After a minor one-percent sales decrease in August, General Motors bounced back in a big way in September. On the shoulders of a monumental performance from the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, GM saw its sales improve 19 percent to 223,437 vehicles sold. The general trends we’ve seen from GM sales as of late continued last month, with trucks, large SUVs, and the Corvette experiencing the biggest sales gains. Still trying to find its footing is Cadillac, which with the exception of the Escalade is losing ground in the luxury segments. Buick managed to build its sales 11.8 percent, largely thanks to solid performances from the Enclave and Encore, which increased sales 36 and 20 percent, respectively.
Winner: Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, 50,176 and 16,763 Units Sold, Up 54.4 and 24.7 Percent, Respectively
GM sold more Silverado and Sierra units combined than Ford sold F-Series trucks for the second consecutive month. The slowdown in F-Series sales to 59,863 units last month is largely a symptom of the slowdown in production as customers snatch up the last of the 2014 models before the aluminum-bodied F-150 arrives for 2015. Nevertheless, it’s a big win for GM to dethrone Dearborn’s truck dominance in any circumstance. Silverado sales through September 2014 total 382,153 units, which is a comfortable 5.9 percent ahead of last year’s numbers at the same time.
Winner: Chevrolet Corvette, 2467 Units Sold, Up 196.9 Percent
Another month, another victory lap for the Corvette. People can’t seem to get enough of the new Corvette Stingray, with year-to-date sales now totaling 25,950 units, which is up 231.4 percent from last year’s totals through September. And there’s even more good news headed the Corvette’s way, with the imminent arrival of the 650-hp Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe and convertible.
Winner: Cadillac Escalade, 2290 Units Sold, Up 136.6 Percent
With such impressive sales numbers from the Escalade, not even including 1228 in Escalade ESV sales, Cadillac must be wiping its brow in relief that GM decided to update its large SUV lineup. While the rest of the now-wreathless luxury brand struggles, the Escalade, along with its Tahoe and Yukon relatives, is enjoying continued popularity. Tahoe sales were up 6.7 percent to 5691 units, while Yukon sales grew a massive 93.5 percent to 3226 units. For the larger Cadillac Escalade ESV equivalents, Suburban sales climbed 50.1 percent to 4101 units, Yukon XL sales boomed 64 percent to 2165 units sold. GM even claims that almost 80 percent of customers who bought a large SUV in September drove home in a Chevrolet or GMC.
Losers: Cadillac Sedans; ATS Down 18.3 Percent, CTS Down 5.2 Percent, XTS Down 22.8 Percent
Although the XTS doesn’t have much of a future given the announcement of a flagship Cadillac CT6 sedan, GM would surely like to sell more than 1979 units a month, which is all the XTS could muster in September. While customers shopping in the large sedan segment might be turned off by the XTS’s front-wheel-drive setup, the same cannot be said for the rear-wheel-drive ATS and CTS. Sales of Cadillac’s luxurious, sporty sedans remain stagnant, and it is not for lack of performance from the vehicles. Cadillac as a whole managed to keep its September sales almost identical (one unit more) compared to last year, totaling 13,829 units, but the brand needs to redefine its image in the eyes of consumers if it wants them to come around.
Loser: Chevrolet Volt, 1394 Units Sold, Down 21.1 Percent
The next Chevrolet Volt might be due to arrive at the 2015 Detroit auto show with a significantly improved all-electric range, but sales in the here and now could use a jump-start. Volt sales are down 13.2 percent to 14,540 units through September 2014, despite a sizable price slash and generous incentives. Things are even worse for the pricier Cadillac ELR variant, which sold just 111 units last month and 885 since it went on sale earlier this year.