GO
Loading...

Halftime: GM’s Vehicle Sales Dip, So Why Is the Automaker Pleased?

General Motors said Wednesday its total vehicle sales in May fell slightly from a year ago.

Overall sales were down 1.2 percent and sales of its Chevrolet brand, including its top-selling Silverado pickup truck, fell 3.5 percent.

Despite that headline, General Motors was feeling pretty positive about the news.

“We were pretty pleased with the month,” Don Johnson, GM’s Vice President of U.S. Sales told the “Fast Money” team. “You have to dig into those numbers and when you do what you’ll see is our retail sales were actually up 9 percent.”

The decline was driven by a planned reduction in fleet sales, he said. “It is in line with what our strategy has been this year.”

GM was the first automaker to report sales on Wednesday. Analysts expect overall U.S. sales to fall four percent from last May due to fewer deals, a shortage of models due to the earthquake in Japan and uncertainty over high gas prices.

But General Motors sees a silver lining. Because gas prices have sent consumers looking for fuel efficient vehicles, its Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain all had “record months,” Johnson noted.

The Detroit-based car manufacturer also believes it could benefit from its competitors’ low inventory in the next couple months.

“There are going to be customers in the market who will turn to us to fill their vehicle needs,” Johnson believes.

But he said that’s not the whole story. He thinks the company’s new products will propel GM’s sales back up.

While automaker reported an annualized industry sales rate for May would be 12.1 million vehicles, Johnson believes that number will exceed 13 million later in the summer and will hit 14 million on a monthly basis by the end of the year.




______________________________________________________
Got something to to say? Send us an e-mail at fastmoney-web@cnbc.com and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap. If you'd prefer to make a comment, but not have it published on our Web site, send those e-mails to fastmoney@cnbc.com.

Trader disclosure: On June 1, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s “Fast Money” were owned by “Fast Money” traders; Cortes owns (SO); Cortes owns (EXC); Cortes owns (KFT); Cortes owns (K); Cortes owns (WMT); Cortes owns German Bonds; Cortes is short Nikkei; Cortes is short Australian dollars; Cortes is short Silver; Cortes is short EEM vs S&P long; Cortes is short (CAT); Cortes is short (DE); Cortes is short (CX); Karabell owns (AAPL); Karabell owns (GOOG); Pete Najarian owns (AAPL); Pete Najarian owns (C); Pete Najarian owns (MSFT); Pete Najarian owns (MS); Pete Najarian owns (TCK)

For Zachary Karabell
River Twice Capital is short (SHLD)
River Twice Capital is short (CAT) puts
River Twice Capital is short SPY
River Twice Capital is short QQQ

For Patty Edwards
Edwards owns (AAPL) For Clients
Edwards owns (AMZN) For Clients
Edwards owns (GLD) For Clients
Edwards owns (GOOG) For Clients
Edwards owns (MSFT) For Clients
Edwards owns Canadian dollar via FXC


CNBC.com with wires.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
GM
---

Contact Halftime Report

  • Showtimes

    Halftime Report - Weekdays 12p ET
    Fast Money - Weekdays 5p ET