GM Misses Sales Expectations, Blames Weather; Ends Year With Most Ever December "Channels Stuffed"

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago, GM, now fully non-government backstopped (and perhaps because of), reported adjusted US vehicle sales of 230,157, a decline of 6.3% from the 245,733 cars delivered a year earlier, on expectations of a 1.5% increase in sales. As Kurt McNeil, VP of US sales, announced "“December started a little slow but sales were stronger later in the month, especially in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We didn’t make any big changes to our ‘go-to-market’ strategy during the month, which is to offer competitive incentives and market aggressively, and we are carrying good momentum heading into January." GM also was quick to put blame on wintry weather in December - fear not though, they won't be the last. It was unclear just how substantial GM's incentives were in a month in which below margin inventory liquidation was the name of the game for all retailers: we expect to learn soon.

Still, despite the weak December, GM did report a 7.3% increase in total 2013 sales, which rose from 2.6 million to 2.786 million sales, although judging by the weak end of year performance, many prospective buyers may have tapped out their government-funded car loans, which as we reported a month ago, represented together with student loans some 99% of all loan issuance in the past year!

The full breakdown of GM's December car sales can be seen below: of note - the surge in Corvette sales, which GM said had its best December sales since 2006. Perhaps less exciting was the 9.2% Y/Y drop in Volt sales. Are Americans losing their fascination with electric cars?

But perhaps the most interest datapoint in today's release, and one which may explain why GM's sales missed, was that the car's near record channel stuffing, which as we reported last month had soared in the past three months at a record pace, and was just shy of its all time high, saw a modest decline from 780K to 748K. Still, the latter number was still the highest ever December GM dealer inventory for the month of December in the restructured company's history. It would appears even dealers can't take any more, which also means to expect significant weaknesses in the various January manufacturing diffusion indexes and hard data points.

Source: GM

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Temporalist's picture

This is the Milli Vanilli (lip synched) economy:

Blame It On The Rain

Joe Davola's picture

Oh it's forty below

and they can't sell them trucks

Obama don't give a fuck

He offloaded GM a long time ago


nope-1004's picture

Where is Max Fisher when you need him to troll that the above chart is not channel stuffing, but organic consumer demand?

I actually miss some of the trolls - makes life around here a hoot reading some of their Osama-ologies.


Headbanger's picture

No shit!!   I just got an e-mail from Capital One saying they topped off my GM Gold Card credits to $4000 !

They added over $2000 to the points I had already!

And I just bought a really nice used 2004 Chevy truck.

But the price of a Chevy Tahoe starts at $41,000 !!!  WTF !?

CognacAndMencken's picture



I'm not sure who Max Fischer (Rushmore?) is, but the above chart clearly isn't channel stuffing.  As GM moves further away from bankruptcy and as GM sells more cars (sold ~200,000 more in 2013, than 2012), doesn't it make sense that GM dealers would take on more inventory?  If you notice in the above graph, GM dealers always increase their inventory in November because December is typically a strong month.  Just look at the chart... November inventory is always an outlier.  

And for the record, when GM reports sales like they did this morning, those are sales to end-users, the actual real customer.  They are NOT sales to dealers - even their press release states this.  In other words, GM is not "stuffing" dealer lots to fluff up todays sales reports.  

And lastly, I HATE GM.  I think they're the worst auto manufacturer on Earth (Pontiac Aztek? Cadillac anything?), so please don't accuse me of being some Obama shill.  


nope-1004's picture

You aren't even a good troll, you Obama shill.  From GM's 2012 Annual Report, found on the bottom of page 76:


Note 3.

Revenue Recognition

Automotive sales and revenue are primarily composed of revenue generated from the sale of vehicles. Vehicle sales are recorded when title and all risks and rewards of ownership have passed to our customers. For the majority of our automotive sales, this occurs when a vehicle is released to the carrier responsible for transporting to a dealer and when collectability is reasonably assured. Vehicle sales are recorded when the vehicle is delivered to the dealer in most remaining cases.


Your post is so far from the truth, it's hilarious.  Or you're stupid.... lmao.  

CognacAndMencken's picture



You're a complete fucking idiot.  Seriously.  You really are.  You don't even know what you're referencing.  Do you know what "Revenue Recognition" is?  It has NOTHING to do with sales to end-buyers, which is what ALL manufacturers posted today.  "Revenue Recognition" is when GM counts a sale on their financial statements.  This has NOTHING to do with the sales figures posted today. Sales figures today are to end-users, the consumer. There are 2 sales: GM selling to the dealer, and the dealer selling to the end-user.  Today's numbers are END-USERS; all manufacturers posted sales to end-users today.   

Read their press release today. It clearly says, "GM's US Dealers Deliver 2.8 Million Vehicles in 2013."  It does NOT say, "GM Delivered 2.8 Million vehicles to US dealers."  Huge difference.... and you're too stupid to see it.  

Got it? Just because you have the ability to copy/past something, doesn't mean it has any relevance to the chart or numbers in question. 

nope-1004's picture

lmfao..... A tantrum with a bit of squirming.  Always a good sign of someone in the know.

You are 100% wrong.  GM records a "sale" as defined by them, which I have provided above.  According to you the word "sale" has two meanings.  If so, find the second definition and a link to GM's defintion of it.  You won't.

A piece of advice for you:  A sale is revenue recognition.  You can't have revenue without sales.  GM records a sale when it leaves their plant.  GM does NOT record a sale when someone buys it from a dealer.

You are clearly wrong, and the GM definition of how they record a sale is there for all to see.

Also, why does someone who has only been here 3 weeks and 6 days, have such a passion about how GM is channel stuffing in desperation?  Why are you so disturbed by the fact that they are channel stuffing?




Freddie's picture

Who buys this Obama-UAW-GM-Chrysler-FIAT shit?  Retards.

More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

How can I buy a car when I cant buy food? 

yogibear's picture

Obama soon to provide Obama cars. It will be a sure vote by the Free Stuff Army.

Handful of Dust's picture

Time for Barry to step in with another $16,000 tax credit/subsidy for every GM you buy + a Free Golf Cart.

zaphod's picture

To be fair Bush handed out cash directly as stimulus checks.

I still remember seeing that and wondering what the hell happened to the republican party and why I should care about them.

I am Jobe's picture

Why does one need food, IPHONE sles up and so is GM and now Lockheed Martin is awarded several  contracts. sheesh, food is so yesterday, social media will fuel Amerika


kaiserhoff's picture

You can't finance food.

Why not get a spiffy condo too?

Dr. Richard Head's picture

You didn't channel stuff that.

If you like your channel, you can stuff it.

post turtle saver's picture

the better question is "how can I buy a car when my health care cost per month is now as much as my mortgage payment?"... you can replace "car" with just about any big ticket item for 2014... Obama and the Dems have done it, they've managed to suck consumer demand right out of the economy in one stroke of a pen... stupid fucks

FeralSerf's picture

It's rumoured that Monsanto has The Answer. Blood can be squeezed out of their new taxpayer subsidized GMO turnips.

yogibear's picture

Include GMs and Chryslers soon with Obama phones, food stamps and free rent.

Ride that fine Obama car to use your food stamps while talking on your Obama phone.


Freddie's picture

Dude - look around. This is already happening.  The rent, food and phones are already free.  They get financed in shit like Chryslers because no one would buy them because they depreciate so fast.   They probably roll the repo for 6 to 9 months.  Car goes back to the bank - free shit army member goes and picks out a new one.  This ***IS*** happening. 

mightybillfuji's picture

Does anyone know what a baseline of inventory in "normal times" should be, insofar of how out of whack things are here? 

I am Jobe's picture

GM should have offered

Blow up dolls

Tickets to hookers

Blow jobs

Gay Parade 

Fuck Dynasty

Above all, a evening at the Whore House , to get bent over 

Last of the Middle Class's picture

$16,000 off sticker plus the above and finally an investment banker hanging from the lamp post nearest the street and I'll come take a peek at what you got GM. No guarantees tho!!!

PrecipiceWatching's picture

Why the animosity toward Duck Dynasty?

They're the good guys as opposed to the cowardly fascists who run the Anal Entry Network.

max2205's picture

Still not budging on 500 below dealer invoice...which is a joke

starman's picture

How's this GM's total Domestic sales in 2007 ; 4.3 million units
2013 total domestic sales ; 2.2 million units , and 2200 less dealerships since 2008.

Call that a recovery !

kaiserhoff's picture

Hell's the problem?  Sitting for months in the cold and freezing rain is always great for new equipment which hasn't been properly broken in.

When American Motors finally went belly up, (around 1988?), the local dealer in Northern VA had three years of inventory on hand.

Channel stuffing is magic beans;)


666's picture

Corvette sales are higher than Volts. I wonder why?

Must remember to turn sarcasm off before I go to work.

knukles's picture

And both from the very same company.
To consumers who don't get subsidies to buy 'Vettes.


Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Is this not a great way to run a company?  Since when did "We'll keep making shit, people will EVENTUALLY buy our stuff" become a valid business model?

replaceme's picture

It's a great model - they make that shit with found, taxpayer money.  If they go under, they offer up voters to politicians, start over.  Makes great commercials.  I want to drink.

Emergency Ward's picture

Who had a blow-out year at GM?  The union workers with piles of overtime (urged on by the union bosses who got an Obama-crony-stakeholder seat on the board) and the Obama-crony execs with their bonuses for meeting PRODUCTION targets.  FedGuv held up the stock price besides (even selling its own shares at a loss).

The SALES side will be handled by FedGuv-insured "CAR-rie Mae Yellen", which will push zero-interest, zero-down, "no income, no problem" 144-month car loans to pay for those Escalades and Avalanches.

Modern crony-car-pitalism at work  Stimulus.  Win-Win.  Shiny new cars for the multitudes.  No more worries about profit and loss.

ziggy59's picture

Chrysler also blamed bad DEC numbers on ice and

Dr. Engali's picture

Good Lord, if the blame the lousy sales on a couple inches of snow I can't wait to see how the fudge their numbers now that some real cold weather has rolled in. A little anecdotal information here. My wife is the office manager for the largest real estate office in town, and according to her they had  record December in both closings and dollar amount transactions.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

Interesting. I wonder if the impending new Obamacare tax on higher end homes drove some of this.

astoriajoe's picture

Are the volt's tough to start when its f*cking freezing outside? Tough to take the car off the lot if it won't start.

Citxmech's picture

It might go far enough to get off the lot - but once you turn the heater on - your range will probably be measured in feet.

yogibear's picture

King Obama can design a new model called the Obama Car. GM can get paid by the government to make it and issue it to the Free Stuff Army so they vote in the next election.

Hire this lady as the Obama Car spokesperson.

Musashi Miyamoto's picture

The problem with bailing out the auto industry is that every-ones already gone. Obama's voting base in Detroit will continue to dwindle regardless of anything he does. I have no idea why his approval rating isn't as low as Hollande's, it goes to show how hopeless the sheep here are. At least acknowledge what a weak man he is.

Let me be clear (pause for dramatic effect) , you didn't borrow that.

monopoly's picture

Bad WX. Ridiculous

And on the idiot box where they pay boring Matt Lauer $24 million a year to read a teleprompter they blame the lack of football ticket sales in Green Bay on "flat screens". Has nothing to do with the economy. $150.00 tickets, no problem. Cannot believe how stupid people are. Then again, yes I can.

So the asshole multi millionaires may black out the playoffs. Just not making enough I guess. So screw the people who can least afford it. 

Hedgetard55's picture

Janet will be buyng that bloated inventory by mid summer.

yogibear's picture

The Fed (QEen Yellen)  can own everything. Like North Korea.

trillion_dollar_deficit's picture

This is especially bad when you consider depreciation changes in 2014 were a great incentive to pull demand forward into December. I know of one local dealership in my area that ran ads specifically pertaining to the changes.