General Motors Company (GM)

Sales Call

October 3, 2011 11:00 ET


Jim Cain – Communications

Don Johnson – Vice President, U.S. Sales


Himanshu Patel – JP Morgan

John Murphy – Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Chris Ceraso – Credit Suisse

Peter Nesvold – Jefferies

Adam Jonas – Morgan Stanley

Patrick Archambault – Goldman Sachs

Dan Galves – Deutsche Bank

Joe Spak – RBC Capital Markets

Colin Langan – UBS

Tom Krisher – Associated Press

Todd Lassa – Motor Trend

David Welch – Bloomberg News

Mike Colias – Automotive News

Chrissie Thompson – Detroit Free Press

Robert Schoenberger – The Plain Dealer

James Amend – Ward’s Auto

Ted Reed –The Street

Jeffrey Flock – Fox Business Network

Craig Trudell – Bloomberg News



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the General Motors’ Monthly U.S. Vehicle Sales Conference Call. During the presentation, all participants will be in a listen-only mode. Afterwards, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Monday, October 3, 2011.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Jim Cain, General Motors’ Communications. Please go ahead, sir.

Jim Cain – Communications

Thank you and good morning everyone. Welcome to our September sales call. Joining us today is Don Johnson, our Vice President of U.S. Sales operations.

Before we begin, I just wanted to remind everyone that the discussion we’re about to have is covered by our forward-looking statements caution and if anyone has any follow-up questions after the call, they can contact me directly my phone and e-mail is in the press release.

And with that said, let me turn the floor to Don Johnson.

Don Johnson – Vice President, U.S. Sales

Well, thanks Jim and good morning everybody. Thanks a lot for joining us today. I presume by now, you’ve all had a look at the press release and you can see that September was another very strong month for General Motors and our U.S. dealers. When you look at the numbers compared to September 2010, our total sales were up 20% to 207,145 units and all four of our brands saw increases in sales.

Once again, it’s balanced portfolio of fuel efficient cars, crossovers, and trucks as well as the sustained momentum of the products that we launched really as far back as 2009, but right through the 2010 and into this year 2011 that’s helping drive our results. That includes a very strong truck sales at both Chevrolet and GMC and the continued success of products what the Chevrolet Cruze and Equinox, the Buick Regal and Enclave, the Cadillac CTS and SRX as well as the GMC Terrain.

And I think when you look at all of the sales reports that are going to come in today, you are going to see the September will mark the eighth month this year that General Motors has increased its total and its retail market share. So, let me give you high look at what happened and then I’ll get into a little bit more detail.

I’ll start with looking at the major segments. For the month, General Motors total passenger car sales increased 12% compared with September 2010. Our crossover sales increased 7% and truck sales and this includes pickups, SUVs as well as vans increased 34%. And across all of these three segments, retail sales were up 19% and totaled 74% of our mix, plus sales to fleet customers went up 22%.

And notably, the incentive spike in the industry that a lot of people have been talking about in the last few months and had predicted as the Japanese OEMs recovered from the supply destructions does not appear to have materialized in the industry. And then you look at us on an absolute basis, our spending in September was actually down about $50 per unit compared with August while our average transaction price improved by more than $400. And once again, we had the highest average transaction prices among our competitive staff.

Looking back on the quarter, our incentives as a percent of ATP were 9.8%, which reflects our competitive position and it exactly equaled to the industry average according to J.D. Power’s PIN.

So, let’s go a little bit deeper into the month of sales numbers. And we’ll start with Chevrolet, which really led the way this month. The Chevrolet, Equinox increased its sales 33% compared with September of 2010. And once again proving that small is big in the U.S. right now, the Chevrolet Cruze completed its first full year in the market in September with sales of more than 18,000 units and for that full year, the Cruze sold over 212,000 cars.

When you have a look at the seasonal factors that Cruze selling rate in September was right on pace with what it was in both July and in August. We are also right on track with rolling out the Chevrolet Volt nationwide by the end of the year. And in September, the Volt had its best month ever with 723 units sold and we now have almost 2000 demonstrators and 884 units for sale at dealers in 34 states. Our on the ground supply will continue to be tight for few months as we stock more dealers with both demonstrators and salable units, but what we are doing is positioning ourselves well for the 2012 model year overall.

And just as another quick highlight the first 2012 Chevrolet Sonics were being delivered to customers, so in terms of that launch we are right on plan and in the next couple of months we’re going to see a good increase over availability of all of our dealers. Over at Buick, Regal sales increased 87% as the launch continues to gather momentum with the addition of the Regal GS and the Regal Turbo. And in addition the Enclave, which has really been a continuing success story for Buick was up 10% in September.

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