DTN: "Big 3 Cling to Market Share"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

As the latest GM Death Watch predicted, the GM apologists are getting warmed-up. Note to The Big 2.8's PR departments: hire the Detroit News' headline writer. Better yet, don't. Why risk losing such a public champion? After all, there is no evidence that GM, Ford and Chrysler ARE successfully clinging to their U.S. market share. Or WILL cling. And while you're wondering who to thank for cutting the words "try to" from the headline, it's best to keep scribe Sharon Terlep happy. Ms. T starts, helpfully enough, by moving the goal posts: "But preventing foreign-based rivals from stealing more buyers will be crucial to putting Detroit's automakers in a good position once sales eventually rebound." And then she trots out Michael Robinet, vice president of global vehicle forecasts for CSM Worldwide. "Robinet said GM is likely in the best position to hang on to market share with a string of popular new products such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Cadillac CTS sports sedan and the Buick Enclave crossover." None of which are conquesting transplant buyers or setting the sale charts on fire; all of which are the GM turnaround poster girls. And just because GM may be in the best position relative to Ford and Chrysler doesn't make it a good position relative to say, Toyota. Or Honda. Or Nissan. Or Hyundai. Or Lexus. Or…

Robert Farago
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  • Beken Beken on Mar 31, 2008

    I can't quite figure out those numbers either. Though I am sure there are a few Honda owners who are young enough, and not car enthusiasts to have never owned a GM or a Ford or Chrysler before, that they would take a look. I have to admit that the CTS, Malibu, and one or two other GM offerings are quite impressive, especially in relation to the rest of GM products presently and in the past. Certainly better than my current Buick which is on its third water pump, and recently had its timing chain cover gasket replaced. As for the line "preventing foreign-based rivals from stealing more buyers" from the article, I would have to disagree. The domestic companies chased their customers away. Their foreign based competitors did not steal them. I can say that, because I view myself as a disillusioned former domestic fanboy. Just ask my friends. "Domestic carmakers will rely on new products and savvy marketing to hang on to share against foreign rivals" will not be enough. It's a case of throwing product into the marketplace and convincing the customer to buy it. Then abandon the customer like a hot potato as soon as they have your money. The foreign based competitors know better. Make the ownership experience of the product a delight and your customer will be back for more. I'm sitting here watching the domestics die a slow (wow! We're on GM DW 170 now)death with mixed feelings. Tough to see, what I consider to be representative of the US economy, go down like watching a close friend dying of a disease. Yet a certain amount of revenge for when a certain GM regional rep stared me in the eye and saying he can't believe the car left the factory that way and accused me (the customer) of tampering with the car.

  • Seabrjim Seabrjim on Mar 31, 2008

    beken - 3 words. gm sucks.net. This is the big problem, not "perception"

  • RobertSD RobertSD on Mar 31, 2008

    I believe Ford actually gained 0.2% marketshare at a retail level the first two months and GM was down only like 0.1% at the retail level. That doesn't tell us anything about the retail market itself - marketshare is against the whole market (if corporate fleet and rental fleets are significantly down, the whole retail sector *share* could be up and Ford and GM, relative to their competitors could still be shrinking), but it is still significant, especially for Ford who hasn't seen back to back retail share increases since 2005. There is certainly nothing to disprove that they are clinging to marketshare - Toyota, for example, doesn't break out retail versus fleet. I have no idea about Chrysler - I've put them on my own deathwatch which has to be the death knell.

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Mar 31, 2008

    Seabrjim, wow that site Gmsucks.net is an eye opener in that it is readily apparent that its not just the old story of GM cars from the 80s or 90s but their recent cars that are plagued with reliability issues. So much for their claim that their reliability is every bit as good as Toyota. It is readily apparent from that site that GM’s market share slide will continue as people burned will continue to swear off GM products forever and that there is something very Karma related to what is happening to GM right now. They frankly are getting what they deserve. I should also note that when I went to that site my anti virus detector went off and stopped some bug so it looks like some GM fans do not appreciate that website.