Automakers are just different. Given their size, just what they do matters to people ranging from suppliers to policy makers. Thus it is news when a company like General Motors decides to be a little less transparent about just what it is doing (GM goes dark on output stats, causes stir, Automotive News, Jun 17).
For decades, GM and nearly all other major automakers have reported the number of cars and trucks produced at their North American plants each month, broken out by nameplate. The data get folded into numerous economic indicators, including ones published by the Federal Reserve, and are a benchmark for industry insiders to forecast GM’s future production.
But this month GM notified several research providers that publish production data — including IHS Automotive, the Automotive News Data Center and Autodata Corp. — that it will no longer give them those figures, providing instead only the number of wholesale deliveries.
Things brings up two questions. First, who was using this data? Second, just why is GM reporting wholesale deliveries instead? (more…)