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GM's US sales down 2.7% YOY in Q4

New-vehicle sales for General Motors Co. fell 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018, the automaker announced Jan. 3.

The Detroit-based automaker sold 785,229 vehicles in the quarter, compared with 806,739 sales in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Buick brand sales took the biggest hit, dropping 13.7% year over year. Chevrolet sales were down 3.2% year over year and Cadillac sales were down 2.7%.

In 2018, GM sold 2.95 million vehicles, compared with 3 million vehicles in 2017 a 1.6% drop year over year.

A spokesperson for GM confirmed to S&P Global Market Intelligence that the automaker sold 200,000 electric vehicles by the end of 2018. This will trigger the phaseout of the federal electric-vehicle tax credit for GM consumers.

GM is the second automaker to hit the 200,000 EV sales mark after Tesla reached the number in July 2018.

GM also sold more than 1 million crossover vehicles in 2018, up 7% compared with 2017. Nearly 974,000 pickup trucks and more than 280,000 large sport utility vehicles were also sold in 2018.

The automaker's new light-duty pickup trucks, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, helped GM's retail share of the segment increase each month since August 2018. In the fourth quarter, the new models made up 17% of GM's light-duty deliveries.

"We are very bullish on pickups heading into 2019," Kurt McNeil, GM's U.S. vice president of sales operations, said. "The light-duty launch has been one of the best in our history, with a very smooth production ramp-up of the new models and a faster than expected sell-down of the old models. We are following that up with all-new HD trucks, and the first-ever Chevrolet Silverado medium-duty chassis cab trucks for commercial customers."

Shares of GM were down 3% at $32.63 on Jan. 3.