Shares of General Motors (GM) fell over 2% on Thursday after the automaker said its sales fell 2.7% in the fourth quarter. The company had recently shifted its sales reporting from a monthly basis to a quarterly basis.
General Motors has also become the second automaker after Tesla (TSLA) to sell its 200,000th EV during the fourth quarter, the cap till when a federal tax credit of $7,500 is allowed. For any further sales, the tax credit would be slashed to half for the next six months.
Meanwhile, the Detroit automaker said its other segment of vehicles including crossovers, pickup trucks, and SUVs are seeing strong sales. Crossover vehicle sales grew 7% during the year to cross 1 million, primarily helped by a 34% jump in GMC Terrain.
“We feel confident heading into 2019 because we have more major truck and crossover launches coming during the year and the US economy is strong,” said US Vice President, Sales Operations, Kurt McNeil.
The largest US automaker said strong demand for GMC and Chevrolet brands pumped up pickup sales during 2018. Combined sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, and the GMC Sierra and Canyon, rose 3% compared to 2017 to a total of 973,463 pickups.
The next-generation Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD are set to reach the markets in the second half of 2019, while the medium-duty Silverados have started shipping.
McNeil added, “We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019. The light-duty launch has been one of the best in our history, with a very smooth production ramp-up of the new models and a faster than expected sell-down of the old models.”
General Motors is currently going through a transitional phase as it shifts its focus towards pickups, a segment that is more profitable than cars. The company, which is struggling in the cut-throat competition in the auto market, had also earlier announced plans to lay off about 14,000 staff as part of its restructuring activity.
The stock has declined 23% during the trailing 52-weeks period.
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