GM Announces Switch to Quarterly Sales Reporting
As of March 2018, GM has announced that they will be switching to a quarterly reporting of sales. Before this, as you can tell from our recent posts, GM reported sales monthly. This change is GM taking a step away from a long-standing industry tradition.
The reason given was that month to month changes are more volatile and a quarterly report will help even out the variations and give a better view of the company's performance. However, they have always reported a month compared to the same month the year before - which handles most seasonal changes. But, they are correct that there are differences year to year that don't get adequately explained. For instance, a month in one year may have a small increase or decrease in selling days - which might impact the numbers. Of course, this is also true of quarterly numbers.
As likely is that GM worries that they are spending too much time looking at the very short-term and how that may impact decisions they would make (it is hard to experiment with marketing methods or incentives to dealers if you only have 4-ish weeks and a mistake could look very bad for a model or brand or the company).
Additionally, as models launch - this change would allow GM to roll out a new product as it is ready without as much worry about how slow initial sales would be reported in the media. So, while we will attempt to report on sales changes in a relatively timely way - our sales reporting posts might slack off as a result of this change. Despite this change, our report of Cadillac's March 2018 sales will hit soon. But expect us to also spell out how the entire first quarter looks - since that is how the sales will be reported going forward.