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.
“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
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!