General Motors (GM) U.S. Sales Volume Down 7.1% Y/Y in Q1

General Motors Company GM reported total unit sales of 618,335 in the first quarter of 2020. This marks a 7.1% year-over-year decrease on a volume basis, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in significant sale decline in March.

In the first quarter, sales for the Buick brand totaled 33,870 units, down 34.7% year over year. Under the company’s Buick brand, Cascada and LaCrosse models recorded the largest decline in sales volume. While Cascada’s sales volume tanked 99.1% year over year, LaCrosse registered sales of only 138 units in the period, marking a slump of 95.2% year over year.

Chevrolet sales came in at 435,422 units, declining around 3.8% year over year. Notably, Volt and Cruze models of the Chevrolet brand registered plunge of 99.1% and 98.3% year over year, respectively. However, on a positive note, the Blazer and Silverado MD models recorded sales of 22,144 units and 1036 units, respectively, indicating a 632.5% and 275.4% surge from 2018, respectively

Cadillac and GMC brands also experienced year-over year sales decline of 15.8% and 5.5%, having recorded 30,325 and 118,718 units, respectively. Under the company’s Cadillac brand, sales of CTS, ATS and XTS models plummeted 93.4%, 91% and 87.3% year over year, respectively to 160 units, 47 units and 473 units, respectively in the first quarter. The Acadia, Canyon and Savana models of the GMC brand registered sales of 17,686 units, 4,483 units and 4,182 units, respectively during the period in discussion.

Amid coronavirus scare, General Motors has temporarily suspended production across the United States. Notably, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has crossed 245,000. Acknowledging the gravity of the crisis, President Trump has issued new guidelines to contain the spread of the pandemic.

In line with the nationwide campaign addressing the crisis, General Motors has implemented more stringent cleaning regimens, imposed restrictions on access to the plants and taken other steps to keep workplaces safe for its employees.

The coronavirus-induced uncertainty has prompted the top U.S. automaker to withdraw its 2020 guidance. The firm intends to drawdown approximately $16 billion from its revolving credit facilities, which would be used to deal with the downturn caused by production shutdowns.

In a bid to spur demand during such uncertain times, General Motors is providing new vehicle financing programs. The company’s financial arm, GMF, is offering 0% financing for seven years –– two years more than recent programs and four months deferred payments for those with A+ credit. General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here.

The pandemic has rattled the auto industry. Sales of almost all major carmakers, including Ford F, Fiat Chrysler FCAU and Volkswagen VWAGY, went for a toss in the first quarter. The virus outbreak has not only dampened consumer sentiment and thwarted vehicle demand but also distorted the supply-chain balance globally.

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