GM Follows Tesla’s Lead – Will Release U.S. Sales Quarterly

Chevrolet Bolt (orange, blue, and black)

APR 3 2018 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 27

No, it’s not an April Fools’ prank.

Rather recently, Tesla committed to releasing quarterly sales figures. Prior to that, the automaker only released these numbers at random, when it was in the automaker’s best interest. The release of quarterly figures was seen as a step forward in conforming with the rest of the automotive industry, which releases sales on a monthly basis in the U.S.

MONTHLY PLEASE – MONTHLY PLUG-IN SALES SCORECARD

But now, General Motors has decided to take a step backward.

In a move that shocked us, GM has publicly stated that it will no longer release monthly sales results for the U.S. Instead, the automaker will move to a quarterly release schedule.

The Detroit News spoke with Michelle Krebs, automotive analyst for AutoTrader, in regards to GM’s move to report quarterly. Krebs stated:

“I think they might get a little bit of backlash from some who say they are not being transparent enough.”

Yes, for sure. As does Tesla.

Krebs added:

“What will be interesting to watch is, will everyone follow suit? My hunch is that eventually, yes, they will.”

Unfortunately, yes, we believe this to be true too.

What does this mean for InsideEVs’ monthly sales report? Long term, if all automakers come on board with this new quarterly reporting method, it means our monthly scorecard will likely become quarterly, though we do suspect we’ll get some monthly sales tidbits here and there.

GM’s move may mean this is the last month you’ll see U.S. plug-in electric car sales reported and that’s a shame, both for us and you our readers who’ve come to rely upon our sales figures on a month-by-month basis for years now.

Here’s the press release issued today by the automaker:

GM to Begin Reporting U.S. Sales on a Quarterly Basis

2018-04-03

DETROIT – General Motors announced today it will begin reporting its U.S. vehicle sales on a quarterly basis, effective immediately. In 2018, second quarter sales will be released on July 3, third quarter sales on October 2 and fourth quarter sales on January 3, 2019.

“Thirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations. “Reporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.”

In the auto industry, monthly sales are subject to many issues that make them more volatile than quarterly sales, including product launch activity, weather, other seasonal factors, the number of selling days and incentive activity.

GM’s high level of transparency on total, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory will not change. The company will also continue sharing J.D. Power PIN estimates for incentive spending and average transaction prices.

The company’s March 2018 U.S. sales will be released today at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Hat tip to Benz!

Categories: Cadillac, Chevrolet, Sales

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27 Comments on "GM Follows Tesla’s Lead – Will Release U.S. Sales Quarterly"

newest oldest most voted
Benz

They should start reporting US sales on a weekly basis.

Viking79

Why? What value would it add? Monthly sales reports are already too noisy, weekly would be worse. Quarterly is honestly a better way to go. Take Tesla for example, monthly they might have very few deliveries in one month as that production is maybe being allocated to a different region not included in the monthly report.

Also, media outlets latch on to sales being up or down just a few percent and don’t necessarily account for fact there was a strong winter storm in an area, etc

Sure, I would like weekly reports, I don’t think it would help investors make sound decisions on the company and it generates work for them to release those reports.

ffbj

He kids, he kids.

Kdawg

How about a real-time running ticker. Each time a car is sold, it is logged into the system and the ticker increases.

🙂

Robert Weekley

Well, if the NYSE can do it with stock prices of 1,000’s of Compamies trading prices, & NASDAQ can do it, one would think GM could figure that out!

If there is any real value in that, is the Question!

WadeTyhon

An odd decision indeed… well if GM does it, that gives other manufacturers incentive to do the same.

Vexar

Reminds me of charging for carry-on luggage with budget airline carriers. But, what can you do? Complain about it? Stop buying GM cars?

WadeTyhon

Lol who will be the ‘bags fly free’ automaker?

Warren

Anything that takes the pressure off car companies to sell EVs is a setback.

In our case,the Bolt was our first GM car. If they did their job right, this to be our last car. If they didn’t, it will be back to Asia for the last one.

nuclearboy

Not really,

There is no cost to the consumer here. I bought a Bolt and have no idea how many they were selling per month or year. This type of inside investor nerd data is irrelevant to 99.99% of the consumers.

Pushmi-Pullyu

“An odd decision indeed…”

Yes, how is this going to benefit GM? Is it just a “Does Macy tell Gimbel’s?” type of situation? That is, is it just that GM wants to be more opaque to its competitors? Seems strange for GM to suddenly veer away from the industry standard.

I understand why Tesla doesn’t release monthly sales/deliveries info; it’s because Tesla haters and short-sellers have repeatedly used the seasonal/ quarterly variance in Tesla’s auto sales to paint a false picture of there being something “wrong” at Tesla.

Don’t see that GM should have the same motive for hiding that info. So far as I know, there are not massive numbers of trolls and haters short-selling GM stock, nor posting FUD-filled hater posts all over the internet!

CDAVIS

From a carmaker public informational release and downstream industry analysts interpret standpoint a Q/Q rather than M/M will likely result in fewer but better higher quality sales analysts reports. Sometimes less is more… and it would free up some INSIDEEVs resources to focus on other important areas of EV metric analysis such as perhaps a quarterly report of supercharging network build-out.

CDAVIS

… having said that I will miss greatly the Monthy INSIDEEVs ScoreCard which has earned a reputation of being rock-solid accurate… and I look forward to the upcoming Quarterly INSIDEEVs ScoreCard which I know (like the current monthly scorecard) will remain the industry go-to place for plug-in sales analysis.

Scott

I agree it makes a lot of sense. I imagine it’s an increasing burden to put that monthly report together as the number of PEV models continue to grow.

I too will miss the monthly reports, but I probably waste way too much time checking those anyway.

Taylor S. Marks

Makes total sense. Every other industry does quarterly – automotive was the outlier in doing monthly. Tesla, as the company that wants to be an automaker who does everything the right and modern way instead of the way it was done 60+ years ago, naturally was doing quarterly.

Sad to see the monthly sales chart go away, but ok. We’ll still have a quarterly chart to look forward to.

Why Not?

There may be valid reasons for it, but I still think it’s a crying shame. I was always looking forward to the monthly sales chart. It is still so early in the EV movement and it’s exciting to see how things are progressing. I will really miss it. I guess there is always the slim hope that the other automakers will not follow suit.

Otherwise, I will have to focus on the EV Sales blog and how the rest of the world is doing. I am afraid this is just another step that will make the US EV market fade into irrelevance, as it is already falling way behind Europe and China.

Steve

Better overall.

There is too much drama generated over sales figures by the media. This includes TV as well as worldwide web. Media use this sort of data to unnecessarily pester their audiences with ads, webclicks, dramatic headlines, and so on. Therefore, less events per year is better.

Steve

Oh and certainly in the case of Tesla, plenty of negative headlines were fabricated by financial actors using momentary dips in InsideEV’s GUESSWORK, therefore the less we get of all that, the better.

ziv

But GM just released monthly results.
Bolt at 1774 and Volt at 1782.
So the Volt outsold the Bolt for the first time in months.

ziv
Nelson

For buyers hoping to get in on the full $7,500 Federal Tax Credit, this move to quarterly sales reporting could cause them to miss out.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3 (soon)

TwoVolts

It should not matter. The EV tax credit is based on a quarterly schedule as well.

Lou Grinzo

I’m not happy with this move, but like everyone else here, I’ll survive.

I look forward to our future of quarterly sales numbers, with more time left for endless iterations of pro-/anti-Tesla slap fights.

Matthew Fabb

Matthew Klippenstein does monthly Canadian plugin sales reports for GreenCarReports. He keeps a Google doc running so even before posting an updated article you can see the numbers being plugged in as numbers are available.

Lately, the numbers available for the previous month have been pretty dismal. Example right now for March only data for 5 cars are available. However, the data for February is almost complete minus figures from Tesla. Sometimes estimates are plugged in and noted as such until full data is available.

Basically, it means that updates are 1 month and a few days behind. So we numbers for February are nearly complete. March numbers will likely be filled out the first few days of May.

TwoVolts

The GM of twenty years ago would have had too much hubris to follow the lead of a California upstart company. Perhaps this is a sign that the corporate culture at GM has changed for the better.

G2

‘This just in; GM follows Tesla lead by reporting quarterly…and making BEVs- more at 11.”

Nix

Personally, I have come to the measured and reflective conclusion that monthly numbers make the short-sighted trend towards investing in quarterly results EVEN WORSE.

Sadly, this nation has lost foresight, lost long term vision, and lost the concept of building value in a corporation. Instead these concepts have been replaced by day traders and computer programs doing high-frequency trading with no concept of investing, and all the focus on making a quick buck. Everything TRUE capitalism (per Adam Smith) rejects.

Frankly, dating back to the bad-old days of Leaf vs. Volt monthly bullpucky, the whole monthly numbers have been nothing but a negative distraction for the cause of EV’s.

I say this with utter respect for all the hard work it has taken to collect all these hard to obtain sales numbers.

I say this even while I have to admit I enjoy seeing the numbers grow from month to month most months.

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the numbers drop to quarterly.