General Motors vs STLA: muscle, pickups, sedans, Jeep, and more

GM had a relatively good second quarter, dropping by just 11% from Q2 2021—which is about half the drop of the US car market as a whole, excluding Ford, which has yet to report it. To a degree this goodness was purchased with the highest incentives—but FCA US was a close second, with both in the mid-$1,800s per vehicle. Average transaction prices for both brands were over $50,000, with FCA US claiming costlier average car sales. Toyota, in contrast, averaged only around $37,000 per vehicle.

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Z71

With that said, how did the two companies fare in muscle cars, pickups, and so on?

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First, let’s look at some unique categories. GM has its Bolt EV, mass-market large SUVs, small and midsized cars, and so on—and FCA, while not having these, has its Wrangler, commercial vans, minivans, and so on. We won’t compare what doesn’t exist on the other side; nor will we drag in Alfa Romeo, Buick, or Cadillac. In addition, all our comparisons are year-to-date, not Q2.

First, in sporty coupes, the Challenger had 25,682 sales—and the Camaro had just 11,255. We can declare a Mopar victory with the Dodge outselling the Chevy 2:1. In sedans, we’ll compare Charger and 300 (46,041) to Malibu (58,169)—and find a definite GM advantage, though we’re looking at large cars vs midsized cars.

Next, we have pickups. Ram had 244,983 sales, supply constrained; GM had 264,139 Silverados and 118,938 Sierras. It seems Ram isn’t going to outsell GM this year (though it has a shot at beating Chevrolet without GMC).

2021 Chevrolet Suburban Z71

In large SUVs, the only really fair comparison is Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (24,376) together against Escalade (19,726). If you want to drag in the Suburban, Tahoe, and Yukon, it’s not quite fair since the Suburban and Tahoe are cheaper than the Wagoneer; but the Yukon had 17,070 sales to Wagoneer’s 17,275, making them quite similar, and Grand Wagoneer had 7,101 standalone sales, which are less than half of Escalade. Keep in mind the Wagoneer ramp-up might not even be done yet; but GM is likely to dominate in large SUVs as a whole for quite some time.

GM sold 21,547 Express vans to Ram’s 25,289 ProMaster vans; it’s a Ram advantage, aided by Amazon’s massive fleet.

In regular sized SUVs, things get a bit more complex. The Trax and Trailblazer are both cheaper than the Renegade; that’s 15,553+25,544 Chevys to 17,253 Jeeps. Moving up one step we have Equinox vs Compass, 116,678 vs 46,335. There’s no quest but that GM is clobbering Jeep so far. The Cherokee comes next, running at about the same price as the Blazer and Traverse, but we’ll save the Traverse to compete against the Grand Cherokee. With the Blazer, we have 33,104 Chevy sales to just 19,357 Jeep sales.

Renegade (RED)

If you’re saying “ouch,” as a Mopar fan, keep in mind we have not included Buick or GMC in most of these comparisons. Buick’s equivalents to Chevrolets add 48,075 more sales. GMC’s Terrain adds nearly that much without considering the Acadia and Savana.

The Grand Cherokee starts between the Traverse and Tahoe, and is sized between them as well. Here are the numbers:

  • Traverse: 44,306
  • Tahoe: 45,048
  • Suburban (long Tahoe): 21,321
  • Yukon (GMC Tahoe): 38,366
  • Acadia (GMC Traverse): 24,666
  • Grand Cherokee: 134,369

All the Chevys, if you want to count them here, add up to 173,707. The Yukon is probably better compared with the Wagoneer. You can judge whether the Tahoe, Suburban, and Acadia are better placed against the Wagoneer, too. In that case, the Grand Cherokee is a champion over the Traverse and Acadia.

2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee (and L)

GM is down 18% for the year. FCA US is down 15% for the year, giving it a bit more market share at GM’s cost. Both GM and FCA US have had astonishingly high average transaction prices and rebates; but in FCA’s case, there is a bigger price to be paid, to Tesla, in the form of emissions credits.*  Overall, though, Ma Mopar is standing up well to The General.

According to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, as quoted by Automotive News, the only automakers with higher average transaction prices than Stellantis in Q2 2022 were BMW ($66,337) and Daimler ($65,722). Ford and GM had transaction prices around $2,500 below Stellantis.