GM launch of all-new versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for the MY-2019.

GM launch of all-new versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for the MY-2019.

Photo: GM

General Motors sold 555,580 vehicles in the United States in the third quarter, up 24% year over year, based on strong customer demand and improved availability. Three of GM’s vehicle brands posted double-digit total sales gains, with Chevrolet up 30%, GMC up 24%, and Cadillac up 50%.

GM and its dealers were able to translate improved semiconductor supplies, stable production, and improvements in dealer inventory into a nearly 3-point improvement in retail market share year over year (J.D. Power PIN), as well as significant sales gains in the commercial fleet market.

“The design, technology, and manufacturing investments we have made are helping us meet strong customer demand for our products, and they’ve translated into sales leadership in some of the industry’s most important segments,” Steve Carlisle said, GM executive vice president and president, GM North America. “We are being very intentional in the way we are executing our EV strategy to position the company for the same kind of success that we’ve earned with today’s pickups and SUVs, and with supercars like the Chevrolet Corvette.”

Third-quarter highlights include:

  • Record quarterly sales of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, which totaled 14,709 units combined. In response to unprecedented customer demand, GM plans to increase calendar-year production for global markets from approximately 44,000 vehicles in 2022 to more than 70,000 in 2023.
  • Surpassing Ford F-Series sales calendar year to date: GM sold more full-size pickups than Ford in 2020 and 2021, and is on track to do so again in 2022.
  • The Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL earned close to 70% of the retail market for full-size SUVs in the third quarter.
  • The Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV earned close to 31% of the retail market for large luxury SUVs, leading the No. 2 competitor by double-digits.
  • Sales of the Cadillac XT4 rose sharply in the third quarter, earning the No. 1 retail share position in the small luxury SUV segment.
  • Total sales of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon rose sharply in the third quarter, and all-new models will soon arrive in dealer showrooms for the 2023 model year.
  • The breadth of GM’s product lineup, especially customer demand for the Chevrolet Silverado, Tahoe, Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, Equinox and Express helped GM increase sales significantly in the commercial fleet segment calendar year to date. Total fleet deliveries were up 66% in the third quarter versus a year ago.
  • Ultium Cells opened its first cell plant, located in Warren, Ohio, which will help enable GMC HUMMER EV and Cadillac LYRIQ production to increase in 2023.

Modestly Improving Inventory

GM ended the third quarter with 359,292 vehicles in dealer inventory, including units in-transit, an increase of 111,453 units from the previous quarter and nearly three times the inventory available at the end of the third quarter of 2021, when COVID-related supply chain issues impacted production.

Inventory turn rates remain quick, bolstered by GM software that helps dealers identify and order the most in-demand vehicle configurations, as well as new tools to track the status of in-bound orders.

Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV Selling at a Record Pace

Demand for the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV have outpaced supply, especially since a new pricing strategy was announced this summer that makes them among the most affordable EVs on the road. The base MSRP for the 2023 Chevrolet Bolt EV now begins at $25,6001 while the Bolt EUV begins at $27,2001.

Also supporting demand is a unique customer-focused program introduced by Chevrolet for qualified customers who purchase or lease a new Bolt EV or Bolt EUV that covers standard installation of a home charger through Qmerit, or public charging credits through EVGo. Most EV drivers do at least 80% of their charging at home, and nearly two-thirds of Bolt EV and Bolt EUV retail customers are choosing Chevrolet’s home charging option.  

How GM Regained Truck Leadership

GM’s recent dominance of the full-size pickup market began with the launch of all-new versions of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra for the 2019 model year, which dramatically expanded choice for customers at all price points and introduced new off-road-ready models like the Trail Boss for Chevrolet and the AT4 for GMC. 

GM also significantly increased capacity for heavy-duty models by about 90,000 units, which includes the expansion of production capacity at Flint Assembly in Michigan in 2021 and the reopening of Oshawa Assembly in Ontario, Canada in 2022. This flexibility to meet customer demand has helped GM grow its retail share of the heavy-duty market from 29% in 2019 to 52% through Sept. 25 (J.D. Power PIN), with large increases in total share as well.

GM’s manufacturing teams in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Wentzville, Missouri, and Arlington, Texas have also found creative ways to increase capacity for full-size light-duty pickups, mid-size pickups and full-size SUVs.

To fortify its leadership, Chevrolet and GMC have continued to enhance the Silverado and Sierra, with 1500 models receiving significant interior and technology upgrades for the 2022 model year.

On Sept. 26, Chevrolet unveiled the 2024 Silverado HD (available first half of 2023), with more diesel horsepower and torque, a standard Allison 10-speed automatic transmission for both the 6.6L gas and 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel engines, redesigned interiors for most models, including an available 13.4-inch-diagonal infotainment screen and 12.3-inch-diagonal configurable driver information center, enhanced trailering technology and two new models, the ZR2 and the High Country Midnight Edition (available starting fall 2023).

The 2024 GMC Sierra HD will be unveiled on Oct. 6.

Building the Foundation for EV Scale

Since unveiling the Ultium Platform in March 2020, GM and the company’s suppliers and joint venture partners have been executing a tightly coordinated strategy to scale EV capacity in North America to more than 1 million units annually by 2025.

Four battery cell plants are planned. In addition to the now open Ultium Cells site in Warren, Ohio, Ultium Cells will open a plant in Tennessee next year and one in Michigan in 2024. Details regarding the fourth site will be announced soon.

GM has binding agreements securing all the necessary battery raw material to support its annual EV capacity goal in North America in 2025, including lithium, nickel, cobalt and full cathode active material supply.

In addition to Spring Hill Assembly in Tennessee and Factory ZERO in Michigan, which are already producing vehicles on the Ultium Platform, work is underway at CAMI Assembly in Ontario, Canada, which will build BrightDrop vans, and Orion Assembly in Michigan, which will build EV trucks. When production at Factory ZERO and Orion is fully ramped, GM will have the capacity to build 600,000 EV trucks annually.

To respond to growing demand, GM is pulling ahead body shop upgrades at Factory ZERO for the Silverado EV and taking other steps to prepare to scale EV production in 2023. While the work is underway, GM will pause production of the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup for several weeks starting in late November. Chevrolet currently has 170,000 reservations and growing for the Silverado EV, including retail customers and intent from nearly 400 fleet operators. GMC has 90,000 reservations for the Hummer EV Pickup and SUV.

Cadillac LYRIQ production will increase in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter. Additional production shifts for GMC Hummer EV are planned for 2023. All of GM’s 2023 EV launches, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV, Chevrolet Blazer EV (summer), and Chevrolet Equinox EV (fall), are on schedule. 

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