GM Has Massive Oversupply of Pontiac G3

Posted: April 15, 2009

Update: GM Spokesperson John McDonald responded to this story by pointing out that  current market conditions have left most automakers with deeper inventories than expected, and the G3 is a new model that may not yet have won broad public awareness.  Those are fair points.  A snapshot of the one-month sales rate of any vehicle is unlikely to stay static for two years, he points out, so the Journal's calculations may not be particularly meaningful. 

Can we interest you in a Pontiac G3?  Seriously.  All offers will be entertained.  GM has built a few too many G3s...

The Wall Street Journal reports, "In March the company sold 141" G3s.  "That means just one in every 19 of GM's roughly 2,700 Pontiac dealers sold one during the month."    

It gets worse.

Motor Trend notes, "At the snails-pace they're currently selling at, that supply of G3s will last 617 days, or nearly two years, without any additional units being built. In fact, if GM stopped building G3s right now and sales refused to pick up, the last 2009 model G3s would be finally rolling off dealer lots some time in December 2010, long after they should've been replaced with 2010 and 2011 models."

Major automakers, we should note, generally aim to keep no more than a 60-day supply of most models available.

The Pontiac G3, new in dealerships last month, is nearly identical to the Chevy Aveo.  General Motors decided to sell the Korean-built Aveo subcompact as a Pontiac last summer, when gas prices crested $4 per gallon and Pontiac's lineup of muscular G8 large sedans, Torrent SUVs and sporty Solstice roadsters looked like a gas-guzzling market failure.

Autoblog thinks the news "will doubtlessly result in a chorus of ‘We told you so' forehead-slaps from critics who noted the arrival of the Pontiac G3 with disdain."

Motor Trend gets that trend started, noting "we predicted it would be anything but a hit."

The Journal, however, wonders when we'll see the massive G3 incentives start. Through the next two years, unless something changes, "those G3s will be sitting on lots, depreciating, tying up dealer capital, or they will have been sold but only with the use of heavy, margin-eating discounts."

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