General Motors Stopping Monthly Sales Reports

General Motors said it would start reporting its sales for the U.S. at the end of each quarter rather than the end of every month and March’s monthly sales report would be its last, the automaker announced.

Kurt McNeil the vice president of U.S. Sales Operations for GM said that reporting sales each quarter better aligns with the business and the quality of data will make it much easier to see just how the business is operating.

The Michigan-based automaker said dropping its monthly reports for sales was driven by several factors, including the automakers desire to end volatility that at times exaggerates sales over just a one month period.

GM said that product launches, incentive campaigns and even unusual weather can easily skew the monthly figures both up and down.

McNeil added that 30 days was not sufficient enough time to separate sales trends from fluctuations over the short-term in a very highly competitive, dynamic market.

This moves opens the door for other automakers both U.S. and international, to follow suit and end their monthly sales reports.

During the early 1990s, several automakers were reportedly their sales each 10 days, while at that time Chrysler was reporting them each month. In the mid-1990s, all major automakers switched over to a monthly schedule for releasing sales figures.

Tesla has not reported its sales each month since its inception and there is no indication that only reporting its deliveries each quarter has been helpful or hurtful to its stock.

Nevertheless, when sales of automobiles started to plunge during 2008, the sales reports each month for auto sales helped investors, Washington lawmakers, and analysts to understand the speed in which the economy and auto industry was deteriorating.

If this type of scenario were to repeat itself at a point during the future, the severity of the situation with regards to a slowdown in sales would be known only each quarter or three-month cycle and that could cause investors to be more alarmed.

Even without the report by GM each month, other sources such as analysts, dealers and suppliers will continue giving insight into how sales of autos are progressing during each quarter so that investors will not be out in the dark waiting during the quarter worried about how good or bad the auto industry is, and at this point just GM, is doing.

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