GM Sales Soar In May On Easy Credit As 74 More Deaths Revealed Due To Faulty GM Switches

Tyler Durden's picture

It seems that if the monthly payment is right, then no matter how "Sarcophagus-like" GM's cars are, Americans will lever up and buy 'em. Many were shocked to hear that GM reported the highest sales this month since August 2008 - especially in light of the record-breaking recalls and now Reuters reporting that up to 74 people have died from faulty ignition switches - but one glance at Experian's auto loan data and it's clear why... The average loan term and average amount financed for a new light-vehicle hit record highs in the first quarter, signaling U.S. consumers continue to extend themselves to afford pricier cars. GM cars may be "grenade-like" but US consumers - with stagnant wages - are extending maturities (loans with terms 73-84 months grew by 27.6%) to manage that monthly nut... This will not end well.

First we are treated to exuberance this morning...

  • *GM MAY U.S. AUTO SALES UP 12.6%, EST. UP 6.4%

Great news, right... and extrapolate that (even as inventory levels on dealer lots remains just shy of record highs).

Which is all very surprising given that Reuters reports that...

At least 74 people have died in General Motors cars in accidents with some key similarities to those that GM has linked to 13 deaths involving defective ignition switches, a Reuters analysis of government fatal-crash data has determined. Such accidents also occurred at a higher rate in the GM cars than in top competitors’ models, the analysis showed.




GM, which has offered few details of the fatal crashes related to faulty switches, told Reuters it derived the tally of 13 deaths from claims and lawsuits filed against the automaker. GM checked those claims and lawsuits against other sources available to it, including vehicle data recorders recovered from some crashes.


The Reuters analysis relied on the FARS database, which encompasses a much wider universe of accidents. GM declined to say whether it had used information from the federal database.


Read more here...

But the reason why "rolling-sarcophagus" "kevorkianesque" car sales are so robust is simple... easy credit...

  • Average automotive loan term reaches record high of 66 months; loans with terms 73-84 months grew by 27.6%
  • For new vehicle loans, the average credit score was 714, down from 722 in Q1 2013.

As Experian notes,

The average loan term, average monthly payment and average amount financed for a new light-vehicle hit record highs in the first quarter, signaling U.S. consumers continue to extend themselves to afford pricier cars, Experian Automotive reported today.


Lease penetration also hit a record high in the same period in another sign consumers are willing to leverage their spending power to afford more expensive vehicles.


"As the cost of purchasing a new vehicle continues to rise, consumers clearly are stretching the loan term to help lower monthly payments, keeping them at a manageable level,"




Experian Automotive said the average new-vehicle loan term reached 66 months in the first three months of the year


Also in the first quarter, the average amount financed on a new-vehicle loan was $27,612, an increase of $964, or 3.6 percent. For used vehicles, the average amount financed was $17,927, up $395 or 2.3 percent.


At the same time, Experian Automotive said leasing hit a record 25.6 percent of all new-vehicle sales volume in the first quarter, up from a previous high of 24.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.


As it seems cash-for-clunkers as well as recent sales is maintaining prices in the used car market and thus reducing the cost of leasing (depreciation) relative to buying (financing)...



Market share for nonprime, subprime and deep subprime new vehicle loans rose slightly in Q1 2014 to 34.34 percent.

So the Fed's reach for yield has created demand for yiled-providing CDOs stuffed full of auto loans, no matter the risk... when has that ever gone wrong?

Imagine how great GM sales would have been if 74 people had not died and record recalls had not happened.??

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earnyermoney's picture

GM vehicles, the new mobile home.

RevRex's picture

Obama and the Demoshit Party are accesories to murder.

Pladizow's picture

Its incredible what Americans will pay for a COW - Coffin on Wheels!

knukles's picture


Isn't his sales as per GM to dealers and not dealers to the public or is this balls'oshite flowing off dealer lots into suicidal retail motorists?


Dr. Richard Head's picture

I would gander a guess of shipped to lots and nothing more.

NotApplicable's picture

That's one helluva "First Time Buyers" program!

More like "Last Time Buyers."

alexcojones's picture

One HUGE reason I get a daily dose of the drug known as ZH, is the dark, dartboard humor.

ZH is funnier and more daring, more sarcastic, more Political Un-correct, than the Onion.

ZH posters are often funnier than the paid writers on the Jon Stewart show.

Actually I think some of the Daily Show show writers READ the remarks here to get good ideas.

Reading Zerohedge is better than crack to a crack addict, because our teeth are less damaged.


Metalredneck's picture

I've worked with dealerships for decades, and I recall telling our sales manager:  "A dead customer is not a repeat customer."

 I left the next week.

Citxmech's picture

Exactly.  Can't wait to see the next installment of the Dealer Inventory numbers. . . 

Freddie's picture

They will probably look like Mr. Lundegaard doing the inventory.


NOTaREALmerican's picture

If it wasn't for infinite debt GM wouldn't exist.   Which Team loves infinite debt more?

SamAdams's picture

GM lost me at bailout.  They are owned like CAT.  Should add a pyramid to their logo.

jackstraw001's picture

New GM Motto -- "The last car you will ever buy..."

813kml's picture

And the GM vehicle can also double as a coffin.

quasimodo's picture

The assholes in DC be partly to blame for this. Guilty by association.

TideFighter's picture

"Merikans love anything on sale-even shit that kills them."

Example: Dollar Value Meal



Outlet Stores


Let's get a list going

Headbanger's picture

Even moar stupidier post ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  (up there!)

pods's picture

If you like your faulty ignition switches.................

replaceme's picture

Holy shitsnacks, 84 month auto loans?  Who the hell thinks that's a good idea besides about 51% of the population?  That really makes me want to give up.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Might be a signla of the coming pop of those CDO's.  When I worked in the mortgage insdustry for a very short while I saw people rolling in their credit card debt right into a 30 year mortgage.  That was the beginning of the mortgage debt pop.

Headbanger's picture

It's also a signal that these 84 month loan buyers are going to be way way under water on their car loans in about four years if they want to trade up.

This could mean future used car prices will go up cause dealers will have to cover the loan value of these cars on trade in to sell new cars.

Or.. It could mean these car buyers will get fucked on their cars just like their homes and will stop making payments and the repo man business really takes off!

NOTaREALmerican's picture

As long as you can make the minimum payment everything's fine.   

Tsar Pointless's picture

Just give up already. Get one of those shirts that once were advertised on this site - "I Used to Care" was the slogan on them.

If you have come to the realization that it's all pointless, then you'll understand my moniker.

Americans are the dumbest creatures on this planet. Seven-year automobile loans? Ludicrous. But pointless to fret over it. Live your life. Be happy, even if you force yourself to do so. I did, and it's worked. Homemade Kool-Aid is the best kind.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

Pontoon boat loans go out to 144 months now... That's right, a boat that's little more than plywood on some tin cans (and is good for nothing except partying all day) will take you 12 years to pay off.

Kprime's picture

wow a 12 year, all day, party.  Where do I get one?

do you get free obamacare with that purchase?

Can I upsize the drink holders to hold a 40?

tarsubil's picture

The economy is so loaded with cheap debt that any problem is going to cause a monumental implosion. The biggest house of cards yet.

Kprime's picture

I am holding out for 120 month loans for those with 420 credit scores.  The stock market will soar and gold will be 800. When silver hits 12, I am going all in.

oklaboy's picture

we don't know what's gonna happen in the next 7 weeks, let alone 7 years.

oklaboy's picture

we don't know what's gonna happen in the next 7 weeks, let alone 7 years.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

New home size (as measured in square-footage) increased this year.   Looks like more debt is a good thing.

moonman's picture

"the average credit score was 714, down from 722 in Q1 2013"


Not exactly sub prime loans being made here.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

you know they will revise it in the middle of the night in september too 620


Headbanger's picture

Nahh.. I think they start "grading it on a curve" so we all look good.

Dr. Engali's picture

The fact that they are being financed for up to 84 months suggests they are.

tarsubil's picture

FICO scores indicate how good of a debt serf you are. Many good debt serfs are loading up on ridiculously termed car loans. They'll pay out the ass and have their scores go up. At least those that make it. Many will have a personal crisis and won't pay the damn loan back.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

Indeedy doodie.  A gal I know carries a high balance on her cards, makes the minimum payments, and keeps charging up that plastic for her whoreshit consumerism.  She is near 800 on her score.  Still cheaper to keep her though....

Osmium's picture

For a second there I thought you were talking about my wife....

nightshiftsucks's picture

Who down voted you Doc ? Was it your wife ?

Bunga Bunga's picture

74 died, get over it, it's not NSA's business.

disabledvet's picture

Of course "GM will be bankrupt again soon" so good luck finding parts.

NOTaREALmerican's picture

"Bankrupt" is so old-school.   It just means there's a lack of financial immagination. 

James T. Kirk's picture

And with two sentences you have managed to capture the entire philosophy AND essence of fiat money. When you are long dead, and our civilization finally rises from the ashes, you will be posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Kaiser Sousa's picture





debt slaves.

JustObserving's picture
GM Sales Soar In May

Perhaps, GM started marketing its cars as mobile crematoriums. Have you looked at the cost of a funeral in the US?