What Did People Pay at a GM Dealer in Q4 2021?

By Gary S. Vasilash

Yes, there are things like logistics jams and semiconductor absences that are making getting a new set of wheels (1) difficult at most and (2) more expensive than might seem to be reasonable. (Of course, finding a bag of potato chips might be a challenge, too, and once you find one you’ll discover that its contents is reduced and its price has been raised.)

Still, seeing the average transaction prices for General Motors products in Q4 2021, according to Cox Automotive, is somewhat surprising.

For Cadillac, the amount of money that people actually paid at the dealership—the average transaction price (ATP)—was $77,143. Compared to Q4 2020 that is a 29% increase.

Those rolling out of a dealership in an Escalade paid an average $107,336. That 38-inch OLED screen isn’t cheap.

Perhaps a GMC would be a more reasonable buy. Its ATP was $62,501. Perhaps.

Once, in the stairstep approach to brands, Buick was just below Cadillac. There’s something to be said for not giving up aspirational sedans and switching to a showroom of crossovers: even though Buick 2021 sales were up 10.5 percent, even though its ATPs were up 14% in Q4 2021, it was the lowest overall in GM brands according to Cox: $39,304.

Yes, this means that Chevy had a higher ATP: $50,336.

It is worth noting that in 2021 Buick delivered 179,799 vehicles while GMC moved 482,437, of which more than half (248,924) were full-size pickups.

Still, if those pickups, as well as the Canyon (24,125 were sold in 2021), are subtracted from GMC’s overall sales, it moved 209,388 vehicles, or 29,589 more than Buick.

All of which is to say that talking ATPs into account, GMC is doing significantly better than Buick. Clearly people would rather have a GMC.

That said, the $50,336 ATP for a Chevy (yes, the Silverado pickup price has a lot to do with that) makes me think that if people want a hot dog, apple pie and a Chevrolet, they may have to rethink their choices.

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