GM, Stellantis 2nd-quarter sales up over COVID-marred period in 2020

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News

Detroit — Strong consumer demand led to sales increases at both General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV in the second quarter.

GM saw a 40% second-quarter U.S. sales increase in what the automaker called a "unique market" with dwindling inventories because of global supply issues. In total, the automaker sold 688,236 vehicles from April through June, but the increase over last year is unsurprising as the second quarter of 2020 was marred by the coronavirus pandemic that led to several dealership shutdowns and economic uncertainty. At that time, GM reported a 34% sales decline from the second quarter of 2019, when it sold 746,659 vehicles.

Stellantis NV, maker of Ram trucks and Jeep SUVs, reported a 32% increase over 2020's second quarter with 485,312 sales. But, like GM, Stellantis' second-quarter 2020 sales were down 39% from the year before.

Ford Motor Co. reports sales Friday. 

Demand has been stronger than expected following the pandemic shutdowns of 2020 and it's not expected to slow despite a semiconductor part shortage that's led to tight inventories.

“The U.S. economy is accelerating, consumer spending is robust and jobs are plentiful,” said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist, in a statement. “Consumer demand for vehicles is also strong, but constrained by very tight inventories. We expect continued high demand in the second half of this year and into 2022.”

The Detroit automaker said it ended the quarter with 211,974 units in inventory, down from 334,628 at the end of the first quarter.

All four GM brands reported sales increases during the second quarter. 

Chevrolet deliveries increased 31%. Notably, the Bolt EV and Traverse both had their best-ever second-quarter sales and best first-half sales ever. Chevy truck sales continued to shine with Silverado light-duty pickups up 31%, and the heavy duty up 42%.

GMC's sales were up 50%. Buick increased 86%. And Cadillac saw a 55% boost. 

GM noted its fleet sales, which were severely impacted in 2020, started to recover with deliveries up 69% in the second quarter.

GM's fleet sales made up about 14% of total sales, lower than the pre-pandemic fleet mix of about 20%, from supply constraints caused by the semiconductor shortage. Rental sales represented 4% of GM’s total sales.

Stellantis' Jeep brand saw a 19% sales increase. Ram was up 47%, Chrysler 36%, Dodge 42%, and Alfa Romeo 34%. The Fiat brand saw a 33% drop. 

The automaker said its retail sales rose 27% for the quarter and fleet made up 12% of total sales. 

Hyundai Motor America on Thursday said it sold 240,005 vehicles for a 69% sales increase in the second quarter.

Nissan Group said it sold 298,148 vehicles in the U.S. during the second quarter, an increase of 68% from 2020's second quarter.

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