DETROIT — General Motors' U.S. light-vehicle sales rose 40 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier on strong customer demand. But results were weakened by low inventories because of the global microchip shortage.
"The agility and creativity of our supply chain, purchasing, engineering and manufacturing teams, in collaboration with our suppliers and dealers, have helped us continue to satisfy customers and gain market share in some of the highest-demand segments of the market," Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, sales operations, said in a statement Thursday.
GM dealerships delivered 688,236 vehicles in the second quarter. That compares with 492,489 deliveries in the second quarter of 2020, when sales plummeted 34 percent in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.
Each of GM's four brands posted double-digit gains, including an 86 percent gain for Buick, which had its best quarter in more than 15 years. Sales of the redesigned Buick Envision nearly doubled, and Encore GX sales nearly tripled from a year earlier.
GM entered July with inventory of only 211,974 vehicles, about half as much as it had at the start of the year.
"Although the situation remains fluid, we're focused on continuing to leverage every available semiconductor to build and ship our highest-demand products," McNeil said.
Brands: Buick, up 86%; Cadillac, up 55%; Chevrolet, up 30%; GMC, up 50%
Notable nameplates: Buick Enclave, up 103%; Encore, down 10%; Encore GX, up 184%; Envision, up 97%; Cadillac Escalade, up 120%; XT6, up 73%; XT4, down 37%; CT5, down 4.8%; Chevrolet Blazer, up 4.4%; Bolt EV/EUV, up 351%; Colorado, down 26%; Corvette, up 224%; Equinox, up 9.2%; Silverado, up 34%; Suburban, up 91%; Tahoe, up 74%; Trailblazer, up 248%; Trax down 19%; GMC Sierra, up 40%; Yukon, up 126%; Terrain, up 19%; Canyon, up 2.3%; Acadia, up 72%
Incentives: $4,424 per vehicle, down 23% from a year earlier, TrueCar says
Average transaction price: $43,593, up 8.8% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar
Fleet mix: 14 percent, compared with the automaker's pre-pandemic fleet mix of about 20 percent, because of chip-related supply constraints. Fleet sales rose 69 percent from a year earlier.
Small-business fleet sales increased 43 percent, and sales to commercial customers increased 73 percent, with pickup volume nearly doubling. Rental cars accounted for 4 percent of GM's total sales.
Inventory: 211,974, down from 334,628 at the end of the first quarter
Quote: "The U.S. economy is accelerating, consumer spending is robust and jobs are plentiful," said Elaine Buckberg, GM chief economist. "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."
Did you know? Bolt sales more than tripled in the second quarter, to 11,263, driven in part by generous incentives. The average discount on a Bolt in June was $11,799, or 29 percent off sticker price, according to TrueCar.