152.
On the GM (GM) sales call, Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. sales, conceded "we did not achieve our objective for the month" and attributed Silverado's decline primarily to high incentive spending by its U.S. competitors."GM had the lowest incentives in the segment, $500 lower than the segment average," McNeil said. "The biggest spenders have $1,500 to $1,700 more than we do." Alan Batey, interim chief marketing officer, said Chrysler's Dodge offered incentives as high as $5,000 on the Ram pickup. "We were shocked," he said. The reason for the high incentives, McNeil said, is that competitors were trying to move out their 2012 trucks, something GM started to do sooner than they did. "We started the 2013 models for Sierra and Silverado about 45 days earlier than last year, several weeks earlier than domestic competitors," he said. "This left us vulnerable to high incentive activity (when) competitors ramped up spending to sell off their 2012 stock." Nevertheless, Batey said GM "took the strategic decision to be very disciplined. We knew they would liquidate a lot of inventory." Holding back on incentives helps to maintain residual values for GM vehicles, he said. Today, he said, 2013 models represent about 76% of Silverado inventory. At year-end, inventory will be at the high end of the previously estimated range of 200,000 to 225,000. Analysts expressed concern about the high level during the conference call because high inventories could threaten GM's commitment to pricing discipline.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV