What Is the Truth Behind Automobile Sales?

General Motors released a report to investors stating the June auto sales were up 16%:

GM Reports June U.S. Sales up 16 percent

DETROIT – General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) today reported June sales of 248,750 vehicles in the United States, up 16 percent year over year and the company’s highest sales since September 2008. Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac all reported double-digit increases.

“Across the board, June was a strong month for GM,” said Kurt McNeil, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “The combination of new products, available credit, lower fuel prices and modest economic growth was a stronger influence on consumer behavior than economic and political uncertainty.”

For the month, GM passenger car sales were up 12 percent year over year, thanks to a 32 percent increase in Chevrolet Malibu sales and a 21 percent increase in Buick LaCrosse sales.

Combined sales of all seven Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac crossovers were up 30 percent versus a year ago.

Truck sales were up 11 percent, with all pickup, van and SUV segments up year over year.


A reality check for Government Motors is given below putting this information in a different context:

GM’s Government Fleet Sales and Truck Inventory Rise

It looks like General Motors will be throwing everything in but the kitchen sink to help fluff its second quarter earnings numbers. Taxpayers continue to help with the cause as President Obama campaigns on the “success” of GM following the manipulated bankruptcy process that cost taxpayers $50 billion and another $45 billion of tax credits gifted to GM to help protect powerful UAW interests. We now learn that government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June.

The discovery of the pick-up in government fleet purchases at the taxpayers’ expense comes just weeks before GM announces its second quarter earnings. Overall fleet sales (which are typically less profitable than retail sales) at Government Motors rose a full 36% for the month, helping to drive decent sales improvements year over year.

GM claimed that sales increases did not rely on incentive spending, which appeared to remain in check, but one analyst during GM’s sales conference call questioned whether the company’s “stair step” incentive spending was accurately depicted. This incentive spending kicks in after dealerships report final sales figures for the month and may be yet another deceptive way for GM to fudge its numbers. Not mentioned was GM card rewards programs that do not get counted as incentive spending.

The government’s increased spending on GM vehicle purchases presents yet another conflict of interest as Treasury refuses to sell taxpayers’ stake in GM and Obama campaigns on the auto bailouts. It does not appear that any members of Congress (from either party) are questioning the increased spending. Also ignored was the Department of Energy’s gifting of $2.7 million of taxpayer money to GM to reduce energy consumption in its door manufacturing process by 50%. The DOE seems to be one of the main conduits to funnel taxpayer funds to cronies of the Administration. The $2.7 million contribution to GM comes after additional millions of dollars were spent by the DOE on advisory fees paid to legal firms that helped smooth the way for the GM bankruptcy process (as reported here); another move that went unquestioned.


But Zerohedge has been reporting on channel stuffing by General Motors to inflate auto sales for over a year:

Ongoing Channel Stuffing Articles by General Motors:

  1. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against GM For Channel Stuffing 


    6 days ago – In a classic example of “speak of the devil”, we were barely done with hitting save on our earlier article (in a series going back to 2011) 

  2. The Latest Parabolic Chart – GM Channel Stuffing | ZeroHedge


    Apr 3, 2012 – Uh, what is going on here? Is GM trying to stuff its dealers with so many vehicles it makes the AAPL parabolic chart appear flat as a pancake?

  3. GM Channel Stuffing Resumes, January Dealer  – ZeroHedge


    Feb 1, 2012 – Just as we thought GM’s channel stuffing days may be coming to an end, and the company may finally be normalizing its inventory 

  4. GM Channel Stuffing Soars To All Time High | ZeroHedge


    Mar 1, 2012 – Did channel stuffing expert AOL quietly merge with a Government Motors without anyone’s knowledge? Because making record amounts of 

  5. GM Finds Creative New Ways To “Stuff Channels“, Get  – ZeroHedge


    6 days ago – Zero Hedge readers know that we have long followed channel stuffingtrends at GM, whose month-end dealer inventory hit a record (for the 

  6. GM Channel Stuffing Surges To All Time Record | ZeroHedge


    Dec 1, 2011 – In the past two months, everyone has been scratching their heads just how it is possible that the US manufacturing base continues to chug 

  7. As The Chinese Car “Channel Stuffing” Bubble Pops  – ZeroHedge


    May 18, 2012 – As a reminder, GM channel stuffing in the US:And just in case one thought GM is not repeating its US mistakes elsewhere, guess again: “The 

  8. Excessive Channel Stuffing Forces GM To Halt Chevy  – ZeroHedge


    Mar 3, 2012 – On Thursday, we were the first to expose GM’s latest strong car sales data as nothing more than the latest in a long series of accounting 

  9. GM’s “Channel Stuffing” Goes Mainstream | ZeroHedge


    Jul 5, 2011 – “General Motors Co. stocked Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta with plenty of Silverado full-size pickups in early 2011, part of a wager on a strong 

  10. GM Channel Stuffing Hits Record In April | ZeroHedge


    May 3, 2011 – Earlier today, GM posted better than expected April car sales, with total US sales up 26.4% on expectations of 14%. How much of this is due to 

A collusion between the government of a country and major business operations is the major tenet of Fascism. People paying tribute to a government which is then used to bailout industry in exchange for votes is bad enough. Using more money to buy cars from these businesses to hide losses is criminal. But then the transfer of GM bonds to labor unions was also criminal.

David DeGerolamo

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