DETROIT — General Motors reported its third-consecutive year of slight U.S. sales declines — capped by a soft fourth-quarter — as its growing lineup of utility vehicles couldn’t offset significant drops in most of its passenger cars.

GM said sales last year slid 1.6 percent compared with 2017 to 2.95 million vehicles — marking the first time the automaker’s sales have been below 3 million since 2014. That includes a 2.7 percent decline in the fourth quarter and an estimated 3.7 percent drop in December.

GM, which switched to quarterly reporting earlier this year, reported car sales plunged 21 percent for the year, while trucks increased 2 percent and crossovers jumped 7 percent.

All of GM’s brands recorded slight declines for the year, led by a 5.6 percent drop for Buick and a 1.4 percent slide for Chevrolet. Cadillac was down 1.1 percent, and GMC slipped 0.8 percent.

GM reports fleet sales for the year were up 9 percent versus 2017 despite a 4 percent drop in the fourth quarter.

GM estimates total U.S. sales of light vehicles will come in at 17.3 million for the year, including a seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 17.7 million in the fourth quarter.





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