By on April 30, 2013

GM’s pickup truck changeover has received all the attention of TTAC’s commentariat, but GM knows it needs more than new trucks to make up for decades of deteriorating market share. All hopes are on a wave of new showroom offerings. “Seventy percent of the automaker’s U.S. portfolio will be refreshed between the start of 2012 and the end of 2013, and 89 percent will be refreshed by 2016,” writes the Detroit News.

According to the Detroit paper, GM “says its barrage of new products should help increase its market share over the next few years.”
Michelle Krebs of Edmunds.com is not so sure, saying that GM announced an impending turn-around of its market share since the 1980s, only to lose share ever year. Krebs points to the poorly received Malibu and the stiff competition from Ford and the Japanese automakers.
Alan Batey, GM’s vice president of U.S. sales and service, promised “a gradual increase.”
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas says to keep an eye on Japanese makers who could invest savings from a weakening yen into incentives, or better equipped cars.

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118 Comments on “GM Prepares A Barrage Of New Cars, Hopes To Right Sinking Market Share...”


  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Stemming the bleeding, maybe. Slight market share increase? Possibly. Hitting 20% ever again? Don’t see it happening.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I am similarly bearish, but I could see 20%. Some growth could come from actual retail sales, and some from sopping up the some of subprime mess left by Suzuki (and later Mitsubishi).

  • avatar
    Seminole 95

    There should be no 2nd bailout. Maybe someone should warn GM and the UAW about this upfront.

    • 0 avatar
      forraymond

      Chrysler was bailed out twice. I hope whatever industry that you are in never gets targeted like the unions and the American auto industry. Have you driven through Detroit or any other city that lost their only employers? Maybe you would not be such a republican in your comments. Also, how would it be if the US auto industry got tax breaks similar to those received by GE or Exxon? Would that be okay with you?

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        What I hope is that where I work is never as ineptly run as the Big Three auto makers were for decades.

        I also hope that the town where I live never foolishly hitches its star to one industry that is very dependent on the success of three companies.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Towns can’t easily choose their industries, the industries choose the town. Historially anyway, I know it’s new popular to try and bribe “desirable” industry to come to town, but that inevitably fails once the bribes run out.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/04/25/the-surprising-reason-that-oil-subsidies-persist-even-liberals-love-them/

        You should really read this article and desist in being manipulated by the great divider. The US auto industry does get the same tax breaks that Exxon gets, in fact their cap on the deduction is set at 9%, while oil companies have theirs capped at 6%. It’s the same deduction used at the 9% level by Apple, which makes the return on investment of oil companies look pathetic. The other large subsidies on oil in the US are the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and farmers being exempt from the gas tax since they don’t operate their equipment on the roads the tax is supposed to pay for. North Eastern Democrats line up to defend the LIHEAP every chance they get, and good luck taking on the farmers. All you think you know is propaganda meant to motivate the uninformed to vote against common sense. If you care about American employment, stop voting for the people standing in the way of domestic energy production and the Keystone Pipeline.

        How did the unions and the US auto industry get targeted? Was it during the bankruptcy? Was it during import quotas? Was it the chicken tax? Was it when the NLRB was packed with union shills? Was it when government workers were allowed to organize, leading to the closed loop corruption of bought politicians paying public employee unions at double the rates earned by the taxpayers whose money they’re playing with?

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Seminole 95: Well, I agree! There SHOULD be no 2nd bailout.

      Of course, there should not have been a first bailout either.

      Howsome ever, if there ever comes a need for a second bailout, GM WILL be bailed out again, no matter who’s in the White House and regardless of which political party controls the Hill.

      Once precedence is set, as in the case of the first bailout, we, the people, are in for a penny, in for a pound. The Treasury has GM’s back. Don’t worry. Be happy! GM will never fail.

      The only thing to do to prevent another bailout is for every mother-loving soul in America to rush out and buy a new GM product right now and forever more. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.

      As in Biblical times, there is no way to undo the mass exodus and great migration. Former GM buyers voted with their feet and have scattered to the ends of the earth when it comes to car brands, now choosing from a plethora of foreign brands over anything GM.

      The only hope for GM is the future generations; our kids and grand kids. But they prefer a smart-phone over a car.

      Faced with the choice between a brand new Elantra or a Samsung Galaxy S4, my grand daughter chose the phone.

      Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to me either since she has a perfectly good Galaxy S3 now, but her 2011 Elantra is showing a lot of wear, as in brakes, belts, tires, shocks/struts; 28 months and 65k miles later, it’s time to trade!

      I’m too old now to tool and wrench.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Um, GM is making a nice profit and has a huge cash reserve at hand.

      Financially, they are in much better shape than Ford.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    GM can succeed IF they stop over-pricing their cars. Every potential buyer knows that in order for them to move their metal, they must put a substantial amount of cash on the hood. It simply becomes a game of financial “chicken”, as to who blinks first when price comes to the fore.

    Other than that, GM is making some fine cars, but I would hesitate on the Korean-based models, although they appear to be selling, and I read of few problems.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Zackman,

      I was a doubter too. but it’s those Daewoo that will buy GM their future. In Brazil the ageing Opel based Chevy lines has been mostly retired and the new Chevy line has come on line. GM has not been able to gain market share (and in fact is shedding) but that’s due to a combination of factors: some trouble producing the new cars fast enough. worker “semi-striking” (dragging their feet), some aggressive pricing but that still shocks (unless the consumer digs deeper and realizes that for that slightly higher initial price they get more, but how many consumers pay attention?). The new Korean Chevy ride well enough, are quiet, have an ugly modern design most consumers eem to like. I think, like in America, GM has to find a way to overcome some misconceptions but I believe they’re doing it right this time as the cars more than hold their own against the competition.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        You hit the nail on the head Marcelo. GM has bad brand equity here unless your a diehard GM person and thats all you ever bought.

        • 0 avatar

          Thanks Onus. I think in Brazil the Chevy brand is not as damaged, but even diehard fans were jumping ship (on hiher end to Japanese and Koreans and in the lower end – the meat of the market here – to a host of competitors but mostly Fiat, VW among others). I think in fact the new line is bringing the old faithful back and even VW or Fiat fans are taking a look. I believe than once GM figures out some solutions to the problems mentioned above, the good reputation the cars are gaining will lead to higher sales and could by the end of next year put GM in the fight for first with Fiat and VW (they’re in 3rd here).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Very well put Marcelo, Daewoos will be the future of GM because consumers are frankly, a bit slow on the uptake as it were.

        • 0 avatar
          SherbornSean

          Thanks, 28,
          I was just grabbing a snack out of our LG fridge and yakking on my Galaxy S3 when I wondered why is Daewoo the future of GM?

          And now I know that it is because I am so stupid. Thank you!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Yeah… in any event it wasn’t my original thought, but it does appear to be accurate for the company. Opel is on its way out one way or another, Holden may follow. Unless they start spinning up more R&D in North America, it will mostly come from the folks in South Korea.

        • 0 avatar
          jpolicke

          If Daewoo is the future then sell the stock today. I can’t recall any Daewoo product that didn’t end up as a steaming pile of misery. GM has hitched their future to the Titanic. Daewoo is not Hyundai or Samsung.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I truly agree.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            First of all, the development of the Chevrolet Sonic and Cruze—both very nice products and nothing like the penalty-boxes that preceded them—was led by Daewoo. Second, Daewoo has been renamed GM Korea, which probably reflects the division’s positive turnaround in quality.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            GM has done quite well in the small car segments with the Cruze, Sonic and even the tiny Spark.

            The problem has been with the new Malibu (GM seems to have avoided making similar missteps with the new Impala).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Zack, GM is making some fine cars these days, but so is everyone else, and some make them even better than GM.

      In the gas&sip where I live I get to look at what sales are like in Texas and New Mexico in places where they sell a fair number of vehicles, like El Paso and Albuquerque.

      Every vehicle of every brand sold in this region is overpriced so what counts are actual sales transactions. And as near as I can tell, sales numbers in this area seem to parallel the national sales numbers with F150 trucks selling best, Camry sedans selling best, etc on down.

      GM products are nowhere near the two top selling vehicles, no matter how they price their vehicles, and no matter how good they are today.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I thought we had been looking at an all-new refreshed GM for the last several years. Equinox, Cruze, Sonic, the last Malibu, cluster of new Buicks, a couple of strong Cadillacs. If that isn’t working I don’t know what will.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Well this article (from today!)said in the last bullet point that market share was edging back up :
      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/analysts-predict-very-strong-april-sales/#more-486697

      Market share does seem to have stopped falling, always the first step after such a long and pronounced fall. Certainly doesn`t seem to be going to 15% as predicted by some.
      Cadillac will be gaining sales (pretty much all retail) since they are expanding their lineup. Buick the same.
      Chevy may have missed with the Malibu (although it is not a complete miss) but the Sonic, Cruze and Equinox – all important segments are doing well.
      I would expect GM will stabilise in the 17-18% region for the long term.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        mike978, not to criticize you, but I’m curious as to how you would have predicted GM’s long-term market share (say) 3-4 years ago? People tend to assume (consciously or not) that the present is the future.

        GM’s US market share (according to Ward’s) declined from 46.5% in 1976 to 21.9% in 2008. The graph line isn’t exactly straight, but it’s remarkably consistent. Since 2008, it’s continued to go steadily down:

        2009 – 19.6%
        2010 – 18.8%
        2011 – 19.2%
        2012 – 17.6%

        A small pickup from March to April is certainly better than a small loss, but it doesn’t make a trend. There are always ups and downs during any year.

        When a trend is this long and this persistent, it usually signifies that deeper forces are at work.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          Actually, given that they discontinued Pontiac/Saturn/HUMMER/Saab during 2009 calendar year, I’m surprised the drop wasn’t bigger from 2009 to today.

          2011 was an artificial boost due to the tsunami. 2012 had some rebound down from that. They sold more in 2012 but Toyota etc rebounded.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Every month, and every year, is of course subject to anomalies and one-offs. That’s why you have to look at the trend line.

            Looking at Ford, a different picture:

            2008 – 14.2%
            2009 – 15.3%
            2010 – 16.4%
            2011 – 16.5%
            2012 – 15.2%

            Chrysler shows another different profile:

            2008 – 10.8%
            2009 – 8.8%
            2010 – 9.2%
            2011 – 10.5%
            2011 – 11.2%

            It might be said that Ford profited in 2009-2010 from weakness in GM and Chrysler. The tsunami certainly helped all the D3 in 2011. Ford and GM fell back in 2012, but Chrysler continued to surge.

            The difference in 2012 is that Ford fell back, but GM fell to a new low. At an operating level, Ford was profitable, GM not. Ford had positive cash flow, GM negative.

            All I’m saying is that there is a long-term trend in GM (and to a lesser extent Ford) of declining market share in its home market. GM is back in loss (maybe 2012 was ananomaly, maybe not). So far, GM has not arrested this negative trend, which suggests to me that there are deeper issues that managment is not addressing. Hopefully, they will.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          ect, a fair point about assuming (unconsciously) that the present is the future.

          My rationale is that a) they have to stop declining at some point b) their current and new product is certainly class competitive and in some cases class leading c) 2013 (third of the way through it so 4 data points) shows a stop in the decline in market share d) the shine has come of some of the Japanese (witness 5 years 0% financing on the new Camry – unheard of 3-5 years ago).

          Could I be wrong – of course and only time will tell. It will need at least 2 years to show if that fairly straight line you mention has started to take a different course (or not).

    • 0 avatar
      rnc

      Taken into account the billions in principle, interest and VEBA contributions saved via BK and the fact that the only real solution to the pension problem* is for people to start dying in mass (the advances in healthcare variance to actuarial table lifespan can’t be stretched to infinity, so its probably a safe bet that will work itself out), taking one into account and ignoring the other, from an funding/not accounting standpoint, GM has billions in free cash flow that it has to put into vehicles, so they have a period of time to pump money into car developement and quality (notice cars not trucks, CUV’s are cars), sell them at realistic prices and hope that brand equity damage can be fixed before the benefits of BK wear off (i.e. erase 30 + years of selling crap cheaply, via selling quality reasonbly, below others $). This was the whole concept of having a “quick rinse bankruptcy” (which was completely legal, not a clean slate but breathing room, time and money)

      *Only real solution to the Opel problem is for it to die in mass, but GM made alot of time agreements on that front, and needs to grab a few chairs before it sinks.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        rnc, I think you meant to say “en masse”.

        You correctly note that GM had its balance sheet cleansed and billions in costs shaved via Chapter 11. But the notion that they have “billions in free cash flow” to put into vehicles may not be so.

        GM actually turned cash flow negative in 2012 – negative in the range of $3-5 billion (the numbers from memory, it’s been a month or so since I saw the statements). Gross margins dropped from around $18.5 billion in 2011 to only around $10 billion in 2012, which is major.

        It is genuinely astonishing to think that GM management have p’d away the benefits from Chapter 11 in such a short space of time, but the numbers tell us this may well be so. As others have commented, GM’s previous new product barrages couldn’t arrest the decline. Which suggests much deeper-seated management (and management culture) issues. New product won’t solve that, unless it’s head and shoulders above the competition.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    Same old GM song – the new product will change EVERYTHING! How many times has this been played? And to what effect? The chart says it all. For while GM’s products may be “new and improved” so is everybody else’s and most of the competition doesn’t have GM’s baggage.

  • avatar

    GM doesn’t have a product problem, they have a sales and marketing problem. until that is corrected the slide in share will continue even with new product.

    they need a way to once and for all get rid of the government motors stigma and be able to drive traffic into dealerships without an enormous spend. I have that plan ready to go. it’s called Extra Mile and I guarantee it would work immediately. only obstacles are in The Tubes.

    • 0 avatar

      Please share?

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I for one, never gave much thought to the Gummint Motors right-wing thought speak. I like my ’08 Astra, but GM discontinued it and hasn’t provided me a reason to trade her in for anything it has.

      • 0 avatar
        TomHend

        Bush, your right wing, greased the skids for Obama, your left wing to bail out GM.

        Right wing/ left wing is a scam, there is no difference between the two.

        It is the elites vs the sheeple and we are losing badly.

        • 0 avatar
          natrat

          isn’t that the truth

        • 0 avatar
          Loser

          Post of the year. Can’t understand how people can be so stupid/blind to the fact that both parties are screwing us and have no interest in doing good for the country.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            Yeah…well trust me, my American friends,the only difference north of your border,is we got three parties to do the screwing.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            I switched from conservative to liberal after I realized that both parties were going to pick my pocket.

            This was 2003, so the Republicans were going to pick my pocket and use it to invade random 3rd world countries, and the Democrats were going to pick my pocket to give it to welfare queens. I had a good sit-down with my conscience and decided that I’d rather feed welfare queens.

            Alas, the distinction turned out to be far less pronounced than I’d hoped but, since I have only two real choices (I tried 3rd parties once), so this reasoning still just barely applies…

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Buickman,

      At least in Brazil, though GM’s marketing here is largely forgetabble, the problem was the car. In all measuraeable and subjective criteria, others’ offerings were better. Now Cruze (hatch and sedan) are better than rest by some criteria, Onix rules the small car market now, the Brazilian Cobalt owns its segment, the Spin doesn’t have any competitors, the new S10 is class competitive.

      There are problmes though: the Sonic is much too expensive and simply doesn’t sell, the Agile, Celta and Classic are grossly unrefined and a chore to drive as is the Montana. The problem for them is that the Celta and Classic compete in the lower side of the market where the real volume is. Until they get rid of the Celta they’ll play second fiddle to Fiat and VW here.

      • 0 avatar

        I have no knowledge of the SA market and will rely upon your assessment. here in NA, GM’s main trouble is their lack of understanding retail in combination with their persistent and hurtful interference.

      • 0 avatar
        MrWhopee

        I agree with you Marcello, GM’s problem is products. It’s either worse than competitors, or the occasional things where they have products that are competitive with their competitions, they become overconfident and priced it too high. Part of it seems to be management that ‘knows better’ than the buying public, and still attempt to dictate what the buying public should like, instead of attempting to satisfy whatever the consumer want. Witness the latest Malibu. They do have a history of leading consumers by the nose, but that was decades ago, when they rule the marketplace. Those days are over guys, and likely not coming back, it’s different today.

        In other news, GM has recently stopped selling the Cruze in Indonesia, it’s an utter and abject failure.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          As an example for your opinion, you use Chevy Cruze sales in Indonesia?

          Really?? As long as you’re breaking down that market, what are your thoughts on the future of the locally built Chevy Spin just debuting?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      ” Annual Meeting of Stockholders.”

      Will there be a reading of that Ackerson three-parter?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      The Tubes?

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      There was no gov motors stigma in 2002, or in all the other years before that when the graph would have continued to point downward. It’s only a marketing problem because you can’t bribe enough people to buy the product.

      GM needs to figure out how to make money selling cars as a small company. They will never again be the dominant player they once were. I doubt they’ll ever see 28% again.

  • avatar
    Onus

    I got to give them some credit. Most of their product is good. I’m quite interested in the cruze, and the sonic.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      My mom just bought a 2012 Cruze Eco with the 6-speed manual. 5K miles for $15K. In a recent 80 mile drive around the Twin Cities with three adults in the car, I averaged 45MPG.

      This car blows the Focus and all the other small appliances out of the water. And even with the ECO package, you’re not punished with a cheap tin can like the Focus and others. Among other things, this is what GM does to make the Cruze a fuel sipper:

      -They bolt on 17″ forged alloy wheels
      -They drop in the optional turbo engine
      -They lower it
      -They give it a trunk mounted spoiler
      -They drop in a 6-speed manual

      That is more of the makings of a performance variant than a 45MPG eco model, but it works.

      I hope TTAC doesn’t crash from the GM praise. If it does, I apologize.

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        The Cruze ECO is a great little sedan. I really liked it and would have been happy with one as our second car (keeping the Outback as our primary car). But we dumped the old Acura and the Outback and just have the Accord.

        But, P71, the Cruze is as much an appliance as any of the other small cars you’re referring too.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        One of the models I’m interested in actually. Great idea on their part.

        I’m not a huge fan of the focus interior styling it can be a bit crazy. I’m more of a vw clean interior design person. Then again the cruze is something in between the two.

        Oh and don’t forget about the active grill shutters :). The 6 speed is nice since ford for some reason wont sell the 6 speed in place of the 5 speed in the us focus. Not that its a bad transmission.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        The ’13 brought-from-Europe Focus a tin-can? I don’t believe you actually sat in one and managed a drive in it. Blows the doors off the Cruze, perhaps not in MPGs such as you’ve stated, but in the upper 30s/low 40s. The 5 door SE with the Sport Package, 6 spd manual, moonroof, and leather seating (dealer option) is phenomenally good and is a pretty good value.

        I like the Cruze much better than the Cobalt, but then again, liked the Cobalt so much more than the Cavalier. Guess GM still assumes competition is really with itself.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Eh, ignore it. 86SN2001 is so brand-loyal he can’t be taken seriously. The same devotion that causes the current Corolla to still be a near-best seller, except he is somewhat militant about it.

          I like this new Cruze/Focus rivalry, though. Two high quality solidly built little-big cars that completely floor Honda and Toyota in perceived quality.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            Has he taken over for Z71? I haven’t seen him in awhile. Granted I’ve not been on the site as much as I used to, but I don’t think he was on much a year ago.

            As for the Cruze v Focus, I can’t comment because I’ve not driven the Cruze. I do, however, prefer my ’13 Focus over my friend’s ’11 Jetta.

          • 0 avatar
            TEXN3

            tankinbeans: He is Z71 (for his personal vehicle) or P71 (for his police cruiser), I believe I remember long ago his name was Matt but they both come from the Twin Cities and the posts are always the same.

            Common trolls are common.

          • 0 avatar
            tankinbeans

            I figured I was missing something after my long absence.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>that completely floor Honda and Toyota in perceived quality.<<

            I doubt you can substantiate that. Honda and Toyota have a reputation for quality, Ford and GM have a reputation for lack of quality.

            You might have said something like "actual quality" rather than "perceived quality", but you would still be in the minority.

            In actual quality ratings, Ford kinda has the bottom to itself.

          • 0 avatar
            86SN2001

            30 mile you need to get better at telling lies. I have no brand loyalty what so ever. One of my vehicles has a big Ford V8 and the other is a Silverado. And if I had to replace my Silverado, it would be with a Ram or Jeep Grand Cherokee. And I’m not replacing the vehicle powered by Ford. Nothing comes close to matching it.

            So, keep lying. It’s cute. I couldn’t be farther from being brand loyal.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            86SN2001,
            Fair enough, I will clear my opinion and consider you brand-neutral. But I’ll be watching for future posts. Bwahaha…

            Careful, though, your “keep on lying, you lying liar” retort takes you off the high ground.

            thornmark,
            I should have been more specific. By “perceived quality” I meant the driving experience, the feel of the car, the quality of the interior. Not brand perception and not reliability stats.

        • 0 avatar
          Dubbed

          I just can’t stand the A pillar in the Focus. It is angled at such a wrong location for me. I actually had a not so pleasant time driving one of those on some twisty roads near my hone recently. That car is absolutely awful when it comes to blind curves.

          I can’t hit those curves the way I enjoy because i’m forced to drive slower so I can actually see where the road is. Massive blind spots. And I’m only 5’9″.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        One important change not mentioned about the ECO is that it loses the independent rear suspension of the other Cruzes and has a beam axle instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        I think the Cruze is on-par on most fronts with the Focus, Mazda3 and Dart. Definately a more benign style design, but I think that will help it age better.

        The fact that your mom drives a manual gets brownie points.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I think so too. As I was saying the other day, the Cruze looks a lot more mature than most of the other compacts on the market, as does the Jetta. I don’t think that the Civic, Focus, Forte or especially the Elantra are going to age well looks-wise. To me, they all sort of look like they were designed for kids.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Cruze is a bit on the bland side design-wise and the next gen Cruze will be getting a shape more like the others in the segment.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Malibu, Cruze, Equinox are the market sweet spots. While those vehicles are all good cars, none of them are standouts. Thus, GM lacks the three models it needs to do the heavy lifting to gain market share.

    I would suggest that GM could use a small ute to slot below the Equinox and a C segment hatchback. Ford is selling a large amount of Focus hatches (greater than 50% of Foci I think). I think there is clearly a business case to be made for both those vehicles.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    There is no way ANY automaker will achieve 28% USA market share today, without a one-of-a-kind event.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I’m thinking the same thing. The days of any one company capturing 30% of the market are long gone. There’s just too much competition now.

      This is especially true for GM now that they’ve thinned out their brands. It’s virtually impossible to be everything to everyone without several different product lines.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I want to buy GM again. Loved the Saturn SLs I drove and I loved the 2002 Vue when it wasn’t broken. I had been a Nissan driver till I went there. The Vue was an Opel import and we bought a second one with Honda power.

    I am back driving Nissans again and pretty pleased with them. If Nissan takes me where I don’t want to go I am going to look at Ford and Fiatsler before I buy a GM. I guess the soap opera just bothered me far too much.

    How to kill an empire without really trying.

    • 0 avatar
      Dubbed

      Nice way of saying you bought a Saturn Vue Redline.. I really did like those.

      The SL was one of those cars that was just reliable period. And the greatest thing about the SLs was that they were so easy to fix.

      I had one for more than 180,000 after buying one with 80,000 already on it. It didn’t have to go the shop to get anything fixed. Everything was relatively simple to fix or repair. Fuel pump, alternator, ac condensor, radiator, seats, water pump, belts, fluids, brake pads, bumper, side view mirror, fuel filter, engine mounts, thermostat, fuel filter, belt tensioner, speakers.
      The car became an absolute beater but it just wouldn’t stop going.. I finally had to draw the line when the starter started to go. (I know I just undercut the reliable period justification by listing all the things I had to replace on my car, but most of those was because I was just a horrible owner.. The amount of stuff you have to replace if god forbid you forget to fill up the radiator or switch to full synthetic is just mind boggling)

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “Seventy percent of the automaker’s U.S. portfolio will be refreshed between the start of 2012 and the end of 2013, and 89 percent will be refreshed by 2016,”

    And everybody else will be standing still.

    They begin with the start of 2012, and finish with the end of 2016; that’s 5 years, or 14% of the portfolio per year. Most mfrs do that.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Its 89% over those 5 years and 70% over 2 years. Using your math, that would be an 18% refresh each year versus the industry 14%.

      Its more of a catch up from the pre-bankruptcy period.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        so 19% replacement over the last 3 years, or about 6% per year? Thats a recipe for disaster………..

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          Not really. As I said, some of this is catch up from the bankruptcy when a number of projects were shelved.

          The word ‘barrage’ in the title of the article in indicative of what they are doing. Releasing a new/refreshed vehicle isn’t like going to a salad bar and building a new salad. They had a drought but started moving a lot of stuff forward in 2010-2011..this is the result.

          The other thing that makes it imbalanced is the new truck platform which then flows into Tahoe/Suburban/Yukon/Yukon XL/Escalade. One new truck platform can equal a large refresh.

          Should they slow down to meet your satisfaction?

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          Only if they replace that 18% with the right vehicle every time.

          The latest Malibu doesn’t seem to be setting the world on fire.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            Appliance grade midsized passenger cars are mostly a solved problem.

            They’re all pretty good, so I’m not getting excited about one unless it’s electric…

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    Honest question – why is “market share” even a metric that they care about? Is it something worth chasing at all?

    Profitability and cash flow – both very important.

    Absolute sales numbers – also important inasmuch as it determines a manufacturer’s ability to take advantage of economies of scale etc.

    But market share seems to be good for little more than bragging rights, much like “world’s largest automaker”.

    The fact that they’re predicting that their new and generally quite good product lineup will increase market share rather than profitability or customer satisfaction is worrying.

    GM had plenty of market share in the 70′s and 80′s. What good did it do them?

    • 0 avatar
      Type57SC

      While the should and hopefully do focus on variable and total profit, Market Share is a more sales-oriented measure of winning or losing in the market place. If sales go up 5% and the market volume goes up 15%, then less % of shopper chose them, and their product, marketing, sales and dealer people all lost, on average. If losing share is part of a pull back plan from oversupply or other issues, than it’s one thing. but on a steady state level, it’s more indicative of winning and losing in marketing and sales to focus on share than volume. Again, I assume they’re focusing on margin too, just not reporting it as frequently and in as much detail as share.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        True, but “The Goal” of a public corporation is to make money — not gain market share.

        (There’s a classic business school case study that was published as a “novel” called “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. It’s a fascinating read if you want to know some of the basics about optimizing industrial processes. “The Goal” is to make money, rather than to adhere to industrial traditions or look like a factory. It’s a fascinating read, and a nice way to introduce a number of process engineering basics.)

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          The car industry is capital-intensive and has high fixed costs. To amortize the costs of vehicle design, manufacturing and other overheads, etc., requires selling large numbers of products at decent margins.

          GM’s long death spiral from 1976 to 2008 was marked by the steady erosion of market share. Profitability declined with it, and by 2005 or 2006 the company had negative shareholders equity.

          Market share is not a proxy for profitability, but it is ultimately necessary to profitability.

          GM’s market share has continued to decline since 2008, and the company lost money on operations in 2012. If it cannot reverse the erosion of its market position, it will again go bankrupt.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I think it is certainly possible for GM to stop its market share slide. In a best case scenario I think they could stabalize around 18, maybe 19 percent.

    As previously mentioned, I think marketing and sales are a big part of the problem as I think there are very few lemons in GM’s lineup today (mostly vehicles at the end of their life cycle, the e-assist models don’t really add any value IMO).

    Most GM products released within the last few years are pretty objectively competent. While they do have a few market-leading vehicles, none of them are in the volume segments that matter: Malibu and Equinox. Is it truely that hard to put all your brain power and make an undisputed segment leading vehicle? Price it right and make it outperform everything else?

    Buick’s renaissance is very welcome, but its the Chevrolet and Cadillac brands they need to focus on to obtain volume (via Chevy) and fat profit margins (Cadillac).

    Lets sure hope that the next-gen Lambdas knock it out of the park.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Agree on Malibu although I doubt ‘best in class’ would give them any market share over Toyota/Honda/Nissan etc.

      Equinox/Terrain outsells CR-V, Escape, RAV4, etc for several years now and is this year as well.

      Escape may give it a run for their money this year but its not like sales are dropping for GM in that segment.

      They are well over 100% capacity building those and could hardly build many more to sell without investing a ton of money. They are just fine there. Sure, they could build more Equinox and less Terrains….but why?

      Next gen Lambda? They just refreshed it for 2013MY.

      2013 YTD sales:
      +44% Enclave
      +27% Acadia
      +22% Traverse

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I wish I saw more Sonic hatchbacks on the road and less Yari and the ilk.
    Buyer’s ignorance is bliss for Toyota–that all-so-very marketable perception of reliability, real or not.
    What GM can do is market the art of driving being cooler than being a sheeple in beige.
    Set up courses all over the country. Teach the masses to not only learn how to drive a manual, but enjoy the car.
    Feel how cool it is to have fun with your transportation.
    A vehicle is one of the larger items in our budgets every year.
    Educate the buyers to let it be a hobby and source of entertainment also.
    Stress how literally subscribed, joined, a member of, etc., an owner already is to his vehicle.
    It is an expensive part on life–get the most out of it.
    We’re freaking Chevrolet. We are sporty and frugal and efficient.
    We’ve got everything from a Corvette (made with the most exotic materials available, selling for thousands under competition, turning out 4.0 sec 0-60 at 25 mpg) all the way down to a shitty Spark.

    Develop some brand loyalty by going another direction. It would be great in the future if buyers bought Chevrolet for the fact it was the company that not only fulfilled the basics, but for the first time in the buyer’s history, showed them how to appreciate the art of driving and owning a vehicle. So what if another brand is better. The campaign’s about driving Chevrolet, not comparing other cars.

    I hope this new batch is cheaper to buy, reliable, frugal and very good to drive. Stop spending money on trying to convince the world your product is better than the others, and go hire some instructors, rent parking lots, get the insurance and medic crews, and advertise the crap out of these events.

  • avatar
    Rday

    These a$$holes deserve every bit of grief that they get. They have screwed over their customers and the american public for generations. They need to just ‘go away’ for good.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    2013 and 14 should be two good years for GM. The Enclave/Acadia and Traverse MCE’s are all well above there 2012 counterparts. The Equinox/Terrain continue to sell well despite going on 4 years of age. The Buick Verano has been increasing sales month by month and 2014 changes to the Regal and LaCrosse should keep them going. 2014 should be an interesting year for the General. With two new full size pickups with all new engines and interiors coming this Summer, an all new Impala and Corvette, the SS sedan and a refreshed Malibu and Camaro plus the revised Regal/LaCrosse things should heat up a little for GM.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    After several good GMs and then a horrible 1996 model I won’t go near a GM showroom until I’m convinced a product and attitudinal seachange has occurred. That means acceptable reliability as verified by an independent reputable authority and a superior warranty that is actually honored. So far I’m far from persuaded.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Bring back the Impala Classic.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    Hopefully Buickman will do better than “Find New Roads.” Oh wait, he would have to do better.

    John

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I like GM a lot, but I’ll tell you what: the transaction prices on some of their cars are a lot lower than they should be…

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Not in my part of the country they’re not. On trucks, yeah. All sorts of major discounts on fullsize GM trucks. Right now it is $10,500 in total savings off any 2013 GM fullsize truck in stock, but you have to finance, and you get two years of free maintenance.

      Just trying to move that metal since Ford is clearly the best seller in this region.

      But the rest of the GM fleet? Pretty pricey. Enclave, Acadia, Malibu, Cruze, Terrain — pretty pricey. Lots of GM dealer ads in newspapers but what really sells, and sells well in this region are Toyota products, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and Kia, and of course, Ford trucks.

      Things could be different in other regions. I wonder if regional sales data is easily accessible. I checked the WSJ, Automotive News and a few other sites and could not find anything on regional sales for GM.


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