On Monday GM sales analyst Paul Ballew announced that the General’s market share would slip a percentage point in the first quarter to 24 percent compared to a year earlier. Mark LaNeve, the company’s VP of North American sales (a.k.a. Captain Obvious), also called the sales outlook for 2006 “very challenging”.

But GM has had some recent successes it plans to capitalize on in the coming year, including strong demand for the company’s redesigned lineup of GMT900 full-size SUVs. The Tahoe is on track to sell 120,000 units this year, which is ahead of last year’s sales rate that predicted only 100,000 Tahoes to be sold by year’s end.

The company has also put down the incentive stick with which it beat consumers over the head with last year in favor of a new pricing strategy that has resulted in lower and less complicated base prices. The new strategy should lead to higher transaction prices for each sale compared with the incentive laden sales of yesteryear.

[Source: Automotive News]