Just ahead of todayâ€™s announcement of monthly sales numbers, The General announced it will be shifting to a quarterly model for releasing its sales performance data.
After todayâ€™s posting of numbers, one will no longer be able to scrutinize month-over-month fluctuations of GMâ€™s four brands. March statistics (released today at 9:30am EDT) will be the automaker’s final monthly sales report this year. In 2018, second quarter sales will be released on July 3, third quarter sales on October 2 and fourth quarter sales on January 3, 2019.
â€œThirty days is not enough time to separate real sales trends from short-term fluctuations in a very dynamic, highly competitive market,â€� said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president, Sales Operations, in a statement posted by General Motors this morning. â€œReporting sales quarterly better aligns with our business, and the quality of information will make it easier to see how the business is performing.â€�
Your humble author expects this to ripple through the industry with the speed at which your Great-Uncle Phonse makes his way to the buffet table. Other manufacturers will surely follow suit in short order.
To be certain, monthly sales can be volatile, as they are at the mercy of holiday timing, product launch activity, and even weather. This Newfoundlander can tell you that two weeks of unrelenting snow puts a damper on showroom traffic. However, quarterly reporting will make it more difficult for analysts to spot trends, problems, and successes.
It’ll certainly result in a huge dump of numbers. In Q4 of 2017, General Motors sold 806,739 vehicles. Parsing and interpreting all that data will be a task but you can be guaranteed your authors at this website will continue to do so, perhaps with an even more critical eye.
The General is quick to note that â€œGMâ€™s high level of transparency on total, brand and nameplate sales, fleet mix and inventory will not change.â€� These are good words, but Iâ€™ll leave it up to the BB to pass judgement on that particular quote pulled from the press release.
We will have what might very well be our final monthly sales report for the American market later today.