General Motors US Sales Hit in First Quarter as Coronavirus Keeps Buyers Away

General Motors (GM) said first-quarter auto sales fell 7% year-on-year as automaker showrooms remain shut during the coronavirus pandemic.

GM delivered 618,335 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020. The Detroit-based automaker attributed the drop to “significant declines” in March. With dealerships closed across the U.S., sales are poised to take a further hit in April as country lockdowns remain in place. Inventory at the end of the first quarter was 668,443 units, down about 18% from a year ago, GM reported.

Four-star analyst Colin Langan at UBS last month lowered his price target for GM to $27.00 from $47.00, as the stock plunged about 43% since the beginning of the year. Langen maintained his Buy rating.

Wall Street analysts also remain bullish about General Motors, giving the company a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 10 Buys and 1 Hold. With shares currently priced at $19.26, the stock has 99% upside potential in the next 12 months should the $38.40 average price target be met. (See GM stock analysis on TipRanks)

To offset sales declines as social distancing guidelines remain in place GM said customers can use its existing “Shop.Click.Drive.” online program to find, purchase and arrange for home delivery of a vehicle.

“In this uncertain and challenging time, GM and our strong network of dealers are here to help, offering concierge service, providing courtesy transportation to customers in need and offering home delivery where permissible,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales.

GM added that in many areas with stay-at-home orders, dealer service operations are considered essential and can remain open to address crucial vehicle needs for essential service providers like first responders, healthcare workers and food supply and delivery workers.

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