DETROIT -- General Motors on Tuesday reported a 15 percent decline in July sales, as high inventory levels and slowing demand for new light-duty vehicles test the company's discipline on incentive spending.
GM sold 226,107 cars and light trucks last month. That included a 14 percent decline in retail sales to 202,220 vehicles.
All brands outside of GMC experienced double-digit losses compared with a year ago, led by a 31 percent drop in sales for Buick, 22 percent for Cadillac and 15 percent for Chevrolet. GMC was down 7.3 percent -- its fourth-consecutive monthly decline.
Kurt McNeil, GM U.S. vice president of sales operations, said the automaker continues to “strategically” reduce car production rather than increase incentive spending “or dump vehicles into daily rental fleets.”
“We are working hard to protect the residual values of our new products and growing quality retail and commercial sales, and July’s [average transaction prices] reflect that discipline,” he said in a statement, citing some competitors haven’t been as disciplined.
GM's July incentive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices was 12 percent, according to the company. ALG estimates GM’s spending was down 4.2 percentage points from a year ago, however it remains higher than the industry average of 11 percent in July.
GM’s incentive spending for the month, according to ALG, was $4,531 per unit. While down 0.7 percent compared to a year ago, ALG reports it was among the highest in the industry last month.
There were few bright spots in GM’s July sales: Buick Envision sales nearly doubled to more than 2,800 units, the Chevy Colorado midsize pickup increased 22 percent and the GMC Acadia jumped 30 percent to more than 9,700 units.
The company’s full-size pickups both experienced double-digit sales declines last month, with Silverado off 15 percent to nearly 46,000 units and GMC Sierra sliding 11 percent to less than 20,000 vehicles sold.