Edmunds.com Evaluates General Motors' Post-Bankruptcy Performance

Edmunds.com Evaluates General Motors' Post-Bankruptcy Performance


Edmunds.com Evaluates General Motors' Post-Bankruptcy Performance

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — November 16, 2009 — Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, has determined that shopper consideration and vehicle prices have risen for General Motors in the U.S. since the company declared bankruptcy in June of this year, and that typical profit per vehicle sale is essentially flat.

GM's pricing is at the highest point of the year with an average MSRP of $33,576 and an average Edmunds.com True Market Value® of $31,968. However, the Edmunds.com True Market Value® Price Index, which takes into account product mix changes and consumer incentives, shows little change from June to October, suggesting that the price hike is not translating into additional profits per vehicle sold.*

GM generally fares better than the industry average in the index; GM currently scores 107.7 compared with the industry average of 106.9 but the gap between GM and the industry average has been shrinking in recent months.

"Automakers often gain pricing power with new model introductions," commented Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. "The trick is to keep it going as the model ages."

While consumers may not be willing to pay more for GM vehicles, more of them are showing interest in the Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC brands.

"People are responding more enthusiastically to GM's marketing messages and new product introductions," commented Edmunds.com Senior Analyst David Tompkins, PhD. "For example, we saw Chevy consideration spike this summer because of the Equinox launch, even though the company's bankruptcy was all over the headlines at the time."

The following chart sets forth consideration metrics for the brands since the beginning of the year**:

  Jan-09 Feb-09 Mar-09 Apr-09 May-09 Jun-09 Jul-09 Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09
Buick 1.35% 1.36% 1.29% 1.35% 1.12% 1.37% 1.32% 1.65% 1.77% 2.71%
Cadillac 2.43% 2.28% 2.40% 2.30% 2.15% 2.08% 2.14% 1.95% 3.12% 3.18%
Chevrolet 10.79% 11.20% 11.20% 12.68% 13.02% 13.19% 13.76% 13.45% 12.33% 11.56%
GMC 2.78% 3.31% 2.81 2.94% 2.72% 2.58% 2.81% 2.67% 3.65% 3.83%

"GM's announcement that will begin to pay off its government loans earlier than anticipated can only help persuade reluctant consumers to consider GM vehicles, but loan repayment and any goodwill derived from it can go only so far," Edmunds.com Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs reported on AutoObserver.com. "GM has to continue launching new vehicles that consumers want. That will help them drive unit sales as well as higher prices, bringing home higher revenues."

*The Edmunds.com True Market Value® Price Index is designed to measure the price changes in new vehicle retail transactions over time by measuring actual transaction prices less total incentives to the consumer. The data is converted into a monthly index with December 2002 equaling 100. The index numbers are not seasonally adjusted. Only United States data is included.

** "Consideration" measures the percentage of Edmunds.com site visitors who viewed pages of content specifically about a vehicle or brand (reviews, videos, photos, etc.). It is a good metric for gauging marketing effectiveness. Consideration of a brand or model is the first step toward purchase intent, but not everyone counted in consideration metrics is currently in the market to buy a vehicle.

About Edmunds (http://www.edmunds.com/about/)
Edmunds publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2007 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

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