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GM: Q4 2023 Sales Constrained by UAW Strike, but Full-Year Growth Robust

Most automakers reported final sales numbers for 2023 on Jan. 3. Adjusting for one selling day fewer, Wards put the year-over-year December sales increase at 17.3% and the seasonally adjusted annualized selling rate at 15.83 million, up from 13.55 million in December 2022. Full-year sales increased 12.4% to 15.46 million. We think the worst of the chip shortage is finally behind the industry, but we expect some supply shortages in 2024. As inventory continues to recover, we expect incentives as a percentage of average transaction price to keep rising from artificially low levels of barely above 2% in late 2022 (currently just over 5%), which will pressure automaker and dealer margins in 2024 relative to the past two years. Better inventory and U.S. interest rates likely done rising should bring some consumers back to the showroom. Affordability remains a challenge though, so we expect only a small increase in 2024 light-vehicle sales to the high 15 million range.

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