By on April 13, 2011

Retail market share is one of those metrics that tends to cut through the vagueness of pure sales-volume numbers, reflecting an automaker’s performance compared to the competition, without the distraction of fleet sales. It’s not a perfect measure of a business’s overall strength, as fleet sales can help with economies of scale and capacity utilization, but it’s one of the most accurate ways to measure the appeal of a firm’s products with real consumers. And, based on this chart of GM’s monthly retail market share (as calculated by TrueCar VP for Industry Analysis and all-round data ninja Jesse Toprak), GM’s much-vaunted Lutz-era products aren’t moving the needle with those real consumers. Emerging from bankruptcy didn’t seem to provide much of boost either. And unless drastic happens soon, GM’s battle for consumer acceptance will continue its slow but steady decline. Not good!

Hit the jump for raw data and a historical chart of GM’s non-retail market share.

Above is the raw data for GM’s retail market share, as calculated by TrueCar.

Above is GM’s overall monthly market share, from January, 1993 to March, 2011, as calculated by Morgan & Co.

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59 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: GM’s Monthly Retail Market Share, 2008-2011...”


  • avatar
    william442

    Yesterday, while waiting for my Accord’s free oil change, I wandered up the street to the Chevy dealer. I am not surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I’m not surprised either, and this chart further substantiates my belief that there simply aren’t enough people buying GM products for GM to ever be a self-sustaining, viable, and most importantly, a profitable, US auto manufacturer, again. I do believe we, as a nation and as tax payers, have got to pull the plug on this money-losing adventure that GWBush embarked us on, and I’m a Republican!  Bail outs are bad. Should never have happened.  How long before we chop up GM and give it away to the Communist Chinese like we gave Chrysler away to the Italians, all at the expense of the US tax payers? It makes me sick to see how our government threw good money after bad, all to keep the UAW employed at tax payers’ expense.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I was initially encouraged by this, but then I remembered that their sales are still up. The government is buying GM vehicles with our borrowed future.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    And before anyone asks, the big drop in 1998 was the production loss from the UAW strike.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

       Re 1998 strike…..GM management had the UAW on the ropes, solidarity was starting to crack. Before and body blames the UAW remember it was management that blinked.

      Management led by Rick W, figured a two point drop in short term market share might impact thier obscene bonus and compensation package.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Yup I went to college in Defiance, OH home of one of GM Powertrain’s foundries and the UAW was definitely on the ropes.  And then Rick and management peed it all away.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      When looking at this chart, several things should be kept in mind. Number one is the rise of the Koreans, Hyundai and Kia and new strength of lower rank Japanese. Nissan and Subaru. As the pie is cut into more and more pieces, the biggest players will lose the most share. It is simple arithmetic as more competitive entries come to market. Number two, the incentive wars of February and March caused great variation as Ford bumped them in March while GM reduced them. Let’s see how April turns out.  

      In February, GM captured 21.9% of the market with 18.6% retail share (according to this chart). That is not a bad retail performance, 85% of sales. I doubt any volume maker does much if any better. The average of their monthly shares in the first quarter of ’11 are identical to the average of the 12 months of ’10. It is not really accurate to average monthly shares, because some months are much higher volume than others, but this is what is present in the data here.

      Given aging product and the phase out of half the brands it is not surprising to see a slight downward trend. I might be whistling by the graveyard, but I expect upcoming new products to continue to gain retail sales. 

      @Mikey and Educator Dan- I do not agree that GM ever had the union on the ropes. They have incredible power. All they had to do is strike one oxygen sensor plant, forcing all of GM to shut down, lay off UAW workers and still pay them  95% of their regular wages! That IS what happened, and more than once. I recall that attempts were made to pull ahead another supplier for Corvette oxygen sensors to get that plant running. Guess what, there were suddenly health and safety issues at the Corvette pedal position sensor plant, shutting the Vette plant down again in short order. The lack of enforcement of laws (if their are any left) to protect companies against illegal strikes forces automakers to essentially fund the strikes against them.

      Some of us thought GM was going to make a hard stand, but as the losses mounted, it was just a matter of time until GM had no choice but to settle on terms favorable to the UAW. The most egregious example of illegal strikes were those against GM’s two hot product plants, Lansing Delta Township- Enclave, Acadia… and Fairfax- Malibu. In the midst of unrest at American Axle, these two plants suddenly had health and safety issues forcing a strike that could only be settled by GM giving American Axle $200Million! Prior to that, there had never been a local strike in over 110 years of car building in Lansing! 

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        In February, GM captured 21.9% of the market with 18.6% retail share (according to this chart). That is not a bad retail performance, 85% of sales.
         
        That’s not the way shares work.  The US market is somewhere around 20% fleet sales, which would put GM at 68% retail.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        In March, the industry, notably Ford, bumped incentives while GM backed theirs down. 

        I made an error above. GM had 20.9% share in February with 18.6% @ retail, or 89% retail! 

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        doctor olds, share still doesn’t work that way.
         
        What if GM had a 20% total share and 22% retail share – would that give them a 110% retail mix?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        I believe the retail share charted above represents the share of the total market captured by retail sales, not just the GM share of the retail pie as you suggest. I think I am calculating the numbers correctly and challenge you to show me any maker who has higher fleet share than retail share. As I noted elsewhere, GM’s release says they had 38% growth in retail sales compared to only 20% growth of the market for 2011 Q1, yr over yr. 

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @aspade-GM says fleet accounted for 27% of there volume in March. It may be that neither of us are right on the numbers  though I was clearly wrong!

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        Plugging in the corrected number of 20.9% total share gives GM a 29% fleet sales mix when using my guestimate of a 80% retail market.

        Plugging in GM’s 27% fleet figure would make the March market 82% retail.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @Dr Olds       The UAW/CAW agreements have no provision to allow workers to recieve S.U.B as a direct result of a labor dispute.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @mikey- thanks! It is like the blind men all describing an elephant by touching various parts. each had very different opinion of what the thing was!

        I know that there is no provision in the contracts for sub pay in a labor dispute. However, that is only true in the plant with the strike. I see it as an ugly little secret behind the curtain.
        Strategic plants can be struck, typically based on questionable “health & safety” issues. The best example I recall was Delphi’s oxygen sensor plant. Striking just one plant forced GM to shut down every engine and vehicle plant that used an engine with an oxygen sensor, virutally all of them. The Delphi O2 guys had to get by on strike pay, but far, far more folks were laid off from all the idled assembly, fab, and powertrain plants. All of them were eligible for sub pay, which GM paid.
        As an Engineering HQ guy, I was not tightly linked in with labor relations, but I distinctly remember the O2 case because we worked hard to pull ahead the planned non-Delphi sensor to get Corvette up and running, only to suddenly have “health & safety” issues at the pedal position sensor plant.
        Having long experience in quality and the recall world, I am more aware than most that we had to have a supply of every single part, or the plant has to be stopped.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Ed, I punched the 2008-2011 numbers into a spreadsheet and did a quickie linear regression.  GM will hit 0.0% market share in April 2026.  I’m sorry.

  • avatar
    MikeAR

    I’d like to see a fifty year chart. It would be interesting to see just how far GM has gone downhill in that time. Overlay it with the names and dates of the CEOs during that time and you could see who earned their money and who didn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      When I was in HS in the late 70s, my stepfather was a regional sales mgr for Pontiac in NC, so I got steeped in that stuff.  At the time, IIRC, Pontiac and Olds were neck-neck for the number 3 nameplate in the country (after Ford & Chevy), and GM as a whole had ~50% of the US market.  Imports were less than 25% total.  Beetles and Benzes were pretty common, and I had a few buddies with MGs or Triumphs, but at least in that part of the country Toyotas were pretty rare (one buddy’s dad had a Corona) and Hondas were those weird little clown cars with the tiny wheels.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Recognizing global competition was nil years ago and that all the new foreign entries have taken now over half the market, I made a chart of GM’s piece of the domestic pie. I was curious to see how GM compared to Ford and Chrysler.  In other words, GM’s share of the Detroit 3 pieice of the “pie”.
      1961:       GM= 46% of total, 54% of domestic 
      1971:       GM= 44% of total, 53% of domestic
      1981:       GM= 43% of total, 59% of domestic
      1991:       GM= 35% of total, 50% of domestic
      2001:       GM= 28% of total, 45% of domestic
      2011 Q1:  GM= 19% of total, 43% of domestic
      GM had 43% or less of domestic in ’96, ’97, ’98. ’99 and ’00 before climbing back to about 46% on average from 2006-2008. 

      btw, the biggest winner in March was Chrysler with a gain of 1% in market share, yoy. More than any other company.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    What happened in March? This is really, really depressing. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to buy a domestic-made TV anymore – wait – that was over 20 years ago – this is very ominous. Now what car do I buy next?

    How the mighty have fallen.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @Zackman….. For your next car, go with the car YOU have had the most positive experience with.

      As far as GM goes? IMHO.. I believe they have slowed the bleeding to a trickle. It remains to be seen ,if GM can survive with a 15 to 20 pecent market share.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “For your next car, go with the car YOU have had the most positive experience with.”

        @mikey, what if they don’t make an Impala anymore? I’ll be heartbroken!

        I’m really worried about GM. In spite of the hate and disgust many have over the bailout, it happened, so people should just move on, as there’s nothing anyone can do about it now.

        FWIW, I would like some in-depth info about the great 1970 GM strike. I remember it, but don’t recall details. Just for the fun of it.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @Zackman…..1970 was two years before I started. I believe the big issue was Suplementry Unemployement Benifits….SUB.

        I will get into more later.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        @mikey:   Thanks! I was in the USAF on Okinawa when the strike hit and came back at the end of December that year, so I never really heard any details about it. I pretty much forgot about it when the next Hot Rod Magazine issue caught up with me!

  • avatar
    Robin

    Had Niedermeyer written about this one month ago, what kind of conclusions would we draw?  After all, there was an increase from Jan ’11 to Feb ’10.

    The overall downward trend is, however, unsurprising given what we know of GM over the last decade.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    It looks like they’ll hit 15% retail share around the end of this year.   From the total US light vehicle market share graph, it appears that there is a breakpoint in the slope, and sales have been declining at a faster rate since 1/2004.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    This trend surprises me.  It probably shouldn’t have but, lately, I’ve not read anything about GM’s market trends other than GM’s monthly Sales and Production Releases.  Everything’s rosy there.

    The stock price is declining gently, too.

    Did Mr. Peabody set the Wayback to 2006 or so?

  • avatar
    eldard

    GM’s battle for consumer acceptance will continue its slow but steady decline. Not good!
    GM bankruptcy is good!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @eldard……”GM bankruptcy is good?”….for who? The American and Canadian taxpayer? The thousands of hourly, and salary, people suddenly out of work? The ciities and towns and entire states that would be impacted? The pensioners maybe, or the dealers,some with millions invested in new facilities?

      The list could go on forever.

      I never cease to be amazed, at the bitterness, and hatred, that exsists in the minds of some people.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Mikey, you don’t understand why there is bitterness about the bailout. No one wanted GM to fail, I sure didn’t, but I also didn’t want to pay to keep GM open so the UAW could be rewarded for backing the winner in the election. This is a bad time of the year for us in the US because we are freshly reminded just how much we pay so that others may benefit. I for one don’t want to hear any whining about the consequences of bankruptcy when I am dealing with paying thousands into a government that has done and will do nothing for me.

        Furthermore, GM is like any other business, they should have the right to fail. No one, management or unions, was in the least stigmatized or punished for running GM into the ground. And before you start, I think the same thing about the banks and their management who ran their companies into the ground and came out of it richer than ever.

        Last of all, GM and its factories and people would not have disappeared had they gone into a real bankruptcy. Everything would still have been there to be in operation through a debtor-in-possesion bankruptcy or to be bought by another company or companies. Your sole perspective is that of a GM lifer and pensioner, you would have been hurt and hurt badly by it, but remember, life is hard and bad things happen to good people. The problem is that I had nothing to do with GM failing yet I am paying for it. That offends me greatly.

        Mikey, if you would just admit that those of us who are against bailouts have good reasons to be that way and try to see it from our perspective it would go a long way toward agreement that there were a lot of reasons to be against bailing out Gm. We don’t wish harm to you and other GM people but there has to be a point where we all realize that the government can’t and shouldn’t protect us from everything bad. There has to some personal responsibility.

      • 0 avatar
        EEGeek

        I agree, MikeAR, but even more so about Chrysler than GM.  In that case, the treatment of the preferred bondholders made an absolute mockery of existing bankruptcy law, bullied through the courts by fear-mongering about dire consequences, but it was all good as long as the UAW got to feast before the rest of the carcass bleached in the sun.  To then essentially give the company away to Fiat and trumpet this as success still makes me want to puke.  At least in the case of GM, the taxpayers have a chance of recouping something.
         
        I highly doubt that I’ll ever buy another GM product, and I definitely won’t darken a Chrysler dealer’s door.  In the latter case, it helps that they have absolutely nothing that I find remotely interesting.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ MikeAR……Thanks for your well written response. I can see your sincere in your beliefs. Even though I had,and still have, a back up plan in place, the GM bail out came as a great relief to me.

        To some extent I agree with you. Rewarding, and saving, the incompetent bank, and auto,  senior mangement, just wasn’t right.

        However, IMHO, the ramifications of letting them fail, would have devastated the economy at that time. How many people at the lower, and not so lower, end of the socio economic scale would have been impacted?……or not? 

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Mikar- You are entitled to your opinion, though it reflects substantial ignorance of some realities. You don’t think 1/3 of all executives losing their jobs and all pre-bankruptcy executive retirees losing most of their pensions as well as Wagoner losing his job and having his retirement cut by $16M is being “stigmatized” enough? It is hard to argue the point about the unions, but it is true that the contract concessions of 2007 are huge enablers of profit at GM and Ford today. They did come to the table, perhaps a day late and a dollar short. The workers dumped from Jobs bank and non core jobs as well as those getting their pay cut 50% for the Tier 2 jobs probably would not agree with you either.

        That is an incredibly naive assumption about a simple bankrupcty. The reason GM was forced into the arms of government is that the GFC froze all credit at the same time collapsing the car market. Simply put, no other entity was capable of funding the bankruptcy. The banks certainly couldn’t, they were the primary recipient of TARP funds and still are not lending very readily. GM would have been liquidated. Virtually all car production in America would have stopped within a few months as the intertwined supplier network, 90% shared among the Detroit 3 and 65% with the foreign transplants were pushed into bankruptcy, too. The U.S. would have lost its largest automaker, if not all three of them and whole regions would have been economically devastated. It is extremely unlikely that GM could have survived a drawn out conventional bankruptcy like Delphi has gone thru. Obama did the right thing, though for some bad reasons.

        I would generally agree that the free market should be allowed to work. The problem is the car business has been far from free of government interference for decades. The first way government interfered was the Wagner Act of the FDR era. It gave the UAW a monopoly over the U.S. makers and the power to demand unsustainable compensation which financially drained all the companies, including Ford. Sure, they did not “take a bailout” with a $23B credit line locked up before the GFC credit freeze. Look at their balance sheet now, with over $100B in debt! The second way was the CAFE law which added huge cash drains to all three U.S. makers, particularly with its UAW instigated separate fleet averages for imported and domesticly produced vehicles. This provision put unique burdens on the Americans in terms of cost and forcing vehicles to be designed for regulators instead of buying customers.

        Several stock analysts see GM stock at $45-$50 within a year. At that rate, almost all of the taxpayer’s investment  will be returned except for $4-$5Bin the worst case. Meanwhile, GM’s employees are paying income taxes rather than collecting unemployment along with all of their suppliers and employees. GM also invested $3B in capital improvements in America in 2010. 

        Developing nations know the crown jewels of development are an aerospace industry and an auto industry. It was shocking and amazing to see all those who though it would be just fine for America to give up over 1/2 of her auto industry. Un-informed and naive. 

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        doctor olds: Sure, they did not “take a bailout” with a $23B credit line locked up before the GFC credit freeze. Look at their balance sheet now, with over $100B in debt!

        Ford has been paying down that debt, and, from what I’ve read, if pension liabilities are included in the equation, GM still has lots of debt, too.

        But, most importantly, Ford used that borrowed money to change its corporate culture and the way it does business. This is a key difference between Ford and GM, and a chief objection to the bailout. It really prevented GM from undergoing a badly needed change in corporate culture. Ford is not the same company it was five years ago. GM - from what I’ve seen - is the same company, except for an infusion of government money.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @geeber- Ford still has $100B in debt, while GM is down to around $5. GM has $26B in cash vs Ford with $20B. At last report, the pension plans were fairly well funded and, with improved market performance, that has improved without requiring much more to fully fund. Both companies have retirees to fund. They have the same UAW union. btw- I’ve read that was part of the argument for GM to get the carryforward loss tax credits- New GM took on continued funding of pensions in exchange. They could have dumped existing retirees on the PBGC which likely would have put the bill on taxpayers eventually.

        Profit margin is a metric that might be used to compare business performance.  GM’s 4.55% profit margin was not all that different from Fords 5.09% last year despite GM’s negative PR vs Fords positive. I suggest that means the companies are not all that different. Assuredly not the dramatic difference you imagine. 

        I am a bit confused how you presume to know the culture of either business? They are both immense companies with farflung operations. It is a bit naive to presume that a simple leadership change would suddenly change the culture. That kind of thing is difficult in average companies. In businesses as large as Ford and GM it takes years. More importantly, GM has gone through a far more traumatic time than Ford. Over 1/3 of GM executives were dumped and government people came in to tell them what to do. Do you really think the personality of one man could have anywhere near that kind of impact???

        I do know from over 40 years inside GM that if popular media gets it right, it is purely by chance. The misinformation and disinformation has always been atrocious, but with the ugly political twist of recent times has just gone crazy.  The mainstream narrative of GM’s fall into bankruptcy is distorted at best. I also know that GM today is not only very different than it was when I left in 2008, but that it went through decades of internal flux that did not culminate in something close to today’s organization until 2007.

        The real truth is that Ford’s return to profitability is based on the same foundation as GM’s. It is not some imaginary and substantial cultural change. It is the 2007 UAW contract. I tend to be anti-union, but I have respect for Ron Gettlefinger for taking the hard message to his folks that they would have to unburden the U.S. companies or they would kill the golden goose.

    • 0 avatar
      tiredoldmechanic

      Banruptcy good? Come on now. Thousands of wealth producing private sector jobs vanishing cannot possibly be anything but a disaster. Travel to Oshawa Ontario, or Flint Michigan, or any of a dozen or so other cities that once relied on an auto manufacturing plant and have a good look around. See anything good? I don’t agree with a lot of what went on but I cannot see any benefit to anyone if GM goes away.
       I don’t know about the US, but in Canada one of the reasons we taxpayers are on the hook for pensions is because Government permitted the practice of companies not actually funding pensions that they were contractually obligated to pay. I am as capatalist as they come, but this was a recipe for disaster that borders on a criminal act.
       As far as the idea that the bailout was a payoff to the UAW, I can’t agree here either even if it does smell that way. Here in Canada our federal government about as right wing as Reagan or McCain ever thought of being yet they signed on. The welfare of the CAW was not the reason, they just realized that bailing out GM and Chrysler was the least bad option. I suspect a Republican administration in the US would have had to come to the same conclusion. No one comes out of this with clean hands, and there is not a bit of good to be found in any of it.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Can you see any way that a $14 billion national debt and a $1.5 trillion deficit this year isn’t a disaster? Again, you are seeing our economy as something that is static and unchanging. Do you think that there haven’t been disruptions before in history? Look at the Industrial Revolution ending agrarian societies in Europe and America. You think the complete shutdown of GM (which would not have happened) would have been any more disruptive than industrialization of agrarian societies? Read your history and tell me that it would have been any worse than that.

        I have said many times and I will say it again, bankuptcy does not necessarily mean the complete end of a company. You can’t say with any certitude that GM would have shut down once and for all without the bailout. So don’t even try to play that card, it won’t work here.

        One more thing, if you hadn’t noticed playing the left/right card to justify the bailouts does not fly either. Big government/big business knows no ideolgy except money and power. The government helps it contributors and business gives to the winners for exactly that reason.

      • 0 avatar
        tiredoldmechanic

        MikeAR,
                   If you read my post again I think you will see that the left/right card not flying was exactly what I was saying. The government of Canada is right wing, the government of the US is left wing yet they did almost exactly the same thing. We could argue all night about what may or may not have happened if GM had gone bankrupt, but I can tell you from bitter personal experience that bankruptcies make a lot of ripples in the pond. The bankrupt entity is not the only one that suffers. Suppliers, subcontractors and anyone else owed money by the bankrupt subject ends up without or perhaps getting pennies on the dollar someday if they are still around.
           As easy as it is to hate on banks, they also take a hit. In this case it would have been a big, big hit. Could the financial system of the US or Canada have absorbed a blow of that magnitude at the time the bailout was given ?
        I don’t know and I’m glad we didn’t have to find out. I hate that my taxes and yours ended up going to horribly mismanaged corporations but I suspect the alternative would have been much worse. The blame on this one spreads in so many directions it’s pointless to try and pick one culprit. 
          I am not defending the bailout even if it sounds like I am, I’m just saying that I happen to think the alternatives were worse. Just my .02 though.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    If they’d stop futzing around with GMC, they could spend more $$$ and manpower on Chevrolet and grow that brand.  GM just put out some inane press release today about some whatever feature on the Terrain.  Too bad that press release didn’t have the words “Chevrolet Equinox” broadcast out to all the media outlets instead.  And speaking of which…I’ve heard there’s a lack of Equinox supply.  If GM wasn’t wasting effort on Terrain, they could supply more Equinoxes.  Remember who it was that convinced the car czar team to save GMC: the same guy who helped run the company into the ground last time.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @getacargetacheck- GMC is very profitable for GM and the Buick-GMC channel is among the fastest growing in the industry at the moment. Buick and Terrain are the main reasons. Diversity of product offering is what propelled GM to first place ahead of Ford 80 or so years ago. They are fully capable of supporting the 4 core brands in the U.S.

  • avatar
    monomille

    While I agree that the long term downward trend is the main feature of interest here, I’m curious about the shape of the curve.  It seems to have a very “jumpy” nature.  Is this because of something about the way car business works or an artifact of the data collection process or ?.  Just curious.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      It’s the way the business works. You can “buy” market share with sweetheart lease deals, big rebates, new model intros, and the like for a month or two, then someone else comes along with their giveaways and grabs the low-hanging fruit for the next month.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    I think GM will level off at 10 or 12 %. More important than market share is profitability. If you have 25 % of the market and lose a grand on every sale you’re in a lot more trouble than 12 % and breaking even. From some of the comments I see here whenever fleet sales come up most of you think they are a bad thing. Are they really? The manufacturers make a few bucks on each (presumably), they generate cashflow and if you add the 2 shares together the picture is not so bleak. I’m not saying it’s a great situation but sales are sales.
     Fleet customers are also repeat customers. How many retail customers wear out a vehicle to the point that is almost valueless in 10 years or less? GM (and Ford) build darn good products for our needs and as long as they continue to do so
    we will keep buying them. GM certainly needs to improve thier retail performance and quickly, but given thier current ratio between fleet and retail I think it’s misleading to predict GM’s demise based on this graph. Enthusiasts may not like it, but I think GM’s future in the short term is dependant on both fleet and retail.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Reading the article and responses I can’t help but blame Ed and the responders, all of which follow the auto industry closely as the next guy. But almost everyone’s comment sounded like Toyota loyalists frothing at the mouth over filled in circles of their car in the latest Consumer Reports.

    While GM still leads Toyota by over 5% in sales comparing their respective home markets, they are not near Chrysler’s 13% here last year. No one is forecasting their demise.

    You guys ever hear of that global thing? No need to focus on only one company selling in one country is there?

    Besides poor sales domestically where the current administration is curtailing and penting up demand for reelection bid, all mature manufacturers selling cars in the US has seen similar drop off in recent years.

    Sure, no one sells fleet or rental cars here, just GM.

    Time for analysis of all the other car companies.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GMs-China-sales-pass-US-for-apf-2185790564.html?x=0&.v=2

    Oh, and thanks Ed for throwing fresh meat at the hungry sharks. They bit!

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      GM is doing very well in China but you have to realize that all those sales are only half GM’s.  The other half of the money goes to their JV partners like SAIC.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    It is unfair to blame Ed for posting a chart that reflects things as they are in the real world.  But it should also be noted that many people, including myself, have for a long time voiced our opinion that bailing out GM was a bad thing that had no chance of ever leading to a viable and profitable, self-sustaining GM.  There simply are not enough people buying GM products, not in North America and not in the rest of the world. Best thing we can do now, before we lose all of the bail out money we poured into GM and the UAW, is to chop up this automaker and sell its sub-divisions to the highest bidder.  At least we would get back a little of the money we spent to keep the UAW employed in this money-losing venture.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      I am not sure if Ed’s chart really reflects the truth. GM reports Q1 retail sales up 38% with total sales up 26% compared to total industry up only 20%. That sure is proof of increasing retail share performance. GM had 19.4% of the U.S. market through Q1. Ford had 16% and Toyota 14%. GM is by far the largest seller in the U.S. and will again sell more cars than any other maker globally in 2011. they will be over 60% larger than Ford, at least 3 Million ahead and 100′s of thousands if not a million more than Toyota, due to the earthquake. 

      GM is very profitable. They made over $5B in North America last year with a net loss in the rest of the world, and the American market is coming back. Mark my words, GM will be strong throughout the year and will be way ahead of Ford in the end.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @doctor olds…..You and I came from two different worlds at GM. Having said that, we do share some common ground. I hope I didn’t offend you with my earlier post.

         For the most part, your well informed posts are a breath of fresh air here.

         Keep them coming.

                 Michael

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        doctor olds, I hope you are right.  But your posts are always so optimistic that they remind of posts I read prior to carmageddon, where the authors outlined all the factors that would drive both GM and Chrysler to have to declare bankruptcy (among them their inability to pay their operating expenses). It turned out, those guys were prophetic in their visions and predictions.  First and foremost I want to see GM and Chrysler pay back every cent that the tax payers gave them.  I doubt that will happen. Oh, we’ll see numbers being bandied about but they will be meaningless because in the end the tax payers will still lose money. As to GM being profitable, I think you fail to consider that they are not making their mandatory contributions to the UAW nor are they paying their expenses or repaying any of the principal indebtedness. Most of that was written off when GM declared bankruptcy.  However, let’s hope that time will prove you right and me wrong.  If that happens it will mean that the tax payers will get back a little of the money they poured into Detroit and the UAW. A little is better than nothing. But it still fails to address market share.  When there were only three auto manufacturers in the US and GM had a 30% or 40% market share, that was one thing.  Now that there are multitudes of auto manufacturers all vying to sell their wares in the US, if GM can make money with only a 15.6% market share……  (I just don’t see GM being around in 2014/2015.  I think it will be GM-China, GM-India, GM-Brazil, and GM-Russia).  I hope I’m wrong.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I don’t see how things are different at GM. Their profits are propped up with truck and SUV sales. We’re at $4 per gallon gas, again, which means big truck and SUV sales will drop. Meanwhile their competitors increase their production levels in the U.S. If nothing else, the “family & friends” effect will increase competitors’ volume as well. If it wasn’t for “family & friends” (which includes retirees) Chrysler would have succumbed.
    The bailout wasn’t as much of a bailout as it was a stay-of-execution.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    I here pundits say “GMs products are great”, but comparisons show mediocrity.
    I here GM has improved quality, but the data at CR, JDP and TD says “below average” (yes individual vehicles do better).
    I see spikes in market share going with industry leading incentives and lease deals.

    New GM = Old GM

    Bunter

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      They’re so bad, they are selling more cars than any other company in the world and only made $5Billion last year. 

      @Bunter1- Re: data spikes- How many other carmakers monthly results have you looked at for comparison? (you might want to do that before writing more.)

      • 0 avatar
        Bunter1

        Actually Doc I have, pre-bancruptcy.  GMs month to month performance has been very erratic when compared with others, and it has corresponded very well with incentives and sales events.  What I see today looks very similar.

        It easy to be profitable when your debts are wiped out, you get a big pile of others money and get to carry over tax breaks that are normally not carried through BK.
        We will see how that goes long term with sinking market share and $3k on the hood of every car (average) to move what they do.

        They may make it, hope they do.  But I remain skeptical that there has been a fundamental change in the way they do buisness-and the old way failed. 

        Until I see evidense of change I will stand by my assesment.

        Respectfully yours,

        Bunter

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    @bunter & highdesertcat-
    I sure don’t have a crystal ball either! I am not shy about wanting them to succeed and have certainly been disappointed in the past. Let’s see how April goes!

    • 0 avatar
      Bunter1

      No problem Doc, appreciate your honesty.

      I actually doubt we will be able to call any long term trends on the data for some time.
      The disasters in Japan have introduced some very large “wild cards” that will disrupt things through the rest of this year at the least.

      Cheerio,

      Bunter

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The key to survivability is whether or not they can pay their operations costs, on their own. If they can, then maybe they can pay the tax payers back. That’s really all I care about.  The American auto industry is not like Wall Street or the Investment Bankers.  The Finance industry can juggle the funds on a global scale and make money by following the sun with their investment, shifting from the US to Asia, then to Europe and back to the US.  Do this long enough, and careful enough, and they’ll have their bail out funds repaid.  They sure made a lot of money for me when I was investing. Enough for me never to have to be employed again.  But I pulled out all my stakes when the US Congress decided that NINJA loans and the CRA were a good thing even for people, regardless of race, who could never repay their mortgages, credit cards or car loans. Yep, I’m a little skeptical about pronouncements about how good the US auto industry is doing.  Let’s see the color of their repayment cash.


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