Counting Cars

Sales Day Notebook: GM Share falls to all time low.

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Highlights and notes from the March U.S. Sales report.

Items of note from March U.S. Light Vehicle sales:

  • With GM reporting March sales early in the day, and the industry racking up its 19th consecutive month of year-over-year gains, one fact that largely slipped under the radar yesterday was that General Motors grabbed it's lowest share of the U.S. market ever: 16.5%.
  • The previous low of 16.6% was set in March 2011. Buick and Cadillac - which have been growth brands for the auto maker both underperformed the market, as did a number of the company's high-volume CUVs.
  • Mid-size cars were the largest selling segment for the second consecutive month, and grabbed an 11-year high share of 23.5%.
  • Prior to February CUVs had been the market's top-selling segment for 28 months, dating back to month immediately following the close of Cash-for-Clunkers.
  • Nissan had its best volume sales and daily sales in March, but only its second-best market share, falling less than a tenth of a share point short of the company's benhmrk 9.75% take in March 2011.
  • Honda’s share dropped to 9.1% in March from 9.6% in February and 10.8% a year ago. Its first-quarter share of 9.3% was its lowest for the period since 2007.
  • Every one of Honda' cars recorded a double-digit shortfall.
  • Honda truck increased 9.5% thanks to a 35.2% surge of CR-V sales. Excluding CR-V, Honda’s truck sales declined 2.1% from last year.
  • Mitsubishi’s sales were down 8.7% despite healthy gains by the Galant midsize sedan and the Outlander Sport small CUV.
  • U.S. Light Vehicles set a new record for fuel efficiency on the WardsAuto Fuel Efficiency Index for the third consecutive month.
  • Six companies, including GM, reached all-time highs on the WardsAuto Fuel Efficiency Index in March.
  • Ford Fiesta daily sales dropped 35.9% from year-ago. But the comparison comes against the vehicle's best-ever daily rate of 362 units. this March's 232 DSR is actually the new Fiesta's fifth best daily rate since its June 2010 launch.
  • Toyota sold 200,000 light vehicles for the first time since the August 2009 Cash-for-Clunkers sales spike.

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

on Apr 6, 2012

Is GM's March performance an anomaly or a sign of things to come?

on Apr 12, 2012

We are getting our butts kicked in the marketpace . Any GM dealer in the Northeast will tell you that ..We are not price competitve. Good product but the pricing and the poor marketing is the problem .

on Apr 25, 2012

This is not good that in automotive industry Honda is one of the popular brand and Honda’s share dropped in March to 9.1% from 9.6% in February and 10.8% a year ago. This is really bad news for Honda but on other side Honda truck increased 9.5% thanks to a 35.2% surge of CR-V sales. Such up downs in the automotive market will also affects on the demand for cars.
http://newcars.indiandrives.com/picture_gallery.php?make=Honda&model=Hon...

on Apr 25, 2012

Brands drop share all the time when they don't offer as much rebates/cash back incentives as other brands do. Brands that gain market share due to incentives generally aren't as profitable during those months.

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What's Counting Cars?

Blogs and commentary about automotive data, industry trends, and the future of the auto industry.

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John Sousanis

John Sousanis oversees WardsAuto data operations as Director of Information Content, and is Ward’sAuto sales analyst. Follow John on Twitter @CountingCars.  

Haig Stoddard

Haig Stoddard is a veteran automotive industry analyst. His current focus is North America production and longterm sales forecasting.
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