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GM August Sales Slide as Cadillac, Chevy Brands Falter

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) posted total August U.S. sales of 270,480 vehicles, a decline of 0.7% compared with August 2014. Retail deliveries rose 5.9%, fleet deliveries fell 5.2% and commercial sales rose 2.0% in August. Fleet sales of pickup trucks have increased year-over-year in 16 consecutive months. Total fleet deliveries for the year to date are down 5%, primarily on planned reduced sales to rental customers.

GM’s new vehicle sales for August were forecast at around 258,000 by analysts at Kelley Blue Book (KBB). GM’s average transaction price in August came in at $38,087, up 0.1% month over month and up 2.4% compared with August of last year, according to the KBB analysts. GM reported that August transaction prices rose $300 to $34,000. KBB does not include applied consumer incentives to its calculation. GM reported that August incentive spending was 12% of its average transaction price.

The best-selling vehicle in the month was the Chevy Silverado pickup, which saw a year-over-year sales gain of 11.7% to 54,977 units. The GMC Sierra pickups posted a gain of 7% in August and the Acadia sport utility vehicle saw a sales gain of 10.2% to 9,050 units in August.

Cadillac retail sales slipped 9.4%, following a 7.1% decrease in July. For the year to date, total Cadillac sales are down 2.8% and retail sales are down 5%.

Total Chevrolet deliveries in August were down 1.5% year over year. Sales of Camaro fell 23.3% year over year and Cruze sales were down 37.4%.

The company’s Buick brand saw a year-over-year sales increase of 0.66% in August. Buick sales are down 2.6% for the year to date.

For the auto industry as a whole, GM’s forecast for the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales is 17.5 million for August, lower than the July estimate of 17.6 million.

GM’s stock traded down about 2.3% Monday morning, at $28.76 in a 52-week range of $24.62 to $38.99.

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By Paul Ausick