Silverado Sales Drop to Number 3, GM Not Worried

Chevrolet knows that its perennial number two-selling pickup has dropped to number three. But, in the words of F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen, leave them alone, they know what they’re doing.

The Ram, with both old and new versions selling together, has beaten the Silverado, also with old and new selling alongside, for sales in nine of the last 10 months. Even with the GMC Sierra added in, GM’s pickup share is down. Company execs, though, say that things are ok, the launch is going as expected, and that GM is more worried about profits than market share. That’s according to a new report from Automotive News.

“Given our limited availability, we deliberately launched with a really high mix in trims,” GM President of the Americas Barry Engle told Automotive News this month. “But as we get broader availability and get the full portfolio out there, we’ll be just fine.”

GM is expecting that broader availability to come with more capacity. About 60,000 more trucks per year total.

Engle said that part of the capacity will mean doubling Silverado Trail Boss production. More than 20 percent of the total will be that off-road trim, which Engle said “we’re selling every one of those we can make, and the real demand for that thing is probably double what we thought it would be and what we capacitized at.”

GM is also not selling the new trucks to fleets yet, sticking with higher-profit models directly to consumers. When fleet sales begin, Engle expects the truck’s share to grow.

The HD pickups from Chevy and GMC started shipping to dealers last week. GM expects the rollout of those trucks to take much less time, getting more to dealers more quickly. “It will be the same measured approach, the same idea, the same philosophy, but we will be able to accelerate it,” Engle said. “It won’t take as long.”

So GM may or may not take the second sales spot back with the Silverado, but either way, it’s not what they’re worried about right now.

Source: Automotive News