The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD is a powerhouse of a truck with sales of Silverado HD...

The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD is a powerhouse of a truck with sales of Silverado HD models up 42% year-over-year.

Photo: General Motors/Chevrolet

General Motors Co. announced that it sold 688,236 vehicles in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2021 – an increase of 40% compared to a year ago – in a unique market bolstered by strong customer demand, but constrained by low inventories resulting from the global semiconductor shortage.

“The agility and creativity of our supply chain, purchasing, engineering and manufacturing teams, in collaboration with our suppliers and dealers, have helped us continue to satisfy customers and gain market share in some of the highest demand segments of the market,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations.

GM is well positioned in 2021 to lead the industry in full-size and mid-size pickup sales for the seventh consecutive year. During the quarter, GM earned 40.6% of the retail market for full-size pickups, up 4.5 percentage points year over year (J.D. Power PIN), with more than 237,000 Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras sold in the quarter.

“The U.S. economy is accelerating, consumer spending is robust and jobs are plentiful,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. 

The company is taking steps to meet customers’ future needs, especially in capacity-constrained segments:

GM announced that production of HD pickups will increase by about 1,000 trucks per month beginning in mid-July as a result of production line efficiencies delivered by the team at Flint Assembly in Michigan.

Also, GM will return full-size pickup production to Oshawa Assembly in Canada at the end of 2021.

Shipments of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size pickups built at Wentzville Assembly in Missouri increase by about 30,000 total units from mid-May through early July as the team completes dynamic vehicle testing on units held at the plant due to semiconductor supply disruptions.

“Although the situation remains fluid, we’re focused on continuing to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our highest demand products,” McNeil said.

GM ended the quarter with 211,974 units in inventory, down from 334,628 at the end of the first quarter.

Truck-specific second-quarter sales highlights vs. same time last year include: 

  • Silverado LD deliveries increased by 31%, HD by 42%.
  • Sales of the Tahoe (74%), Suburban (91%), Silverado HD and LD combined (34%) were all up sharply.
  • GMC deliveries grew by 50%, led by gains from Sierra LD and HD models, up 38 and 46%, respectively.
  • The all-new Yukon and Yukon XL had a combined increase of 126%.

Fleet Highlights

GM fleet sales, which were severely impacted by pandemic shutdowns a year ago, are beginning to recover as the company prioritizes production of its most in-demand vehicles.

Fleet deliveries were up 69% year-over-year in the second quarter. Small business sales increased 43%.

Sales to commercial customers increased 73%, driven by increases of mid-size pickup sales, up 97%; full-size pickups, up 96%; full-size vans, up 74%; and the Silverado MD, up 57%.

GM fleet sales were about 14% of total sales, which is lower than the company’s pre-pandemic fleet mix of about 20% due to supply constraints caused by the semiconductor shortage. 

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