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GM can't build or deliver new vehicles fast enough

General Motors is seeing strong demand for many of its US vehicles, but can't deliver them to dealers fast enough, one of the company's top executives said.
General Motors is seeing strong demand for many of its US vehicles, but can't deliver them to dealers fast enough, one of the company's top executives said.
Image: lindaparton / 123rf

General Motors is seeing strong demand for many of its US vehicles, but can't deliver them to dealers fast enough, one of the company's top executives told Reuters on Monday.

“GM very strongly continues to have discipline in terms of incentives, which means that demand is still very high,” said Rory Harvey, the company's North America president, at an event in Lansing, Michigan.

“At this particular point in time, we could just about sell every product that we can build.”

But the automaker faces outbound logistics challenges in the aftermath of Covid-19, he said, particularly in shipping vehicles to dealers, whether by truck or rail.

“We would still like to improve our availability on the ground at dealers,” Harvey said. “We have good inventory (levels) overall, but we'd like to get some of those units to our dealers from some of the plants quicker than they are today.”

Harvey declined to say if lower-than-expected sales of GM's newest electric vehicles, the GMC Hummer EV and Cadillac Lyriq, were related to issues with Ultium batteries.

“I'm not sure that I want to be quoted as saying that Ultium is the bottleneck,” he said in response to a question about low sales and dealer inventories of Hummer and Lyriq.

Those models, Harvey said, “have been going down the line in very limited quantities (but) we are building momentum.”

“In May and June, there was good momentum growth. We will see another step change in terms of their (sales) performance in the second half of the year.”

GM reports US vehicle sales only on a quarterly basis. It sold just 1,348 Lyriqs and 47 Hummers in the second quarter.

In late June, the company had an estimated 831 Lyriqs and 25 Hummers in advertised retail inventories, according to S&P Global Mobility.