January 5, 2011

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: Robert Gibbs crows about power of big government, gets facts completely wrong.

Much more at The Truth About Cars. “With the media firmly focused on sales percentages, particularly the gaudy increases at Buick, GMC and Cadillac, nobody seems to be noticing as Chevy systematically kills the goose that lays the golden eggs. And no wonder: overall GM’s fleet sales were an inconspicuous 25.6%, a number that’s in line with the industry average of 27.5%. But Chevrolet’s volume is the glue that keeps GM’s North American operations together, and its brand integrity will be systematically wiped out if GM bosses don’t recognize that relying on fleet-based growth is not a sustainable model for the future.”

UPDATE: Several readers wonder what percentage of those fleet sales were to the federal government.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tom Elia says GM is “channel-stuffing.”

MORE: More on GM “channel-stuffing.”

STILL MORE: A reader emails:

I’ve been in the Army for almost 16 years. Since 2008 units I’ve been in have received 13 new vehicles from the Government Supply Agency (GSA). One was a Ford. The other 12 were GM or Chrysler vehicles. All of the in-bound vehicles I know of are either GM or Chrysler.

Of course this is just my personal observation of a very small segment of the government’s vehicle leasing activities, but it would not shock me in the least to find out that GM and Chrysler’s percentage of sales to the government far out-stripped Ford’s and was way out-of-line with the performance in other fleet sales that were tied to market-based purchasers.

Hmm. These numbers shouldn’t be too hard to come by.

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