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GM sales drop slightly on fewer fleet deliveries, EV sales down

Kalea Hall, The Detroit News on

Published in Business News

General Motors Co. saw a 1.5% decline in overall sales year over year in the first quarter as fleet deliveries slipped 23%.

GM's U.S. dealers sold 594,233 new vehicles in the first three months of 2024 compared with 603,208 a year ago. The automaker noted its retail sales, or sales to individual customers, increased 6%. It attributed the sales decline to the drop in fleet deliveries, which were affected by temporary production constraints on midsize pickups and vans.

GM sold 16,425 electric vehicles in the United States, down from 20,000 in the first quarter of 2023, a milestone that was supported by sales of the since-discontinued electric Chevrolet Bolt, which was not based on GM's Ultium EV platform. The automaker did see sizable gains in the EVs based on Ultium. GM is aiming to build and wholesale between 200,000 and 300,000 Ultium EVs in North America this year.

“Our brands are all performing well. GM gained retail market share year-over-year with strong mix and pricing, our inventories are in good shape heading into the spring, and production and deliveries of Ultium Platform EVs are rising, led by the Cadillac LYRIQ," said Marissa West, GM senior vice president and president of North America, in a statement. "We’re on plan."

The Bolt, which GM halted production of in December, still led GM's EV sales with 7,040 delivered, down 64% from last year. Meanwhile, the Lyriq's sales increased 499% from 968 to 5,800.

Plagued by a stop sale for software issues, the new Chevrolet Blazer EV, now back on sale, tallied just 600 deliveries in the first quarter. The new Silverado EV Work Truck had just over 1,000 deliveries. At GMC, the electric Hummer EV pickup and SUV deliveries increased from 2 reported in the first quarter of 2023 to 1,668 this first quarter. And GM delivered 256 of the BrightDrop electric delivery vans.

 

Meanwhile, on the internal combustion engine side of the business, GM noted it sold 197,000 pickups for the best first quarter since 2020.

All of GM's brands saw slight sales declines year-over-year except for Buick, which saw a 16% uptick. Chevy and Cadillac saw 2% declines. GMC's sales dropped 5%. As of March 2024, GM had 534,479 vehicles in its inventory. This time last year, GM reported 412,000 vehicles in stock.

With demand for EVs slowing, EV leader Tesla Inc. reported its first year-over-year quarterly decline since 2020 with 386,810 vehicles delivered, down nearly 9% from a year ago.

Startup EV maker Rivian Automotive Inc. delivered 13,588 vehicles in the first quarter, which was in line with the automaker's expectations. In the first quarter of 2023, Rivian sold 7,946 vehicles.

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