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General Motors Posts Lower Sales for the 4th Quarter

Top U.S. automaker General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) released its fourth-quarter sales report on Jan. 3.

Key highlights

The Detroit-based automaker delivered 735,909 vehicles in the fourth quarter, down 6.3% year over year. Retail sales made up 80.3% of total quarterly sales, while fleet mix accounted for 19.7%. The average transaction price grew to a record $37,558 from the prior-year quarter.

How did the brands fare?

All of the company's major brands failed to register sales growth.

Cadillac sales declined 2.2% on a year-over-year basis to 40,551 units. Cadillac ATS sales were disappointing at 83 units, down a mammoth 90%. XTS sales also dropped 79% to 1,062 units.

The Chevrolet brand saw sales fall 6.1% to 499,404 units. The company cited the overall decline to a 1.34% drop in sales of Silverado Pickups to 163,341 units. Equinox sales dipped 6.26% to 92,092 units. On the bright side, Chevrolet Trax sales inched up 47.6% to 33,039 units.

GMC's sales declined 8.5% to 146,880 units. The Savana and Sierra models did witness year-over-year sales growth during the quarter. However, a 22.5% decline in sales of Acadia (19,471 units sold) let the automaker down.

Buick sales totalled 49,074 units, down 4.3%. Encore, the brand's top-selling vehicle, experienced a 22.17% sales growth to 28,497 units. Sales decreased roughly 78% for LaCrosse and 51.32% for Regal.

SUV and pickup sales impress

While the overall sales tumbled 6.3%, the carmaker said demand for large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks was strong during the quarter. As for the full year, the combined sales of full-size pickup trucks and SUVs surpassed one million.

"We've focused our resources on what our customers want - crossovers and trucks - and that has paid off," Kurt McNeil, vice president of U.S. Sales Operations, said. "In addition to our industry-leading crossover sales, our full-size truck franchise is unmatched. We're pleased with our full-size pickup launch and we look forward to launching our segment-leading, all-new full-size SUVs in 2020."

Effect of U.S. worker strike

The quarterly sales were weighed down by the 40-day U.S. worker strike that ended on Oct. 25. Additionally, the company said the United Auto Workers strike would reduce 2019 earnings by nearly $3 billion.

Disclosure: I do not hold any positions in the stocks mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.