General Motors and Hyundai-Kia took polar-opposite strategies last month when it came to fleet sales.
Hyundai-Kia's overall sales in August increased 5 percent, while GM slipped 0.7 percent. But here's the rest of the story: Hyundai-Kia fleet volume soared 35 percent in the month while its August retail sales inched up by less than a percent compared with the prior year.
In contrast, GM retail climbed 5.9 percent in August, but it slashed fleet volume 24 percent in August, the second month of a drive to curb sales to daily-rental buyers sharply.
Through eight months, GM has cut fleet 5 percent but increased retail sales 6 percent, the highest percentage among the seven best-selling automakers. At Hyundai-Kia, fleet volume has jumped 24 percent this year but retail is flat, making it the only major automaker without retail gains this year.
Without pickups or vans in the lineup, Hyundai-Kia's fleet volume is virtually limited to daily-rental customers.
GM is active in two other, generally more profitable fleet segments: commercial and government. GM said through eight months, government-segment fleet sales rose 5 percent and commercial 16 percent. But GM cut rental-fleet volume 14 percent in that period, part of a broader strategy to boost sales through dealerships and brand resale values.
Among the major automakers, August fleet sales rose 2.4 percent and retail fell 1.6 percent. Through eight months for the group, fleet sales gained 4.1 percent; retail, 3.1 percent.