Moments ago, GM was pleased to report that its dealers delivered 226,819 vehicles in the United States in October leading to "the company’s best October sales in seven years." GM added that Chevrolet sales were up year over year on the strength of the Silverado, Cruze, Traverse and Equinox, and "Buick had its best October in more than a decade." Alas, Cadillac did not, October sales tumbled -8.0%, and are down -4.6% on a YTD Y/Y basis. Bottom line: total GM sales increased a tiny 0.2%, well below the 3.1% expected.
But it could have been much worse if GM had not resorted to its favorite sales "boosting" gimmick: channel stuffing. Indeed, as GM reported, in October, total units at dealer lots, rose to 792,489, or a whopping 94 days supply, up from 753, 928 (81 days) in September, and up a whopping 8.9% from the 728K in October of last year, when, again, sales were only 0.2% lower. This was the biggest one month jump in "dealer stuffed" vehicles since November of 2013.
Expect to see much more channel stuffing into year end, as the subprime-funded purchasing tide crashes, now that regulators and authorities are aggressively looking into a surge in subprime loans to fund auto purchases.