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Blake Noble

GM's U.S. market share dips under 20%

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DETROIT -- General Motors' U.S. market share fell below 20 percent for the first time as the impact of $4 gasoline knocked the Detroit 3 into a minority share of the U.S. market in May.

The 44.4 percent share not only was the worst-ever showing for GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC, but it was also less than 2 percentage points ahead of the Japanese brands. Led by Honda, Japanese brands gained 5.7 percentage points to finish May with a 42.5 percent share of light vehicles. The Detroit 3 lost 7.4 points.

Also in May, GM's U.S. market share fell below 20 percent for the first time since the automaker was formed in 1908. Excluding Saab, GM sold 268,892 vehicles, down 27.5 percent from May 2007, for a 19.1 percent market share.

GM's U.S. sales lead over Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. narrowed dramatically as consumers shocked by soaring fuel prices shunned light trucks for small and compact cars.

Overall May sales plunged 10.7 percent to 1.4 million units, yet Toyota still gained more than a point of market share as its volume fell 4.3 percent. Toyota finished at 18.4 percent market share, only 0.7 percentage points behind GM. In units, GM's lead over Toyota fell to 11,488 from 102,033 just a year ago.

May was the fifth month in the past year that the Detroit 3 fell below 50 percent. But May's share loss was the deepest and sharpest yet.

And the sales swing has been dramatic. As recently as 2004, the Detroit 3 controlled 60 percent of the U.S. market.

Edited by YellowJacket894
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That was because of the major slide in trucks..as their cars sales grow, I think it should go over 20 again...

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Many things contributed to this...

1) The bottom falling out of trucks.

2) GM being ever so slow to market with cars.

3) GMs failure to inform the consumer of it even offering competitive cars.

4) The media attacks are now coming home to roost.

5) The continued myth and belief that Toyota and Honda offer the ONLY fuel efficient cars in america.

Etc.. Etc...

Well, I guess the ride has been fun guys; it's all over but the death blow now. GM has fought a very good battle, but simple fate and the consumer refuse to let the company live.

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No suprise...this was inevitable given the market forces at work.

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^ Holy, GM really needs to get some smaller cars now!

Thanks. I've only been screaming this at the top of my lungs since the early nineties.

Dear GM, Make some premium small cars so you can charge premium prices! Small does not need to mean cheap! Make a SMALL Cadillac in the 40-50K range and I will buy it! oh and small means small, it doesn't mean full-size. Repeat after me " small does not mean full-size" oh... why am I wasting my time.

Edited by SoCalCTS
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No suprise...this was inevitable given the market forces at work.

Agreed. Based on the more 'mature' markets in Asia, Europe and South America, I figured GM would slide to 20%. Remember, 20% of a 17 million vehicle market (well, maybe in a year or two :rolleyes: ) is a lot of vehicles. Plus, don't forget to throw in another 350k sales in Canada. :)

Long term, though, it will be interesting to see where Detroit's influence on GM global fits in. After all, less than half GM's business comes from North America, and pretty soon that could be 30% of its world-wide sales. When GM starts selling 4+ million in South America and another 3 or 4 million in Europe, Detroit's crown may start to dim.

Edited by CARBIZ
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Plus, don't forget to throw in another 350k sales in Canada. :)

To me, this is important to note, not because of the volume, but of the market trend. Traditionally, Canadians drive smaller vehicles with great appreciation and not simply because of fuel economy. If there were some higher-end, quality small cars available, they would definitely be on the top list of preferrence by consumers. This isn't to say the Cobalt, etc. are lower-end in terms of quality; however, they are simply considered the cars that 'replaced' the J-Body (not exactly known for any quality, j/k). Perception is everything to me. This means I would consider GM to be serious about its issues as they relate to fuel prices if they didn't simply market 'just another' high-volume 4-banger. If there was to be a market, it would likely be for people with the income able to afford a large SUV or truck as a daily driver, but didn't want to pay for the high fuel costs. Would these people even think about something that isn't an SUV or truck, but could still take their dog in the back with two kids and groceries? Yish, tough sell... but a fuel-efficient cross-over is most likely, if not a completely return to a trendy station-wagon... I almost couldn't finish typing that sentence.

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Long term, though, it will be interesting to see where Detroit's influence on GM global fits in. After all, less than half GM's business comes from North America, and pretty soon that could be 30% of its world-wide sales. When GM starts selling 4+ million in South America and another 3 or 4 million in Europe, Detroit's crown may start to dim.

This is already happening, hence the rise of GM Europe, within GM itself.

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