GM, FCA sales numbers seem good but both lost market share; Ford in production Hell
GM announced a healthy 40% gain in sales over the COVID-afflicted second quarter of 2020; year to date, GM is up by 20%. FCA US, or Stellantis US, posted a quarterly gain of 32%, with the same year-to-date rise of 20%.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that, year to date, both companies lost a good deal of ground. With U.S. light vehicle sales up 57% in the second quarter, GM’s 40% and Stellantis’ 32% are bad numbers. Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, posted a year-to-date 44.5% gain in US sales; Honda rose by 41%; and Hyundai shot up by 48%.
At GM, every brand rose year to date, but Chevrolet rose least, with a mere 12% lift; there were a few models that lost sales, but not enough to matter. The Silverado 1500 stalled out with a 3% gain, despite a Q2 rise of 31%. Buick did amazingly well, with a market-share-gaining 61% increase, largely due to the Encore GX rising by a factor of nearly four times—a 277% gain from 11,857 to 44,679. The Envision also did reasonably well with 26,000 sales (a 76% gain) and the Enclave hit 25,713 (a 59% gain). Cadillac rose by 37%, due almost entirely to the Escalade (20,716), its biggest seller, up 96%; the CT4, which went from 632 to 4,930; and the XT6, which rose 43% from 9,205 to 13,141. Finally, GMC saw a 29% increase, with only the Terrain losing ground, and a 72% hike on Yukon sales (to 42,315); that was not enough to push the Yukon past the Acadia, which gained 40% to 46,222. The mainstay of GMC, of course, is the Sierra, the fancy Silverado; Sierras rose by 30% (even as the Silverado lineup only rose by 9%), with light and heavy duty models both rising.
Within FCA, Chrysler sales rose by 33%, with both 300 and Pacifica rising; Ram vans and pickups both shot up, and Ram pickup sales reached 313,068, a 27% gain. Jeep rose 14% overall, with the Gladiator posting a stunning 40% increase, reaching 48,784. The Wrangler had a tremendous 118,666 sales, beating the Grand Cherokee’s 107,924. Probably due to production problems, the Compass dropped by 29%. Dodge told an odd story; the totals went down without the Journey and Caravan in production, but the cars that remain posted 30% (Durango), 37% (Challenger), and 40% (Charger) gains.
Overall, Stellantis sold 954,963 cars and trucks in the United States from January 1 to May 31 2021, up 17% from the year before.
As for Ford, things are very, very bad over there, for the most part, due to production problems—not being able to get key parts. Dealers quickly ran out of F-series inventory, to the point where GM easily beat the Ford F-series and Ram pulled up close—with 362,032 F-series pickups sold year to date, down 1.5% from the COVID-ridden 2020 first half, Ford is not doing well… especially since they pretty much rely on those pickups. (The next best selling vehicle was the Explorer, with less than a third that many sales in the first half). Ram only gained 27%—not enough to meet overall market growth—but it was enough to nip at Ford’s heels, with 313,068 sold.
Ford does have a very promising future right now; the Mustang itself is only slightly ahead of the Challenger (31,950 vs 30,948) in the first half of the year, but the Mustang Mach-E EV had 12,975 sales, which is pretty good for the price and for Ford’s first electric vehicle. The Bronco Sport already hit 60,514 sales and it’s still very new; the Bronco itself is only at 801 since it just entered production. These two vehicles, which are totally different under the nameplate, are guaranteed to clobber their counterpart Jeeps sooner or later. Indeed, the Bronco Sport registered about the same sales as the Compass and Renegade combined; and is nipping on the heels of the Cherokee (67,158). Admittedly, Compass production has been slammed in the same way as the F-series—by the chip shortage.
Clark Westfield grew up fixing up and driving past-their-prime American cars, including various GM and Mopar V8s. He has ghostwritten auto news for the last few years, and lives in Farmingdale, New York.