Sales might not be as good as they were once thought to be for the Detroit automakers. New documents uncovered by Automotive News shows that these sales figures were being inflated by sales to rental fleets.
Through July of this year, GM’s overall sales were up 13 percent and Chrysler wasn’t far behind with an 11 percent increase. Yet, take away fleet sales and the game changes.
According to the documents, GM has increased its fleet sales by 53 percent, or 400,000 units. Chrysler’s doubled with 242,000 vehicles. Once these figures are taken away from the overall company sales things begin to look different, as GM’s figure would be down 1 percent, while Chrysler’s sales would fall 19 percent.
Don’t think that these two are the only ones guilty.Ford is in this party as well. Chrysler is top of the charts with 39 percent of sales going to fleets, but Ford is a close second with 35 percent, while GM sells around 31 percent to rental companies.
“We all are — every one of the Big 3, even the imports,” Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said last month. “As new models start launching, you’ll start seeing an increasing share of retail.”
Not so Mr. Marchionne. Hyundai has only sold 16 percent of its total to fleet companies and Nissan is around 15 percent. Toyota has 9 percent of its total sales going to fleets, while Honda is at 2 percent.