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GM reports best U.S. quarterly sales since 2020

Vehicles are offered for sale at a GM dealership in Lincolnwood, Illinois, on June 20, 2024.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

DETROIT — General Motors reported its best quarterly sales in more than three years, including notable increases in full-size pickup trucks and all-electric vehicles.

The Detroit automaker on Tuesday reported sales of 696,086 for the second quarter, up 0.6% from a year earlier and its highest quarterly units sold since the fourth quarter of 2020.

Its EV deliveries increased 40% compared to a year earlier to 21,930 units. Still, EVs made up only 3.2% of its total second-quarter sales.

Sales of GM’s full-size pickup trucks were roughly 229,000 during the second quarter, up about 6% from a year earlier and the best quarterly sales since 2021.

GM’s total sales through the first half of the year were down 0.4%, however, compared to a year earlier to roughly 1.3 million vehicles.

GM’s second-quarter sales are expected to slightly outpace the overall industry. Auto industry forecasters such as Cox Automotive and Edmunds expect second-quarter sales industrywide, including July 1, to be roughly level from a year earlier amid slowing retail demand.

An unknown outlier in the second quarter is how much of an effect cyberattacks on dealer software provider CDK Global will have on sales. The June 19 ransomware attack forced CDK, a market leader, to shut down its dealer management system, affecting close to half of all dealerships in North America.

“The CDK cyberattacks have thrown a monkey wrench into sales during the second half of June, affecting what is arguably one of the most lucrative and busiest times of the month and quarter for dealerships,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ head of insights.

GM, in a statement, said its “dealers who use the CDK platform are working to meet strong customer demand under difficult circumstances. Some deliveries may be delayed until Q3.”

Dealers, including the industry’s largest publicly traded ones, were forced to delay sales or figure out workarounds to sell vehicles since the attacks occurred.

All six of the major publicly traded franchised dealership groups have disclosed their exposure to the CDK issue. Five of the six — Asbury Automotive Group, AutoNation Inc., Group 1 Automotive Inc., Lithia Motors Inc. and Sonic Automotive Inc. — use CDK as their primary dealership management system provider, according to Automotive News.  

“The good news is — unlike other black swan events that the industry has contended with in the past — sales shouldn’t be lost or severely deferred, but rather pushed into the third quarter,” Caldwell said.

Separately on Tuesday, Toyota reported its second-quarter sales. The company’s U.S. sales totaled 621,549 vehicles during the period, up 9.2% compared to a year earlier.

The Hyundai brand sold 214,719 vehicles during the second quarter, up 2.2% compared to a year earlier.

Kia, which reports sales on a monthly basis, reported a 6.5% decrease in its June sales. Its sales for the first half of the year were down about 2% to 386,460 vehicles sold.

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