This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

GM's Latest Flop: Dealers "Stuffed" With 725-Day Supply Of "Tesla Competitor" Cadillac ELR

Tyler Durden's picture


Ten days ago, some of the more confused fringes of the blogosphere took great offense at our repost of an article showing thousands of idle cars strewn around various ports, dealer lots, parkings, airports and any other flat surface in what is merely the world's largest ongoing manufacturing channel stuffing and working capital gimmick.

Amusingly, the most vocal critics were primarily offended by the photos which they said, correctly, were from several years ago. What the critics apparently did not do, as we will gladly demonstrate in a follow up article as soon as GM's dealer inventory numbers are released next week, was to do a quick parallel image search because all those same venues clogged to the brim with unsold cars, and whose addresses were explicitly laid out for anyone willing to do 30 seconds of work and plugging the address into Google earth for an updated aerial photo, are just as crowded today as they were in any point over the past 5 years.

The far bigger point, obviously, is that there are millions of cars clogging up the supply chain of automotive delivery - both then and now - which is precisely why we started off with the topic of GM's record channel stuffing...

... something we have been following keenly for the past three years, and of which lots parked with brand new cars around the world is merely a manifestation of the same underlying problem: namely massive inventory mismanagement, and an attempt to affect pricing through working capital goosing.

To this point we could have clarified that what is going on around the world with various car makers stuffing unsold cars in every possible nook and cranny - certainly including transit ports and continuing all the way down the supply chain and far from it - is nothing different than what Goldman and Glencore were doing with their cartel-like abuse of commodity warehousing (which has now attracted even the Fed's attention), which as we showed earlier this month were at or above 700 days delivery for aluminum respectively, in what is simply an attempt to induce artificial supply shortages by keeping intermediate product from its final destination. That we didn't is because our regular readers are familiar with this topic.

Sadly most others were not.

However, the one fair criticism is that to get a truly detailed picture of just how horrific the channel stuffing problem across the US auto manufacturers, one described quite effectively by Bloomberg in its recent article "Most Autos on U.S. Lots Since ’05 Has Ford Leading Cuts", what we should have done is show aerial picture of dealer lots of local car makers such as GM, Ford and (Italy's) Chrysler which are the fullest they have been in a decade. We hope to update our photo narrative with just that soon.

And in lieu of that, instead here is a verbal account of precisely what happens when domestic car-makers overestimate the purchasing power of the US, and clog channels to an epic extent. In this case, we refer to the recently launched GM Cadillac ELR, launched to much aplomb just five months ago as a competitor to the Tesla Model S for a $76,000 price point (above Tesla's $70,000), has been a complete disaster. And how is GM dealing with this latest sales disappointment (which struck even before all the recent recall scandals had hit)? Why by jamming dealers with an unprecedented 725-day supply, or exactly two years worth of cars!

So what is GM forced to do now? The same thing every vendor does when realizing they have overproduced a product and have too much in inventory - liquidate.

From MarketWatch:

The Cadillac ELR has been on sale for just five months, but General Motors is now offering dealers a $5,000 incentive to offer test drives in the Chevrolet Volt-based plug-in hybrid. To receive the incentive, dealers have until June 2 to designate ELRs in their current inventory as test vehicles, after which each test car has to log a minimum of 750 test-drive miles.


The incentives could be because 1,700 ELR coupes remained unsold in dealer inventories at the end of April. At current sales rates, that’s a 725-day supply, which is almost exactly two years’ worth of cars.

The discounts and incentives don't end there:

General Motors is also offering $3,000 in customer discounts toward the lease or purchase of an ELR, in addition to the 240-volt Level 2 home charging station with included installation that was offered to a number of early buyers this year. We noted in January that a Level 2 charger typically sells for north of $750 excluding installation, so a number of ELR buyers essentially received a $1,000 value with the purchase of an ELR.

Curious why the US economy had a mini manufacturing and inventory stockpiling boom in late 2013? Precisely due to cases like the ELR:

General Motors told Automotive News that the Detroit-Hamtramck plant that builds the ELR has been producing a higher volume of cars since the beginning of the year, which could explain the nearly two-year stockpile; industry analysts keep pointing to the price, which is twice that of the Chevrolet Volt. The ELR starts at $75,995 including destination, but before the application of discounts and state and federal credits.

And here we get a paradox:

General Motors, by its own admission, did not intend the ELR to be a volume seller in the lineup.

In other words, a car that was not supposed to be a volume seller, had its production volume cranked up to the max just to stimulate economic activity by building up inventory. And then it hit a snag: "However, it appears that the price continues to keep a lot of customers away."

So yes, while those lots filled to the brim we showed were not of ELR models, they should have been. Unfortunately stock photos of this brand new car sitting untouched on dealer premises are unavailable, at least for now. They will be in due course, unless of course GM is forced to take far more drastic price writedowns and offer much more generous incentives to move the excess inventory - incentives which will bite right into GM's bottom line.

Which really is the bottom line, pun intended: if those thousands of cars held for "inventory stocking" purposes - and nobody knows just what specific intent management has to park thousands of cars idle in plots around the country, not us, not our critics, except that it is an explicit attempt to throttle the supply chain and artificially boost prices (think diamonds) - were to be forced into the broader market and sold at clearing prices, there would suddenly be no epic inventory glut. But far more importantly it would lead to a collapse in car prices as suddenly car supply exploded and dealers were forced to apply the same liquidation methods to all their models as they are doing to the ELR right now.

Finally, since the company under discussion in this post is GM, the same company whose quality control track record has been destroyed following a recall of 50% more cars so far in 2014 than it sold in 2013, expect to see many more stories about exploding channel stuffing for all of its brands, not just the car that was - erroneously - thought would become Government Motors' own Tesla killer.


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:43 | 4799903 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Why by jamming dealers with an unprecedented 725-day supply, or exactly two years worth of cars!

365 * 2 = 730

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:46 | 4799914 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Must be that common core math

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:02 | 4799962 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Or just a test to see if anyone is actually reading the article.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:09 | 4799977 knukles
knukles's picture

Cadiddilliac has an electric upscale offering?
Whoda thunk?
OK, now what demographic is Cadillac?
Upscale trendy metro-sexual, tree hugging, rich, techie guys or some other demographic I'd best not touch with your 6' hot poker?


No Shit, Sherlock....

Iwans da chromezindas  golda matches my toofs

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:12 | 4799990 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Most of the Cadillacs I see are driven by old geezers.


That other demographic has to wait about ten years for the used hand me downs.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:48 | 4800083 Troll Magnet
Troll Magnet's picture

I'd rather drive that Caddy than that fagmobile Tesla.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:52 | 4800095 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

I'll stick to my '92 Jeep.  It's paid for and I can work on it.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:55 | 4800274 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

the solutions are as simple as they are obvious

- interdict googlemaps satellite images of vehicle depot areas

- arrest/imprison/fisa anyone who shows or links to such images

- put camouflage netting over the vehicle depot areas

- truck the vehicles to areas in detroit that are scheduled for demo

- fill fukushima with unneeded vehicles

- dump the vehicles into the ocean so no one can see them on satellite images


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:15 | 4800405 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Blame Putin.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:16 | 4800592 Newsboy
Newsboy's picture

'87 Isuzu P'up diesel longbed with 82k miles is what I drive when I'm not riding my titanium commuter fixed-gear bike. 

I never get less than 30 MPG, no matter what load I'm carrying, but I never break 75 mph, either.  :-)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:29 | 4800628 redpill
redpill's picture

I have a Tesla on order.  I'm not an environmental type. I didn't buy it for some political cause.  I bought one because it's fucking awesome.  Say what you will about Elon Musk.  I doubt I'd agree on a lot of his politics, but the fact is he brings it.  He supplies a space station and has successfully broken into an industry that no one in the US has penetrated for decades.  In a world dominated by megalomaniacs focused solely on their own power structure, this guy throws every last penny against the wall to create a new paradigm.  Love him or hate him, I wish we had more people willing to further their vision instead of being parasites on society.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:00 | 4800703 NOZZLE
NOZZLE's picture

Sorry I can only vote up once

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 07:30 | 4801231 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

GM should have made it more like an electric Vette.

And they can call it Corvair as it's "unsafe at any speed" when it can explode into flames like the Tesla.

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:09 | 4815224 Weapon
Weapon's picture

Funny thing is, if they did that it would still be safer then any gasoline car on the road.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:28 | 4800626 Dave
Dave's picture

I'm surprised they haven't by now.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 00:29 | 4800855 MedTechEntrepreneur
MedTechEntrepreneur's picture

Bazillions in excess inventory? Not to worry!  The Fed will buy them.  (probably already have)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:22 | 4800424 mrpxsytin
mrpxsytin's picture

I think they will be shipped to the multiple number of warzones erupting all over the world and used as car bombs, portable gun carriers, and transport vehicles. Watching years of yotube clips on the Syrian war would suggest this theory is partly correct.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:16 | 4800736 jez
jez's picture

But look on the bright side. With a two-year supply in the dealerships, that means you can buy a 2016 model right now! What an opportunity!

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 00:03 | 4800808 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

I agree Troll, its a really nice looking car, and I didnt know about it until now.  The volt has gotten very good reviews, and having an engine onboard to charge the batteries is indispensable.  Who the heck wants to be swapping out batteries with the Tesla, talk about gettting a bad back, have you seen how heavy those things are.  

Tesla is a one trick pony and the sooner Elon Muskstain takes a hit the better.  The guy is one slimy dude.  Buys up patents and then acts like the is the biggest inventor in the world.  The dude had only one good idea his whole life and that was being a middle man with Paypal and carrying out credit card transactions for parties looking to make a sale and their buyers.  So he was basically a transaction machine for a piece of plastic.

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:06 | 4815220 Weapon
Weapon's picture

You are being silly, your not going to be swapping the batteries by hand. You use the superchargers to recharge that 0.1% of the time someone travels over 200 miles. Most of the charging is done at home. The volt needs an engine because it has a tiny battery.

And you seem to have your information confused. All Tesla patents were made by Tesla, none of the patents were bought from others.

Elon Musk has contributed a lot from Tesla Model S (the highest customer satisfaction of any car in history and won many car of the year awards) . To SpaceX where they launch rockets for NASA reliably at the fraction of the cost of the competition. To SolarCity where he came up with the idea of solar leasing which has created a boom for solar installations in the US.

He also never acted like he is "the biggest inventor in the world". 

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 17:23 | 4803085 Abbie Normal
Abbie Normal's picture

Saw a Tesla and a Leaf owner almost get into a fight for a charging station parking space.  Definitely first world problems.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:58 | 4800109 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Wrong Caddies sir. The CTS-V are actually very popular in the circles he just mentioned. 


I deal with a lot of that crowd myself, and I see what they drive, it's mostly Vettes and CTS-V's with a few Chysler piles of garbage thrown in. Some have M series BMW's and whatnot as well.


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:09 | 4800146 alexcojones
alexcojones's picture

Old geezers?

Yes, I remember fins on Caddies. Land yachts we called them. Chrome boats.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:11 | 4800398 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Some rocket designs were actually based on the 1959 Cadillac.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 05:33 | 4801144 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Whose rockets? North Korea's?


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:39 | 4800481 Mr. Fix
Mr. Fix's picture

I drive my '71 Eldo Ragtop every day. For GM, it's been down hill ever since.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:11 | 4799994 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Free Cars for the homeless. An idea whose time has come.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:25 | 4800029 Mercuryquicksilver
Mercuryquicksilver's picture

Almost there. The government gave me $10K to buy a GM Spark. I sincerely appreciate all you ZH's subsidizing my commute.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:48 | 4800078 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

GM's new CEO must be thrilled she just jumped into the hot seat.  Recalls out the ass, bloated inventory, pissed off customers.  The government helped cover ALL that shit up for GM, just to unleash the hounds as soon as they sold off their last shares.  Pump and dump, government style.

I'm so glad we bailed them out.  What a bargain it was to save a few thousand union members' bennies.  


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:58 | 4800113 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Shame we can't bulldoze their homes we have to pay for the bulldozing of the homes they destroyed instead..

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:26 | 4800202 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Gummint Motors: makes nuttin I wanna own or drive....

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:43 | 4800498 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

Mostly your right, this was a massive coverup and they found a sucker that was willing to take the job once the govt. sold their shares.  It wasn't to save a few thousand union members jobs, it was to save the manufacturing supply chain of the US from being destroyed along with banks and the 1.2 million union retires that would have been shifted onto the PBGC (pension benefit guarante corp) which didn't have the money.  You see GM had many suppliers who where waiting for payments for goods and services at 60, 90 or even 120 days or more.  And many of those suppliers much of their business comes from GM.  So if GM would have went into bankruptcy, it would have put a stop on paying those bills.  So now you being a supplier with most of your business and/or a major part being GM and it not only paying for the services and goods that it already used but possible future ones also, your looking at layoffs and possible bankruptcy yourself.  Then it goes down the line to the suppliers of the suppliers etc. etc. and you can see where I'm going.

You would have had medium to large manufacturing companies that would have defaulted on loans to banks because they where defaulted on their payments or had to go out of business.  It would have been disaster.  It wasn't about saving GM, it was about saving the US manufacturing supply chain.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:08 | 4800565 whoisonfirst
whoisonfirst's picture

Aren't government induced bubbles grand? 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:44 | 4800664 fasTTcar
fasTTcar's picture

You are correct.

And they should have let it burn.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 01:42 | 4800950 bh2
bh2's picture

Bloody hell. GM assets would not have suddenly evaporated in a real bankruptcy. They would have been bought by existing auto companies competent to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Most of the marques would have survived, along with most of the jobs actually salvageable. There is no magic available from government to make capital assets more valuable than their actual productive value. The feds simply bid up the value of these assets on the taxpayer's credit card to save the loss of union pension funds which would have gone bye-bye in a bankruptcy.

Had the government done the "right thing" (if it was determined to "save" these companies), it would have been to purchase the stock when it was bottomed out and outright gifted the whole company to the autoworkers' union as new owners. The circle of financial virtue would have been complete at minimum cost to the taxpayer. And the union could then sort out who to hire to manage the company and their pensions on their behalf, just like any other owner.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:28 | 4800625 patb
patb's picture

Cadillac has been trying for 7 years now to reposition from an old lady florida car to

a younger hipper sporty urban brand.


The CTS and ATS were part of that repositioning, and they were advertising to single women in their 30s

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 03:36 | 4801078 IronForge
IronForge's picture

GM should just sell or lease the Puppies at a discount.  They can afford to do what Tesla can't - take it in the chin while giving potential buyers the Volt/ELR combo.  ROTFL!!!

I'm sure Onstar would be a big selling point... on getting Roadside Assistance for Re-charging, Towing, and...Firefighting...

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:56 | 4800104 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Wait another 2 years and they'll be giving them away.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:51 | 4799925 logicalman
logicalman's picture

Can't call someone out for .6% - especially for a headline

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:01 | 4799961 Matt
Matt's picture

The word "exactly" has a precise meaning, and was chosen incorrectly.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:58 | 4800110 Wait What
Wait What's picture

in accounting we used 360 day years. TD was being generous.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:07 | 4800138 Pinko
Pinko's picture

Accounting, work days, holidays. STFU on the rounding error, fucking nit-pickers. Exactly means we are working with rolling averages and 99% numbers. Exactly how tall are you on a full moon versus no moon in the sky?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:09 | 4800145 logicalman
logicalman's picture


An interesting concept.

Taken literally, nothing is exact, as humans can't measure anything to an arbitrary precision.

Please define your terms.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:18 | 4800167 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Discrete vs the real number line.  I can have exactly 4 batteries in my hand at one time.  It's discrete.  I cannot measure out exactly 1.277645 inches.  

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:30 | 4800234 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Arithmetic is so subtle.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:15 | 4800007 caShOnlY
caShOnlY's picture

"we be jammin, mon"......  



Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:02 | 4800366 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


365 * 2 = 730

Well, yeah, that's the metric year (also known as the yearre).

Clealy the article was referring to the short year (still common in the US and Burma), which is exactly 362.5 days.

Just tryin' to help.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:45 | 4800504 HyperinflatmyNutts
HyperinflatmyNutts's picture

The incentives could be because 1,700 ELR coupes remained unsold in dealer inventories at the end of April. At current sales rates, that’s a 725-day supply, which is almost exactly two years’ worth of cars.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:42 | 4799904 quintago
quintago's picture

$75K for a glorified Prius. Case closed.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:02 | 4799964 Matt
Matt's picture

No, worse: a glorified Chevy Volt.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:10 | 4799986 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

That's one well-polished turd.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:34 | 4800053 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

My electric bike has a 75 mile range and looks awesome.

These guys making cars, they don't know shit.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:56 | 4800107 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:00 | 4800119 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Thing has that steam punk look to it. 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:45 | 4800301 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

That's no accident. If you're gonna roll, roll epic.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:10 | 4800149 logicalman
logicalman's picture


I bet it's turning circle is a bit on the large side though.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:43 | 4800289 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It turns every bit as good as a battleship.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:36 | 4800261 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

An icebox and a place for the BBQ grille!

Liquor cabinet on the bottom?

How fast does it go?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:39 | 4800276 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Liquor cabinet next year.

It goes fast enough to be completely insane.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:52 | 4800677 RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

Link / buy / instructable?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:44 | 4800779 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

You can't buy it, and I never got around to doing an instructable. But I probably will some day. "How to build a Blackbird super-bike"

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 22:56 | 4808477 Blue Horshoe Lo...
Blue Horshoe Loves Annacott Steel's picture

That is cool like Batman's BatCycle.  Not much impresses me, but that is fuckin' cool man.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:44 | 4799908 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

What a re-Volting development.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:51 | 4799927 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Tyler, if you want I will go and take pics of empty spaces by me that are becoming stuffed with cars. Mostly GM. what is amazing is that no one sees it until you point it out and then they call you a week later going "Holy shit I saw more!". They are literally spilling over onto the main roads over here and taking up a lot of commercial lots.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:54 | 4799940 Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden's picture

Please do

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:58 | 4799942 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Okay will do


 btw this was pretty funny for anyone who has not seen it.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:13 | 4799997 knukles
knukles's picture

That's funny shit, Fonz

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:16 | 4800006 valley chick
valley chick's picture

I'll settle with my good old pickup truck any day.  :-) 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:36 | 4800055 EverythingEviL
EverythingEviL's picture

I spit out my coffee watching that shit lol

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:00 | 4800117 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

That is one fine corporate sales job for micro vacations and shitty healthcare.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:28 | 4800451 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Ha, excellent fonz! Thanks for posting dude :-)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:54 | 4800538 gonetogalt
gonetogalt's picture

Wow, a '60 Coupe de Ville, used to run the same car across the Mojave at a flat 100 mph back in the had more, but would run all day at 100+.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:44 | 4800294 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture


Dumbass is waiting for the next container manifest.

Keep up the good work Tyler. :)



Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:11 | 4799991 BandGap
BandGap's picture

And I have been taking pics of my man bits and sending it to the bank, just for fun!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:42 | 4800067 knukles
knukles's picture

They asked you for a deposit , yet?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:22 | 4800187 El Vaquero
El Vaquero's picture

Nighttime spermbank deposit.  Sit on a happy face ;)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:47 | 4800309 explosivo
explosivo's picture

Where are you, Detroit?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:49 | 4799920 flyingcaveman
flyingcaveman's picture

But snopes says the zerohedge channel stuffing article was complete bullshit.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:15 | 4800004 knukles
knukles's picture

Snopes is a product of His Eminence, George Soros.
And you can check that out anywhere.... but Snopes.

God will forgive you for your sins, George.
But not until after eternity.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:56 | 4800105 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Every time someone criticizes a ZH article and questions it's veracity, it's time to store that criticism away in the memory banks.  In a few days, weeks, months (or sometimes years), it turns out it's true.  Ask Mario Draghi.  To my knowlege the Tylers have never been taken down based on having just dead-wrong facts.  (Wrong opinions, sure, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, right or wrong.)

And, in case you missed it, this Tyler is obviously on a mission here with this story.  I would NOT bet against him on this one.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:53 | 4800330 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Sometimes we are ahead of the game. What happens when you shit your pants after the story is told? How do you go back to clean up your diaper? How does that process work?

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 04:26 | 4801119 Bloodstock
Bloodstock's picture

Snopes was stuck up Obamas ass, and excited as a brown turd.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:50 | 4799922 PacOps
PacOps's picture

Sombody getting "production bonuses"? What else makes sense?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:50 | 4799924 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

I've never understood why we don't just report retail sales of cars instead of sales to dealers. We could then look at production numbers vs actual sales. Sales to dealers and phony parking lot sales are meaningless. 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:17 | 4800014 knukles
knukles's picture

try explaining that phenomenon to a Libtard.
The sales are out of factory, not dealer.
They'll look at you like you're a...   an... uh .. .. um... Conspiracy Theorist!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:15 | 4800160 logicalman
logicalman's picture

If anyone uses the term 'conspiracy theory' you know they have no argument.

The number of things formerly known as conspiracy theories that are now FACTS is huge.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:35 | 4800467 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Him: I don't believe in conspiracy theories.

Me: Ah, so you don't believe people conspire?

Him: No, like, obviously people conspire!

Me: But everyone else knows about it?

Him: Er...

Me: Or veryone else knows about the real ones, as opposed to the make-believe ones, the conspiracy theories?

Him: Yeah!

Me: So all those years they were rigging LIBOR, and the few people who were saying it was being rigged were called conspiracy theorists... you're saying LIBOR wasn't really being rigged until the story broke that it had been going on for years?

Him: What's LIBOR?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:47 | 4800076 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

That's why.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:14 | 4800154 Crash N. Burn
Crash N. Burn's picture

"I've never understood why we don't just report retail sales of cars instead of sales to dealers. We could then look at production numbers vs actual sales."

Where have I seen this technique for BS recently?

"..the government chooses to measure U.S. gasoline consumption in a very odd manner: by measuring the amount of gasoline entering the domestic supply-chain rather than by measuring actual consumption at the other end of the supply-chain – i.e. “at the pump”."

"If you choose to measure the amount of gasoline leaving U.S. refineries and entering domestic inventories and call this “gasoline consumption”; you can hide the actual collapse in gasoline consumption – until those retail inventories are overflowing, and there is simply no more room in the storage tanks."

"This conclusion becomes even more visible/obvious when we view the gasoline data just from the start of the mythical “U.S. economic recovery” to the present. At the start of the “U.S. recovery”; U.S. gasoline consumption was at a rate of 52 million gallons per day (already more than 20% below the 1998 all-time peak). In the five years since the start of this pretend-recovery; U.S. gasoline consumption has fallen all the way to 18 million gallons per day.

Since the beginning of “the U.S. economic recovery”; U.S. gasoline consumption has plummeted by nearly 2/3."

U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%


 They're trying to drown us in bullshit.



Wed, 05/28/2014 - 01:30 | 4800927 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Here is a nifty chart showing vehicle miles driven on US roads.

Spoiler alert, it is literally all downhill when plotted on a chart.

And gasoline volume sales are even more interesting to look at:



Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:51 | 4799928 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Electric Cimarron.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:38 | 4800270 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

The Caddy that Zaps.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:59 | 4799929 exartizo
exartizo's picture

ummmm... the point here is to dump a similar vehicle to the Tesla on as many people as possible in the hopes of taking Tesla's projected market and driving (forgive the pun) them out of business? me you can't pick up one of those Pieces Of Shit (The Cadillacs) for south of 60k?


There is even a Method To The Madness of The Dumbass US Auto Makers.

Who knew?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:07 | 4799975 Matt
Matt's picture

If all they cared about was taking out Tesla, they should retail these for $40,000, eat the loss and glut the market.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:35 | 4800050 exartizo
exartizo's picture


But then they would be guilty of Obvious Predatory Pricing or product dumping ala Chinese solar panels or tires.

At 60k they can say that they accidentally produced two years of crappy cars to keep the Detroit Union workers happy and in their jobs.

Tesla is another screwed up company waiting to go bankrupt when they run out of cash.

GM is just trying to speed up the process.


And if making two years worth of Tesla look alike cars isn't "glutting the market" then who knows what is.

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:14 | 4815240 Weapon
Weapon's picture

Tesla is not going to run out of cash any time soon. They ended 2013 with being cashflow positive. Tesla has been performing better and better each quarter and now sits at over 25% gross profit margins. They hope to reach 28% gross profit by end of the year.

Even if GM made a look alike car and priced it cheap, nobody would buy a GM. Especially after the whole covering up 13 death thing. There is also a reason why Cadillac cars are not even considered luxury cars anymore by most people. 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:48 | 4800079 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Not to mention GM still needs Tesla's carbon credits.

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:19 | 4815253 Weapon
Weapon's picture

They do, it is called a Chevy Volt and they sell it for 35k. It is not gutting the market though.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:33 | 4800051 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

I'll wait for the $399, 36 month lease and I would drive it. It's nice, not 70k nice!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:52 | 4799932 wisefool
wisefool's picture

Deadhead sticker on a cadilac? (Technical term )
Boys of summer in the radio song rotation?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4799954 Obamanism
Obamanism's picture

Elvis must be spinning in his grave....... no great cadilac since they took off the tail fins

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:18 | 4800603 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

I'm not sure if you're asking a question referencing the "Deadhead" sticker, but what Don Henley is referring to is the Greatful Dead bumper sticker on a Cadillac.  Grateful Dead fans were often referred to as Deadheads.

Not sure if you knew this.


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:52 | 4799936 J Pancreas
J Pancreas's picture

GM is an abomination of a vehicle manufacturer. You would have to pay me a monthly stipend to drive anything they produce. This is what the cleansing process in 08 tried to get rid of - a lumbering half zombified albatross but instead is on life support by corrupt politicians who have "constituent" aka union interests to protect.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:56 | 4799945 Obamanism
Obamanism's picture

725 hours  is about how long it would take to drive from coast to coast. Drive 100 miles (2 hours driving) stop charge it up (12 hours) then another 100 miles stop charge it up (12 hours).......

1 point in its favor is at least you will not be carjack when you stop for Gas.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:10 | 4799984 Matt
Matt's picture

They should sponser an electric gumball rally. Get a Tesla, swap battery packs at each station going one way, then back the other way so the batteries get returned.

Sun, 06/01/2014 - 18:23 | 4815264 Weapon
Weapon's picture

If they did that, they would run out of gas. The Cadillac ELR has like 35-38 miles electric range. Beyond that it kicks in the gas. If you recharge every 100 miles you would run out of gas before reaching the coast.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:56 | 4799946 logicalman
logicalman's picture

When I started driving (a while ago!) it was fun.

Cars have now become what I call 'debtmobiles' because it seems that the production of debt is the most important part.

They've also become 'taxationmobiles'

I could fix my own car when I first started driving, now you need to take it to the dealership to get air fitted in the tires, for fuck's sake.

I put my car in storage 3 years ago (maybe it'll be a collectors item one day!) and now cycle almost everywhere.


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:03 | 4799967 The Shape
The Shape's picture

Yeah those proprietary tools that change with every model are a nice fucking scam.

Buy the piece of shit and you're locked into the dealership.

No thanks, I'll drive a beater that will probably still be going in 15 years.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:07 | 4799976 edifice
edifice's picture

I rebuilt a Volkswagen '64 Deluxe Beetle (with bigger 1500cc bore cylinders), for my first car. The entire thing was user-serviceable; the engine only weighed around 300 lbs! Could almost lift the thing out with one person. I miss that car...

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:53 | 4800097 Pie rre
Pie rre's picture

I used to have a 57 Karmann Ghia that had 300K miles on it.  36 horsepower and 6 volts.  Loved it until some welfare slag ran a lite and killed it.  She was Judgement proof, the slag I mean.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:59 | 4800702 edifice
edifice's picture

Mine was 6v, too! I had to buy transformers for all of the electronic devices, to connect them to the modern 12v battery.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:20 | 4800178 logicalman
logicalman's picture

My first car was a Mini.

Bought it when I was 16 - couldn't even drive it till I was 17.

Rebuilt the engine and gearbox in my dad's shed.

Spent many a weekend down at the local scrap yard for spares.

Never had as much fun with a car since!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:58 | 4800349 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

My first car was a hand-me-down Toyota Crown. Hellavah car.

The first one I bought was a '70 AMC Javelin. 304, AMX differential, air-induction hood, velour interior, rallye steerring wheel, 'whale tail'... looked good, ran good, it was fast, and I paid $800.00 for it. I had a cop pull me over one time just because he wanted to look at it (he said had one when he was in high school. That was before cops were totally piggified. Nice guy, actually). Next one I bought was a '64 Chevy El Camino. Straight, fair, paid $500.00 for that one. Had all three at the same time.

THEN, I got stupid and fell in love and got MARRIED...


When I lived in Sydney, EVERYONE had Morris Mini Minors (except my family. We had a '65 Plymouth Valiant that was converted to R.H. drive after we shipped it over). Funny little cars, but sort of neat.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 23:27 | 4800747 bilbert
bilbert's picture

Valiant - CLASSIC!

Buddy of mine had a '63 (I believe) with the slant 6, and push-button tranny.

Damn thing was bulletproof.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:56 | 4799947 overexposed
overexposed's picture

Yet more evidence that the business practices pioneered by John Z. DeLorean (i.e., when faced with abysmal sales, double down manufacturing like crazy) are standard operating procedure at auto manufacturers here in the States.

A man 30 years ahead of his time, indeed.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4799948 PeeramidIdeologies
PeeramidIdeologies's picture

The car industry in general is all smoke and mirrors. I worked for a dealership way back when. We would take ownership of the vehicles delivered immediately, without selling them, a lean incurred of course. The vehicle could then be reported sold without a single buyer having seen it.
It was a good incentive for the dealership to sell mind you, due to the fact the longer the car sat idle, the more we paid in interest.
What a racket.

Hopefully they keep knocking the zeros off that caddie, that's a nice looking whip. Even if it will rattle it's self into a lose box of bolts within a year or two, as I'm sure many GM owners can attest!

And check that stock... That bitch is a dead man floating

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:01 | 4799951 FieldingMellish
FieldingMellish's picture

Car and Driver says: "With its full 217 ponies saddled up, the ELR gets to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds and slips through the quarter-mile mark in 16.5 seconds at 87 mph, putting the ELR in a dead heat with a $16,000 Honda Fit."

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:36 | 4800056 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

It looks nice on the outside, but it's what's under the hood that counts.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:49 | 4800087 exartizo
exartizo's picture


i'll take the Fit any day over that 5,000 Pound Dinosaur.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:59 | 4800114 Pie rre
Pie rre's picture

It's changed to a fashion industry

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:22 | 4800185 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

4,000 pounds, 217hp, should be faster than that, more like 0-60 in 7.5 seconds QM better than 16.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:17 | 4800409 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

No, no, no.

You aren't familiar with the O-metric system now being taught in 'common core'.

An 'HP' is actually equated to the calculated heat-energy of a 'Headless Pony', after it's been bleeding out for... um... 27.835 seconds (the time it takes this electrified bling-wheeler to reach 95 MPH). SEE? 217 times 95 minus $76,000 divided by the weight of the average American driver (385 pounds)...

Ask your kids. they'll explain it to you.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:22 | 4800610 Proofreder
Proofreder's picture

Thass juss plain stupid

don't even have to ask kids.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:08 | 4800382 Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

That's fucking hilarious!  $76k for all that speed? 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:09 | 4800390 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Let's see if I can do 'common core math'.

It takes 8.4 seconds for this slug to accelerate from 60 to 87 MPH.

SHIT! I owned a YUGO that did better than that, with 5 people in the car! (sarc tag OFF!)

That fucker can't even get on to a FREEWAY, for God's sake, without FLOORING IT (and making everyone else slow down, and flip you off).

217 'PONIES' (Shetland ponies, perhaps?), and, what, a 'massive' 35 Ft/lbs of torque?

OH! Sign ME up! Can that free charger plug in to my laptop or my EYE-fone and charge THEM as well?

(I've got to run to the store, Biff. Where's the Caddie keys?)

(Better take the Yugo. The Caddie's still charging, Muffy.)

(SHIT! I HATE that little car!)

(Don't have a snit, Muff. if you want to wait a few hours...)

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 18:59 | 4799952 ObamaDepression
ObamaDepression's picture

GM has for years designated money losing, high fuel economy cars to be produced to balance out SUV sales so as to meet government mandated CAFE milleage standards.

Great example of how gov regulations promote poor capital allocations.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:13 | 4799999 Matt
Matt's picture

The problem is people still prefer the bigger vehicles. Get rid of CAFE and just slowly but steadily increase gasoline tax for better results.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:46 | 4800074 mc225
mc225's picture

'tax for better results'... oh yeah, the way of the hairlip... 'more taxes'

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:23 | 4800431 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

"just slowly but steadily increase gasoline tax for better results."

Much like the frog who is thrown in to the boiling pot, he will jump out because the difference in heat alarms him (it will kill him, in fact).

HOWEVER, if the frog is put in to a pot of cold water, and the heat is turned up very slowly, the frog fails to notice; until eventually, it boils to death.

(Credit to Sibel Edmonds. I didn't quote her blogspot directly, but the idea remains constant, and is provable by experimentation).

Well, 'Matt', I would say that your idea is really, um...

FUCK YOU-esque.



Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:13 | 4800584 Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Dr. Hannibal Lecter's picture

Fuck Off, Matt.  Really.  Fuck Off and Die.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:00 | 4799953 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Legacy costs. +76K.. Fuck off union. Send in your Grievance report to all the taxpayers that bailed you out. I will never buy another GM POS again. Again, never!!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:32 | 4800462 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

At the height of the G.M. empire (2008 or so), it cost an average of $76.00 to employ a line-worker (when factoring in all the bennies and retirement).

The number $76,000.00 and the mention of 'legacy costs' are quite strange.

SO, a thousand workers on the line, I suppose.

Look for, the Union label...

I hope I get at least ONE 'upvote' for the WKRP In Cincinnati reference. I LIKED 'Bailey'.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:02 | 4799965 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

fuck GM...

NEVER, EVER will i by a car from that mother fucking bailed out manufucksurer.....

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:40 | 4800065 Ocean22
Ocean22's picture

+1. GM screwed me twice, took my money and showed me door. SCREW THEM

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:08 | 4799971 kurt
kurt's picture

The Lie

They are not being "blown out at clearing prices." A clearing price would be below the bloated price of the Volt, or lower.

OMG! It has a range of 35 miles! That's supposed to compete with a Tesla?

Short GM


Put a Fork in them.

They're done!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:08 | 4799979 ObamaDepression
ObamaDepression's picture

I bet if you wait 18 months you can buy one for under $30k

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:18 | 4800018 Matt
Matt's picture

It has a range of 35 miles ... on electricity. Add another 250+ miles on gasoline. If you use a free public charging station, you can commute to and from work at the public's expense, and just use gasoline for long trips.


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:21 | 4800177 kurt
kurt's picture

How dare they call it "plug in". It's not as good as a Prius. The implication of calling it a plug in is to make one think it's like a leaf, an electric car. Does it mean it doesn't charge when it's being drivin on gas, during braking? In order to use the electric, MUST you plug it in? Or is the electric motor like an appendix, you go through the trouble of plugging it in for a lousey 35 miles?

I'm afraid you'll never win me over. I bought a Vega. That was the end of my association with GM.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 22:10 | 4800576 Northern Lights
Northern Lights's picture

Yes, and the depreciation on that Volt in it's first year will be something like 25% as soon as you drive it off the lot.

In less than 5 years, you're gonna have to get that battery replaced also.  You're looking at $$$$$ for that.

I read somewhere that dividends don't start getting paid back to you on a Volt until you've reached 400,000km on the odometre.  Factored in are the repairs and the cost of that new lithium battery in year 5.

The electrical cars reminds me of the time when gas prices started going up and people started panicking and dumping all of their SUV's for smaller, fuel lean cars.  Once you factored in the big hit on selling/trading in the family SUV at a near giveaway price, turning around and getting financed on a new, smaller car, doing the math you'd realize that you shoulda just kept the gas guzzling SUV in the first place and just driven it into the ground.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 00:34 | 4800862 idontcare
idontcare's picture

Er um, 35 miles is a short trip for most living in South FL.... and there are not any public charging stations in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or points north.  No wonder the dealers are not stocking the ELRs down here.  

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:08 | 4799980 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

When GM starts missing the payments, Average Joe will get a bail-in slip.  I bet it’ll be somehow taxable too!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:25 | 4800030 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

For Sale 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster Prototype

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:48 | 4800315 acetinker
acetinker's picture

A car nut friend of mine just told me last week that the '40' designation was because the car was 40 inches tall.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 21:35 | 4800469 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

You are correct, and so is your friend.

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 03:11 | 4801054 Obamanism
Obamanism's picture

The GT40 the "American Muscle car" designed and built in England.

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:38 | 4800059 Conflict of Interest
Conflict of Interest's picture

Less than half the dealerships stock them because the dealerships had to fork out $15k for training and equipment, which most didn't want to do for a low (no) volume selling car.  And a 725 days' supply is still only around 1500 cars.  That's right, they're selling 2 ELRs a day in the whole *country*. 

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:39 | 4800061 Took Red Pill
Took Red Pill's picture

Once again, great article ZH!

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:55 | 4800100 yellowsub
yellowsub's picture

It's amazing how they can produce exactly 2 years of inventory and have enough profit to share to pay $6k bonuses!  


Tue, 05/27/2014 - 19:54 | 4800101 VWAndy
VWAndy's picture

Wont the battery be dead in two years?

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 20:00 | 4800118 flyingcaveman
flyingcaveman's picture

I can't wait 'till they start parking these in front of the vacant houses in my neighborhood.  Gotta keep up appearances.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!