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GM's Malibu smashes first-month sales target


DETROIT, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The new Chevrolet Malibu has topped General Motors Corp's sales expectations in its debut month on the market by a wide margin, a senior GM executive told Reuters.
Bob Lutz, GM vice chairman and product development chief, told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit that GM appeared on track to sell about 3,000 of the new mid-size sedans in November, far higher than its projection for about 500 in the initial month.

"Dealers do not have the car because they're selling as fast as they get them," Lutz said on Tuesday.
The Malibu is part of a product offensive at GM that aims to reestablish the top U.S. automaker in a segment dominated by Japanese rivals, led by Toyota Motor Corp.
"We thought that we would have about 3,500 (Malibus) at dealers and that we would retail about 500," Lutz said. "Instead it appears for November the retail number is going to be 3,000 and there are going to be 500 at dealers, which means most Chevrolet dealers do not have a car because they're selling as fast as they get them."

The 2008 Malibu, which features new exterior styling and a revamped interior, has been well reviewed by auto critics, as has GM's new luxury sedan, the Cadillac CTS.
Lutz said the Cadillac, named Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine this week, was bringing in "a lot of import trades" at dealerships.

Taken together, he said the two cars showed GM was regaining a reputation it enjoyed in "the 1950s and 1960s" for making "the best looking cars, the best riding cars and the most desirable cars."
Separately, Lutz said GM had misjudged the relative demand for two new crossover utility vehicles built on the same platform: the Buick Enclave and the Saturn Outlook.
The Buick Enclave has outsold the Saturn model by a wide margin, even among the younger buyers that GM had expected would be drawn to Saturn.

"It just shows you how the best laid plans go awry," Lutz said.
As of the end of October, GM had an inventory of Outlooks equivalent to 118 days of sales, while the equivalent number for the Enclave was just 27 days, according to industry tracking service IRN Inc.
The two models are built in the same GM plant outside Lansing, Michigan, and Lutz said GM would adjust production to bring output of the two models more in line with demand.

Some would-be Enclave buyers have had to wait weeks to get the vehicle, he said.
"The Saturn Outlook has been a little slower than we expected," he said. "I think that's partly because there aren't enough Saturn dealers, and secondly, there isn't the brand awareness for Saturn."
By contrast, Lutz said GM planners were surprised by the strong response to the Buick brand, which had struggled in recent years to attract younger buyers.
"All of the sudden the fact that it says Buick doesn't matter. In fact, they think it's kind of cool -- it's kind of a reverse chic," he said.

The Malibu competes against the likes of the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. The Cadillac CTS competes against the BMW 335i and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, among others. (For summit blog: http://summitnotebook.reuters.com/) (Reporting by Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Braden Reddall)


source:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/feedarticle?id=7095178
 

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You know, this is good news for GM. A good reputation for one of Detroit three can only mean good things for American cars in general.
 

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You know, this is good news for GM. A good reputation for one of Detroit three can only mean good things for American cars in general.

^^ AGREE! also thinking of Cadillac blazing a path for Lincoln (even tho Lincoln needn't follow the exact same road)
&
post-autoshow:
the new'Bu is sooooo tasty!
but it was the Bu/G8/CTS "trifecta" (sp?) that has me re-thinking the degree of MCE 'our' triplets need.
 

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^^ AGREE! also thinking of Cadillac blazing a path for Lincoln (even tho Lincoln needn't follow the exact same road)
&
post-autoshow:
the new'Bu is sooooo tasty!
but it was the Bu/G8/CTS "trifecta" (sp?) that has me re-thinking the degree of MCE 'our' triplets need.
In terms of driving dynamics, nothing beats Bu. Its in the right place, not Mushy like camry, and not like the pretend sporty like the Accord.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm wondering about Saturn. Things looked so good on paper not long ago. A certain poster at GMI was (until recently) stating over and over that Saturn would save GM.
Personally, I think too much was thrown at Saturn too soon. Saturn is not generally considered a company that would offer prodcuts like the Aura and the Outlook. The relative failure of the Outlook is a little perplexing. It's like getting an Acadia at a discount. Apparently it's a discount that few care to take.
Yet, the Sky seems to be well received. This makes me wonder what the Astra may or may not do for the brand.
 

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I'm wondering about Saturn. Things looked so good on paper not long ago. A certain poster at GMI was (until recently) stating over and over that Saturn would save GM.
Personally, I think too much was thrown at Saturn too soon. Saturn is not generally considered a company that would offer prodcuts like the Aura and the Outlook. The relative failure of the Outlook is a little perplexing. It's like getting an Acadia at a discount. Apparently it's a discount that few care to take.
Yet, the Sky seems to be well received. This makes me wonder what the Astra may or may not do for the brand.
Saturn was never meant to be a Toyota volume brand. its more like VW. Simply becouse its not selling 1 million units does not make it a failure. Look at it as the North American Opel.

Car Deliveries in United States/ October -YTD
<TABLE borderColor=#ca4500 cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width=624 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD width=159 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>Aura
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>4,425
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>4,661
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-8.7
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>50,487
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>9,626
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>424.5
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=159 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>ION
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>5,135
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>8,231
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-40.0
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>45,138
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>88,254
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-48.9
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=159 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>Saturn L Series
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>0
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>0
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>***.*
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>2
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>20
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-90.0
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=159 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>Sky
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>845
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>843
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-3.6
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>9,856
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>6,711
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>46.9
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=159 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>Saturn Total
</TD><TD width=68 height=14>10,405
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>13,735
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>-27.2
</TD><TD width=70 height=14>105,483
</TD><TD width=69 height=14>104,611
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=14>0.8

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​

Truck Deliveries In United States/ October -YTD
<TABLE borderColor=#f44300 cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width=625 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD width=160 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>Outlook
</TD><TD width=67 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>2,458
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>0
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>***.*
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>28,251
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>0
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>***.*
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=160 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>Relay
</TD><TD width=67 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>50
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>464
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>-89.6
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>1,305
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>6,228
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>-79.0
</TD></TR><TR><TD width=160 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>VUE
</TD><TD width=67 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>5,995
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>5,120
</TD><TD width=68 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>12.6
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>71,751
</TD><TD width=69 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>76,660
</TD><TD width=70 bgColor=#ffffff height=13>-6.4

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>​

They have sold 28,000 units accross america. I do not know about you, but thats a lot of trucks. Consindering they had non last year, and there is still Buick and GMC.
They have also sold 50,000 Auras. That is not something any automaker would take lightly. Consindering how the L Series sucked.
Though this is not an apples to apples comparison, Milan sold 30,000 units and MKZ sold 28,000 units for the year by october, the MKX had 30,000 units.
Given the the Ford models sell at a higher price point than Saturn, this still gives you an idea that Saturn is not so badly off, consindering its products sell at higher prices than comparable pontiacs or chevys.
 

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Aura lost sales in October. The hottest month this year, when even Mercury made impressive gains? YIKES!!
GM delayed its fire sale to this month to get rid of the 2007 in november.

remember the Aura does not compare well with Mercurys which are more expensive and higher content. That is not to say Aura is bad, no, its a great car, but you got to remember Saturn is a small company, its got a much smaller footprint than any of the Ford Brands Lincoln Mercury.

My point being, GM does not have to look bad so that Ford looks good. They can all be viewed positively
 

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But I am not saying that Mercury sold more Milan's that Saturn sold Auras, because they didn't. What I am saying is that October was a good month in which Saturn didn't do all that good. I have to wonder why. Whether you want to see thing in a positive light the facts are undeniable. I am just curious.

And to prove that October was a good month I used Mercury as an example since right now Mercury is Ford's biggest looser. In October Mercury as a brand grew 16,7%, 38% cars alone and the Milan which is the Mercury closer to the Aura, grew 44.5%. I probably could have used some other brand to make my point but Mercury I think was the best choice because it has had a really rough year, and this is a Ford discussion board after all.
 

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But I am not saying that Mercury sold more Milan's that Saturn sold Auras, because they didn't. What I am saying is that October was a good month in which Saturn didn't do all that good. I have to wonder why. Whether you want to see thing in a positive light the facts are undeniable. I am just curious.

And to prove that October was a good month I used Mercury as an example since right now Mercury is Ford's biggest looser. In October Mercury as a brand grew 16,7%, 38% cars alone and the Milan which is the Mercury closer to the Aura, grew 44.5%. I probably could have used some other brand to make my point but Mercury I think was the best choice because it has had a really rough year, and this is a Ford discussion board after all.
I think SobeSVT has a point. Given that each brand has its ups and downs. Meanwhile, I think Aura took a hit due to the anticipation of the Malibu. GM usually overhypes stuff before launch and its now paying the price
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And to prove that October was a good month I used Mercury as an example since right now Mercury is Ford's biggest looser. In October Mercury as a brand grew 16,7%, 38% cars alone and the Milan which is the Mercury closer to the Aura, grew 44.5%.
Do we know what percentage were fleet? (of either the Aura or the Milan)

I've seen a link to a fleet sales webpage here or at GMI and I always mean to paste it when I see it. But alas, I haven't yet.
 

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Do we know what percentage were fleet? (of either the Aura or the Milan)
I've seen a link to a fleet sales webpage here or at GMI and I always mean to paste it when I see it. But alas, I haven't yet.

I have links on my other puter BUT they come in 6 month chunks & Oct'07 wouldn't be there yet.
edit/here ya go Jan-June'07:
http://www.fleet-central.com/af/stats2007/cars_web.pdf (28k)
http://www.fleet-central.com/af/stats2007/trucks_web.pdf (27k)
Make&Model__Commercial__Government__Rental__TotalFleet__Retail____Total____% Fleet
Saturn Aura________241______21_______6,236____6,498___20,888___27,386____23.7%
Mercury Milan______481______30_______3,274____3,785___13,083___16,868____22.4%
However,
GM's #'s show 27,229 Auras sold thru June30
& Ford's #'s show 19,846 Milans sold thru June30
(ritual-disclaimer: Hope that lines up for you)

IMO Mercury had a great october sales because Ford spended some money on the media advertising Mercury
Good Point, 1931Chevy!
*Jill* has been a frequent & regular visitor in my livingroom for some time now
 

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I have links on my other puter BUT they come in 6 month chunks & Oct'07 wouldn't be there yet.
edit/here ya go Jan-June'07:
http://www.fleet-central.com/af/stats2007/cars_web.pdf (28k)
http://www.fleet-central.com/af/stats2007/trucks_web.pdf (27k)
Make&Model__Commercial__Government__Rental__TotalFleet__Retail____Total____% Fleet
Saturn Aura________241______21_______6,236____6,498___20,888___27,386____23.7%
Mercury Milan______481______30_______3,274____3,785___13,083___16,868____22.4%
However,
GM's #'s show 27,229 Auras sold thru June30
& Ford's #'s show 19,846 Milans sold thru June30
(ritual-disclaimer: Hope that lines up for you)



Good Point, 1931Chevy!
*Jill* has been a frequent & regular visitor in my livingroom for some time now
Personally I do not think fleet sales are bad. As long as the Automaker does not discount to fleet, and forces them to pay full price. I know Toyota and Honda are agressively going for fleet sales in North America, especially with Corolla, Camry, Tundra, accord, civic... models. They target construction and goverment agencies.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Personally I do not think fleet sales are bad. As long as the Automaker does not discount to fleet, and forces them to pay full price. I know Toyota and Honda are agressively going for fleet sales in North America, especially with Corolla, Camry, Tundra, accord, civic... models. They target construction and goverment agencies.

No. Fleet sales are not, in and of themselves, a bad thing. Selling a large run of vehicles to one buyer is just fine. These fleets, be they corporate, rental, or government need to get their cars somewhere. And all things being equal I would prefer they get them from domestic automakers. But I feel a percentage over 20 is too high for the long term for any brand. I think the Pontiac G6, the last time I read anything about it, was at something like 40-50% of production. Now if that isn't embarassing I don't know what is.

NOTE TO 2b2: Thank you for the site link!
 

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Does anyone know how many '08 Malubu sales were to fleets? According to Edmunds GM will be selling the old Malibu, called 'Malibu Classic', to fleets as '08 models as well. Does GM lump those sales in with the new Malibu or do they show them on a separate line.

I'm all for Ford, GM, and Chrysler/Dodge doing well but I feel Lutz tends to stretch the truth sometimes which I think only hurts their image. I'm just curious as to whether this is him padding the numbers or not.
 
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