General Motors Co. (GM) shares soared Tuesday, April 3, after reporting better-than-expected vehicle sales for the month of March, its last monthly vehicle sales report.
The Detroit automaker reported 296,341 car, crossover and truck deliveries in the U.S. last month, up 16% from the same month a year ago, the company said. More specifically, GM's retail sales in March rose 14% year over year, and the company's retail market share climbed to 17.7%, the highest since 2009.
Shares of GM, with a market cap of $51.5 billion, rose 2.6% to $36.69 at 10 a.m. New York time.
The monthly vehicle sales report will be GM's last as it announced earlier in the day that it will issue quarterly U.S. vehicle sales reports in the future.
"Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market," Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of GM's sales operations, said in a statement. "Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing."
Monthly auto sales reports are subject to many issues that make them "more volatile" than quarterly sales reports, including product launch activity, weather, other seasonal factors, the number of selling days and incentive activity, GM said.
The second-quarter sales report will be released on July 3, third-quarter sales on Oct. 2 and fourth-quarter sales on Jan.3, 2019, the company said.
GM's decision to move to quarterly reporting, however, may prompt other American automakers to do the same, but Ford Motor Co. (F) did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU) said, "At this time we are maintaining our reporting of sales on a monthly basis."
Separately, Fiat Chrysler reported retail sales of 162,304 vehicles, up 11% from the same month a year ago, which boosted the stock by 5% to $20.95.
Ford, meanwhile, posted retail sales of 158,996, an increase of 0.8%. Shares of Ford rose about 1.5% to $11.02.