General Motors stated on Tuesday it will stop reporting every month about U.S. vehicle sales, adding the 30-day snapshot does not accurately show the market and the company will, instead, issue quarterly sales reports.
The automaker will also no longer report monthly sales in China and Brazil. The company will provide monthly data to the U.S. Federal Reserve, industry associations and government agencies across the world but that data will not be made public.
Other known automakers indicated on Tuesday that they would not follow GM’s example for now on switching to reporting sales on a quarterly basis.
“At this moment, we are maintaining our reporting of sales on a monthly basis,” stated spokesman for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.
On a conference call with experts and reporters, Ford Motor’s U.S. sales chief Mark LaNeve stated the automaker would evaluate GM’s move but a “decision is not imminent” on whether the sales should be reported quarterly.
Jack Hollis, Toyota Motor’s North American head of sales and marketing, stated there is “no change planned on our side.”
Experts and investors depend on monthly U.S. vehicle sales to evaluate the performance of individual automakers, and also use the data as a barometer of the health of the world’s second-largest auto market and an indicator of consumer confidence in the U.S. economy throughout.
Jeff Schuster, a senior executive at forecaster LMC Automotive, stated GM’s decision to release fewer sales data was “not that big a deal.”
“As an industry, we’ve gotten used to the monthly sound bites and have focused too much on the ‘noise,’” Schuster stated. “Maybe we should focus more on the ‘why.’”
GM and its Detroit competitors have depended a lot on sales of high-margin pickup trucks and SUVs to increase profits. GM’s total U.S. sales, its second-largest market, dropped 3.2 percent for the first two months of this year, reflecting a 6.8 percent fall in retail sales to individual customers, the company reported last month.