Counting Cars

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


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.

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.


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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